Computerization of a colposcopy clinic



    Reader in Gynaecological Oncology , Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 OHS
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W. P. Soutter.


Summary. The first phase of a paperless computer record has been developed at Hammersmith Hospital. The system was designed around the work practices of the clinic staff. In this phase the data are collected on forms which replace the normal case notes. This information is entered onto an IBM compatible computer by the secretary using a quick, user-friendly program written in a dBASE dialect and compiled with Quicksilver. The program produces letters to patients and their doctors and a printed record of the clinic findings for the case sheet to replace the handwritten form. When funding for hardware becomes available the data will be entered directly into the system by the medical staff in the clinic. Clinic appointment lists are maintained and patients ‘lost to follow-up’ can be identified. Ad hoc enquiries can be made using dBASE III Plus or any similar program. This approach has integrated the computerized recording of data in a colposcopy clinic with the normal work of the staffinvolved so that no extra effort is required from medical or secretarial staff. The immediate accessibility of patient data and the ability to audit the work of the clinic have been particularly useful.