Medical data processing in the United States

Marion J. Ball
1974 Proceedings of the May 6-10, 1974, national computer conference and exposition on - AFIPS '74  
In the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the demand for health care services of all types by a larger and increasingly more well-informed public. At the same time, the cost of delivering high quality care is becoming formidable for hospital and patient alike. The introduction of the computer and information management techniques is considered by many informed health professionals and knowledgeable leaders in the medical computer field to be a solution to some of the major health
more » ... agement problems we are confronted with today. Such systems should not be expected to magically solve all health care delivery problems; computerized systems can, however, alleviate much of the congestion in the medical communications network. It has been stated that the lack of an effective means of communication between health care professionals is one of the most serious drawbacks to improved patient care today. Increased use of medical computerization upgrades this communication. Additionally, it assists the physician to carry out duties which he does not like involving documentation and clerical functions. It effects a reduction in personnel workload by taking over much of this paper work. Computerization also reduces errors. It is imperative to good health care that the possibility of error be minimized. To ensure accuracy in the transmission and storage of data for subsequent use, a computerized medical information system can establish consistent standards and continuously monitor all transactions. All entries that require verification can be immediately printed at the entry terminal and verified by the user, thereby providing positive confirmation of the data. A printed record of the transaction is then available for future reference. The computerized medical information system also promotes an important organization and accessability of valuable medical information. The physician can have direct access to all stored information through the use of remotely located terminals. A timely patient summary report provides accurate and convenient information supporting on-going medical care as well as enabling the implementation of a more exact system of capturing charges and giving provider credits. Of course, legibility is most certainly a positive benefit as well.
doi:10.1145/1500175.1500219 dblp:conf/afips/Ball74 fatcat:6dhtgqhgkzfmddz7ka7rz5ctwu