Changes in clinical variables with time are critically important for evaluation of patient course, prognosis, and response to therapy. Traditional medical recording relates the individual observation to a "normal" value rather than to previous and subsequent observations. In a "time-oriented patient record," the record displays changes in clinical data with time, utilizing a "flow sheet" format. This record facilitates chart review and encourages use of data rather than memory in management decisions. The record is computer-compatible and permits development of a computer databank which may be flexibly utilized to answer a large variety of clinical questions. Patient status may be summarized, variables cross-correlated, clinical conditions reviewed, prognostic indicators measured, and response to various therapies compared. This type of computer record facilitates direct analysis of primary data and is a possible adjunct to traditional review of the literature. Output may be used for formal scientific study, for informal discussion, or for assistance in management of the individual patient.
Fries JF. Time-Oriented Patient Records and a Computer Databank. JAMA. 1972;222(12):1536–1542. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210120034009
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