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The Computer-Based Clinical RecordWhere Do We Stand?

G. Octo Barnett, MD; Robert A. Jenders, MD; and Henry C. Chueh, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Laboratory of Computer Science, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114. Requests for Reprints: G. Octo Barnett, MD, Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford Street, 5th floor, Boston, MA 02114.


Copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1993;119(10):1046-1048. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-119-10-199311150-00014
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The practice of medicine depends on how we record, process, retrieve, and communicate information. Physicians are often frustrated with the inadequacies and duplication of the existing paper-based medical record and with the time wasted in locating medical information. The recognition of the need for more comprehensive and available documentation of patient care is not new. In her 1863 book Notes on a Hospital, Florence Nightingale wrote, In attempting to arrive at the truth, I have applied everywhere for information, but in scarcely an instance have I been able to obtain hospital records fit for any purposes of comparison. If they could be obtained they would show subscribers how their money was being spent, what amount of good was really being done with it, or whether the money was not doing mischief rather than good [1]. The need to improve the management of medical information is more critical now because of the explosion of medical knowledge and because of the need to provide comprehensive documentation of patient care for an ever-growing list of interested parties [2].

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