September 1974

Evolution of an Automated Database History

Author Affiliations

From Searle Medidata Inc., Lexington, Mass.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(3):586-591. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320210196032

An automated self-administered medical history interview has been used for the past three years and is now being employed to process about 7,000 patients per month. Three major revisions in the history's structure were made in response to physicians' advice. The current version allows a patient to assign priorities to his problems according to their impact on him. It has also been programmed to be suitable for both first-and return-visit patients, with both a condensed and extensive symptom review. Although most patients feel comfortable with the system, physician response has been reserved, resulting largely from a lack of understanding of the fundamental difference between the anamnestic database and a physician-generated medical history.