The Development of Medical Databases

  • Morris F. Collen
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


Since the early 1900s physicians have followed the teachings of the famed clinician, W. Osler, to study and learn from their patients and from the medical records of their patients, in order to improve their knowledge of diseases. In the 2000s, as in the 1900s, physicians continue to initiate this learning process by taking a history of the patient’s medical problems, performing a physical examination of the patient, and then recording the history and physical examination findings in the patient’s medical record. To confirm a preliminary diagnosis and to rule-out other possible diagnoses, physicians refer the patients for selected tests and procedures that usually involve the clinical laboratory, radiology, and other clinical-support services. After reviewing the information received from these services, physicians usually arrive at a more certain diagnosis, and then prescribe appropriate treatment. For an unusual or a complex medical problem, physicians may refer the patient to appropriate clinical specialists, and may also review evidence-based reports of appropriate therapies by consulting relevant medical literature and bibliographic databases.


Relational Database Data Warehouse Medical Database Structure Query Language International Business Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morris F. Collen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of ResearchOaklandUSA

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