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J Am Board Fam Pract. 1995 May-Jun;8(3):221-9.

Computerized health maintenance tracking systems: a clinician's guide to necessary and optional features. A report from the American Cancer Society Advisory Group on Preventive Health Care Reminder Systems.

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  • 1Tri-County Family Medicine, NY 14826, USA.



To promote preventive health care by primary care physicians and the development of computerized health maintenance tracking systems, the American Cancer Society sponsored an expert advisory group to define necessary and desirable, but optional features of computer-based health maintenance tracking software for use in primary care practice.


Systematic literature review and structured consensus development were followed by independent expert critique.


Necessary input features include a comprehensive, practice-specific health maintenance protocol, multiple entry codes to indicate the current status of each procedure, and a mechanism for patient-specific exclusion or alteration of procedure frequency. Necessary features of the information management system include a linkage to a demographic data system, optional tracking of all or selected patients, identification of each patient's primary provider, and the ability to provide either a paper or electronic interface for the provider. Necessary outputs include provider reminders, patient reminders sent regularly regardless of visit status, and summary reports of provider and patient compliance.


Although the ideal computer-based health maintenance tracking system is still evolving, knowledge of these necessary and optional features can aid clinicians interested in buying or developing a system for their own practice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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