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August 18, 1993

The Physician-Computer Connection: A Practical Guide to Physician Involvement in Hospital Information Systems

Author Affiliations

Parsons, Kan

JAMA. 1993;270(7):885-886. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510070109055

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Hospital information systems are computerized information banks that deal with patient-related data. Typically they contain demographics, medical information—history, diagnosis, laboratory findings—and financial information. They may link with physician offices also. While every hospital nowadays uses an information system of some type, a truly integrated and sophisticated system inclusive of almost all aspects of patient care is uncommon. It should provide facilities for electronic order writing at the nurse's station, telephone retrieval of laboratory data from a physician's office, inpatient and outpatient record entry and retrieval, and a database for clinical research. The authors of The Physician-Computer Connection are veterans at the art of establishing hospital information systems in more than one hospital. They describe their collective experience in this short and readable book.

An active clinician and a hospital administrator pursue the same vocational goal, although overt expression of such shared aims is generally muted, even at staff and committee