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Usage experience with the document archiving and communication system for the storage and retrieval of medical records.

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Medical Informatics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.


Standard Japanese electronic medical record (EMR) systems are associated with major shortcomings. For example, they do not assure lifelong readability of records because each document requires its own viewing software program, a system that is difficult to maintain over long periods of time. It can also be difficult for users to comprehend a patient's clinical history because different classes of documents can only be accessed from their own window. To address these problems, we developed a document-based electronic medical record that aggregates all documents for a patient in a PDF or DocuWorks format. We call this system the Document Archiving and Communication System (DACS). There are two types of viewers in the DACS: the Matrix View, which provides a time line of a patient's history, and the Tree View, which stores the documents in hierarchical document classes. We placed 2,734 document classes into 11 categories. A total of 22,3972 documents were entered per month. The frequency of use of the DACS viewer was 268,644 instances per month. The DACS viewer was used to assess a patient's clinical history.

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