History Of Electronic Medical Records

In the 1960s a doctor named Lawrence L. Wyde first described the concept of computerized or electronic medical records. Weaves describe a system for automating and reorganizing patients' medical records to improve their use and thus improve patient care.

Weed's work is at the core of the PROMIS project at the University of Vermont, joint efforts between doctors and IT experts began in 1967 to develop an automated electronic medical record system. The objectives of the project were to develop a system to provide the physician with timely and consistent patient data and to enable rapid collection of data on epidemiological studies, medical audits and business audits. The efforts of the group have led to the development of problem-oriented medical documentation or POMR. Also, in the 1960s, Mayo Clinic began developing electronic medical record systems.

In the 1970s POMR was first used in the medical department of the Medical Center of Vermont. At that time, touch-screen technology was included in the data entry procedures. Over the next few years, drug information items have been added to the main program, allowing physicians to check for drug actions, doses, side effects, allergies and interactions. At the same time, diagnostic and healing plans were developed for over 600 common medical problems.

Several electronic systems for medical documentation from various academic and research institutions have been developed and refined in the 1970s and 1980s. The Technicon system is based in a hospital, and the Harvard COSTAR system has records of outpatient care. The HELP system and Duke's The Medical Record & are examples of systems for early treatment of patients. The Indiana Record Record is one of the earliest integrated stationary and outpatient systems.

With advances in computer and diagnostic applications in the 1990s, electronic medical record systems have become increasingly sophisticated and more widely used by practices. In the 21st century, more and more practices apply electronic medical records.