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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2019 Oct;25(6):535-544. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2019.28282.

Use of software in the ICU.

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Department of Intensive Care Unit, VKV American Hospital, ─░stanbul-Turkey.


In the continuum of the complex therapy process of a critically ill patient, the intensive care unit (ICU) period must be followed very meticulously because of the extremely data-intensive circumstances. Intensive care medicine is a lot more reliant on 'numbers' than most of the other medical disciplines, and minor errors in the records may lead to wrong decisions, which may cause major harm to the patient. Manual records are prone to errors, inaccuracies and are time-consuming for both nurses maintaining them and physicians trying to interpret them, especially in patients with complex pathologies and long-term stays. Since the introduction of the first general-purpose computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) in 1946, there have been attempts to integrate computers into medicine and in the last decades, we are witnessing the emergence of intensive care information systems (ICIS). ICIS has the potential to increase the quality and accuracy of the medical records, while also decreasing the incidence of medical errors. They present electronic decision support and tools for quality control and performance evaluation. More importantly, they allow a medium where the physician can easily assess the current condition of the patient from different perspectives. So far, the usage of ICIS has been limited due to high costs and some other factors. Although we are in a technologically advanced position today, it is still a challenge to implement an ICIS successfully. If not planned properly, it is a process prone to significant delays in time, additional costs, poor acceptance by the staff and even total failure. In this study, we are going to evaluate the past, present and future of intensive care information systems and share our experiences in implementing them.

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