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Keywords:

  • electronic medical record;
  • clinical results;
  • information technology;
  • computer

Abstract

Immediate access to existing clinical information is inadequate in current medical practice; lack of existing information causes or contributes to many classes of medical error, including diagnostic and treatment error. A review of the literature finds ample evidence to support a description of the problems caused by data that are missing or unavailable but little evidence to support one proposed solution over another. A primary recommendation of the Consensus Committee is that hospitals and departments should adopt systems that provide fast, ubiquitous, and unified access to all types of existing data. Additional recommendations cover a variety of related functions and operational concepts, from backups and biosurveillance to speed, training, and usability.