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Title Interface Aspects of a Hospital Information System
Author(s) G. Octo Barnett, MD; and Robert A. Greenes
Source Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 161, No. 2, Pages 756-768
Publication Date 1969
Abstract In papers devoted to the problems of hospital information systems, there is often a strong feeling of deja vu. For the past decade it has been repeatedly claimed that computers will be of enormous usefulness in patient care and in hospital practice. On innumerable occasions our old men have dreamed dreams and our young men have seen visions. Yet, when we critically examine what is actually being implemented in our hospitals, we are most impressed by the number of slow or halting starts, and the number of projects that have been abandoned or in which the objectives have been greatly watered down. The discrepancies between the visions and the realities are startling.

What is the cause of this state of underachievement when the need is so great, and the technology supposedly so powerful? This is a significant problem which merits considerable analysis. It is our thesis that a considerable portion of the difficulty involves the recognition and solution of the "interface" problems. There are three important classes of interface problems: (1) the interface of the hospital with the development and implementation of a computer system; (2) the interface of the user with the computer terminals; and (3) the interface of the programmer with the computer system.

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