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November 18, 1968

The Computer and Medical Care

JAMA. 1968;206(8):1796. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150080076027

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In this era of evolving computer applications in medicine, it is of interest to examine systems so far developed by groups committed to this end. Lindberg here describes programs developed at the University of Missouri Medical Center, reviews activities of others, and makes cogent inquiry into the medicinecomputer interaction. He does not present introductory material on the organization or programming of a computer; he assumes these areas to be either irrelevant or already known to the reader. Either assumption is appropriate. The clinician here finds the specific decision rules which have been delegated to computer surveillance, and can judge for himself whether these are acceptable rules. He need have no knowledge of computers per se. To me, they are sensible rules. The computerist can then use them in developing programs for a particular computer system.

These programs focus principally on the handling of clinical laboratory data. Methods are presented to