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February 19, 1982

The Role of Computers in Medical Practice Management

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1982;247(7):1051. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320320075045

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The author provides a good, understandable tool for those with limited computer experience who want to evaluate a computer system for a medical practice. The primary focus is on single-terminal, in-house computers costing under $20,000, and the limitations of such systems are pointed out.

While the book concentrates on accounts receivable systems and insurance processing, there are brief sections on appointment scheduling and word processing as well. The author admits clinical and diagnostic applications are beyond the scope of this work.

Ehrlich's practical approach is based on solid knowledge of practice management and hands-on computer experience. She avoids writing in "computerese," provides specific questions to ask when shopping for a computer system, and offers an excellent comparison of a manual accounting system and its computer counterpart, with illustrations. Good organization and charts make the book easy to read.

Chapters address topics such as when do you need a computer, selecting