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October 22, 1997


JAMA. 1997;278(16):1380-1382. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550160102053

For many, the prospect of buying a computerized record system is daunting. Beyond upgrading hardware and making sure that the billing system is compatible, it will simply change the way you work. Ancillary staff must be trained and have as much buy-in to the process as the practitioners. Windows-based programs certainly will help, but with such a program, standard procedures will have to be reengineered to adapt to the wider scope of the new technology.

Appointments will be scheduled on screen. Patients, with their health insurance identified, will be identified by a photo. Messages will be taken on-line and sent to a screen for a response. Lab reports will be downloaded and immediately available in the chart. Prescriptions, after they have been checked for allergies, interactions, formulary status, and cost, will be faxed or electronically transmitted to a pharmacy. The clinical encounter will be instantly printed and accessible to anyone