Some patients with renal disease accrue 6,000 to 8,000 individual data items relating to symptoms, signs, laboratory information, and treatment in one year. To deal with the problem of handling so many data items, the following steps were taken: (1) a dictionary of terms peculiar to nephrology was created; (2) manual time-oriented records for nephrology were constructed; and (3) an on-line data processing system, using a PDP-11/70 computer and remote teleprocessing terminal, was developed. On the terminal screen, up to 11 consecutive patient visits can be displayed horizontally, with 18 data items displayed vertically. Up to 30 of the most recent patient visits are easily accessible. For patient treatment, a special feature allows a rearrangement and instantaneous display of any combination of data, thus permitting review of essential feedback relationships between clinical events and treatment.
(Arch Intern Med 137:446-456, 1977)