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Medical News
November 9, 1964

Computers Could Speed Processing of Hospital Patients' Lab Tests

JAMA. 1964;190(6):39-40. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070190101051

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The same computer that a hospital uses for its administrative functions can be used at the same time for the hospital's laboratories, according to A. E. Rappoport, MD, director of laboratories at the Youngstown Hospital Association, Youngstown, Ohio.

Rappoport described the dual need for mechanized data handling at the Bal Harbour, Fla, meeting of the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Demonstrating experimental equipment, Rappoport and W. J. Constandse, engineer for International Business Machines Corp., showed how punched cards with prescored sections could be used by nurses to order laboratory tests which physicians have requested. Information from this card and other identifying facts about the patient are then transmitted to the central computer.

After several tests have been ordered, programming instructions to the computer can elicit a specimen collection schedule. This schedule is prepared for each ward and includes the names of patients and the

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