How the past teaches the future
More than 30 years of experience in developing a computer-based patient record system, The Medical Record (TMR), in multiple settings, in multiple specialty groups, and at multiple sites has taught us many lessons. Lessons related to computer-based patient records include the importance of a data model in which input, storage, and planned use are independent; separation of patient-specific data from metadata; a modular design to localize the program code that deals with a set of data; redundant storage to optimize tasks and response time; and integration of decision support into work process. Lessons related to medical informatics include the importance of a clinical-technical partnership, control of tools at the leading edge, and rapid prototyping in the real world. Finally, changes in technology move the challenges but do not eliminate them.
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