Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
WECHSLER, Rudolf; ANCAO, Meide S.; CAMPOS, Carlos José Reis de and SIGULEM, Daniel. Computing in medical practice. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2003, vol.79, suppl.1, pp. S3-S12. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572003000700002.
OBJECTIVE: currently, information technology is part of several aspects of our daily life. The objective of this paper is to analyze and discuss the use of information technology in both medical education and/or medical practice. SOURCES OF DATA: information was gathered through nonsystematic bibliographic review, including articles, official regulations, book chapters and annals. Direct search and search of electronic databanks in Medline and Lilacs databases were also performed. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: this paper was structured in topics. First, there is a discussion on the electronic medical record. The following aspects are presented: history, functions, costs, benefits, ethical and legal issues, and positive and negative characteristics. Medical decision-support systems are also evaluated in view of the huge amount of information produced every year regarding healthcare. The impact of the Internet on the production and diffusion of knowledge is also analyzed. Telemedicine is assessed, since it presents new challenges to medical practice, and raises important ethical issues such as "virtual medical consultation". Finally, a practical experience of modernization of a pediatric outpatient center by the introduction of computers and telecommunication tools is described. CONCLUSIONS: medical computing offers tools and instruments that support the administrative organization of medical visits, gather, store and process patient's data, generate diagnoses, provide therapeutical advice and access to information in order to improve medical knowledge and to make it available whenever and wherever adequate decision-making is required.
Keywords : computerized medical record systems; medical informatics applications.