Teleinformatics: The Future of Healthcare Quality Management

  • John W. Williamson
Part of the Computers in Health Care book series (HI)


The history of recorded healthcare quality management (QM) dates back 5000 years. Doctors have long been accountable for healthcare outcomes. As early as 3000 BC, in the legal statutes of the Egyptians, heads of state generously rewarded physicians for exceptional medical outcomes. For example, the accomplishments of Imhoptep (2686–2613 BC), who was the physician for King Zoser, won him such acclaim that he was elevated to demigod about 100 years after his death, and to a full deity around 525 BC. (Was this the beginning of the physician “God Complex”?) A similar process took place later in the Homeric Period of Greek history, about 900 BC, with Aesculapius, to whom the caduceus, as the symbol of the medical profession, was first ascribed. Like Imhoptep, he was later made a full god, to be worshipped in the Temple of Aesculapius, along with his daughters Hygeia and Panacea (Bettmann, 1972, pp. 16–17).


Quality Management Healthcare Delivery Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Quality Management System Diagnostic Error 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • John W. Williamson

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