January 4, 1985

Computer Applications to Private Office Practice

Author Affiliations

Framingham, Mass


edited by Byron B. Oberst and Robert A. Reid, 159 pp, $29.50, New York, Springer-Verlag, 1984.

JAMA. 1985;253(1):86. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350250094037

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The practicing physician is bombarded daily with ads for computers. The stated or implied benefits are a vastly improved collection rate, smoother flow of paper through the office, and participation in the great revolution of the 1980s.

There is a great need for an introductory text that will logically introduce the practicing physician with little or no computer background to what computers are, will do, and have to offer. This book, however, is not the one to fill that need. It appears at times to be an almost random collection of thoughts about computers in the office.

There is no clear distinction between what is now available and what is "possible." With computers, most things are possible, but the cost and time involved frequently make many applications inappropriate. An example from page 82: "[I]n the past, there was a major barrier between human language and computer input. This barrier has