ity of care, improved patient safety, decreased paperwork, and improved legibility (yes, it’s still an issue). Many of
these improvements have not yet come
to pass and many others are nearly impossible to rigorously prove, but for the
purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that HIT is a good thing.
IlluStr AtIon by pAul pr Ice
The first challenge in applying medical
informatics to the daily practice of care
is to decide how computerization can
help patient care and to determine the
necessary steps to achieve that goal.
This challenge is best summed up by
Lawrence L. Weed, M.D.: to develop an
information utility that has currency of
information and parameters of guid-
ance to assist medical personnel in
caring for and documenting the care of
patients. 3 From the technology side, we
need a facile interface between human
and machine and a responsive, reliable
system that is always available. The
assumption is there will be adequate
computational power and mass mem-
ory to support such a system.