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April 1977

On-Line Computerized Data Handling System for Treating Patients With Renal Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Nephrology (Dr Pollak) and Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Dr Buncher), Departments of Internal Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and Interactive Information Systems, Cincinnati (Mr Donovan).

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(4):446-456. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630160020009

Some patients with renal disease accrue 6,000 to 8,000 individual data items relating to symptoms, signs, laboratory information, and treatment in one year. To deal with the problem of handling so many data items, the following steps were taken: (1) a dictionary of terms peculiar to nephrology was created; (2) manual time-oriented records for nephrology were constructed; and (3) an on-line data processing system, using a PDP-11/70 computer and remote teleprocessing terminal, was developed. On the terminal screen, up to 11 consecutive patient visits can be displayed horizontally, with 18 data items displayed vertically. Up to 30 of the most recent patient visits are easily accessible. For patient treatment, a special feature allows a rearrangement and instantaneous display of any combination of data, thus permitting review of essential feedback relationships between clinical events and treatment.

(Arch Intern Med 137:446-456, 1977)

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