Clinical information systems and the electronic medical record in the intensive care unit

Joseph Varon, Paul E Marik
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2002, 8 (6): 616-24
The integration of computers into critical care is by no means a new concept. Clinical information systems have evolved in the critical care setting over the past three decades. Their use by critical care healthcare providers has increased exponentially in the past few years. More recently, with the advent of the electronic medical record, clinicians in the ICU may obtain and share useful information both bedside and remotely. Clinical information systems and the electronic medical record in the ICU have the potential to improve medical record movement problems, to improve quality and coherence of the patient care process, to automate guidelines and care pathways, and to assist in clinical care and research, outcome management, and process improvement. In this article, we provide some historical background on the clinical information system and the electronic medical record and describe their current utilization in the ICU and their role in the practice of critical care medicine in decades to come.

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