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October 1992

Computerized Prescription Writing in Otolaryngology

Author Affiliations

Piraeus, Greece

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(10):1132-1133. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880100124025

To the Editor.—Pioneering efforts to computerize prescription writing have been hindered by hardware limits. Most hospitals and institutions used time-sharing systems, and the first computers were expensive, inflexible, and cumbersome. Personal computers (PCs) have developed greatly during recent years as regards memory, speed, and computing ability, minimizing the above problems. Taking advantage of this progress we have designed a PC-based prescription-writing program for use by otolaryngologists.

The program is currently running in an IBM PC with a 20-megabyte fixed disk, 640 kilobytes of random access memory (RAM), and a video graphics adaptor monitor. However, the program will operate on any IBM-compatible PC, needing only 64 kilobytes of RAM. Prescriptions are printed on continuous fanfolded narrow paper by a dot-matrix printer. The program was written using random files of BASIC, the most friendly and widespread programming language. Three files have been created: the drug database, the main program, and a

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