Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Using a mainframe computer connected to the Henry Ford Hospital computer network, we developed a database for gastrointestinal disease which includes data from radiologic and endoscopic gastrointestinal examinations, along with corresponding pathologic diagnosis. Because of the large volume of procedures in our practice, we developed several unique features for our system. The user enters data by responding to a series of question-and-answer sets constructed by the clinical staff, who do not have experience in computer programming. Data is stored in a hierarchical format using natural language. Boolean logic is used to retrieve data so that different procedures can be correlated with each other. In addition, several on-line functions permit us to retrieve data on a given patient immediately and provide computer-generated reports. Because the computer is connected to the hospital network, the database can be accessed from various terminals; data also can be transmitted through the network. Research, educational, and quality assurance functions are other applications of the system.