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Patient Records and Computers

Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD; Paul C. Tang, MD; and Don E. Detmer, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, Section on Medical Informatics, Medical School Office Building, X-215, Stanford, CA 94305-5479.

Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(12):979-981. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-115-12-979
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Improvement in clinical information-management systems is frequently cited as one strategy for coping with the cost and inefficiency of our health-care system (1, 2). Any clinician can testify to the wasted time and poor communication among providers that sometimes results because antiquated paper records still predominate in our offices and on the hospital wards. Problems with the paper record recur almost daily. Mr. Jones arrives in the office for a consultation, but the outside records have not arrived. Mrs. Smith was discharged from the hospital last week and returns for a follow-up appointment, but the inpatient chart and discharge summary


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