Figure 3-7. The doctor has entered the symptoms of a 25-year-old female suffering
from low grade fever and night sweats, who has smoked a pack of
cigarettes per day for the 12 years. Using a personal computer, linked
by a modem, to a minicomputer with an expert system, the doctor
obtains a list of likely diseases. Through a process of elimination, the
expert system helps to pinpoint the probable cause.
3-12. AUTOMATIC SCHEDULING
Automatic scheduling has been a strong selling point of the hospital- wide
medical information system. This feature allows the physician to check which patient is
scheduled for what treatment, at any given time, from any VMT in the hospital. The
physicians orders will cause the computer to generate follow-on documents.
Medication-due lists can be printed at each nursing station for each hour of the day.
These will specify that the patient in bed four, for example, needs a certain type of
medication at specified times. The computer can generate daily order summaries that
can be sorted by bed number or time of day. These will indicate what personnel on the
wards need to do at any given hour. Order summaries show both new and current
orders. The computer can also print reminder notices for overdue laboratory work,
medications, and so forth. For this system to work, personnel have to remember to log
into the computer the tests or other procedures that have been done. As the orders are
complied with, they have to be logged in. Otherwise, the computer will generate
erroneous overdue notices.