Thanks for the comments. Dealing with ambiguities would be a very hard problem. I liked the concept of shorthand, but given all the advances we see around us I wonder if it is ripe to be developed further. For instance:
When typing in google search box, a list of suggestions appears, and one can abandon typing and choose one of the terms. Could such a feature help in some cases of disambiguation? In the MI example above, if typing MI brought up both myocardial infarction and mitral insufficiency, perhaps the person typing could choose the right one. That way ambiguous information does not enter the freetext notes in the first place, for someone to later get confused by.
Second, I was doubtful if everyone in the world would be willing to learn the shorthand of the eye exam module. Would it make more sense to give an ability to every staff member to define their own shorthand?
For a little more context around me posting this question: I was chatting with a group of doctors who said that they get to spend less than 5 mins with each patient when they are in the OPD ward on a busy day. If they could have a way to spend less time on their computer that would be of help. “If I could type everything into Microsoft word, that would be ideal”, one of them joked. It made me think that even if shorthand and automatic form-filling isn’t a universally appreciated feature, perhaps some super-busy environments could use that feature.