Increasingly, external forces affect and constrain physicians' clinical decision making and consequently their practice of medicine. Physicians are expected to achieve optimal patient outcomes at the lowest possible cost, which requires that they have quick and convenient access to comprehensive clinical information from different sources. Considerable experience to date has shown that computers can improve physicians' problem solving and decision making by presenting pertinent data, information, and knowledge when it is needed, where it is needed, and in an appropriate format. The authors advocate the use of medical information systems in the daily practice of medicine. They identify critical information-related issues affecting clinicians, provide a brief overview of computer applications in medical care, and discuss studies that indicate how medical information systems can assist physicians in the delivery of cost-effective, high-quality care. Finally, they discuss how individual institutions can best reap the benefits of medical information systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes