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Acad Med. 1994 May;69(5):386-9.

Medical students' and housestaff's opinions of computerized order-writing.

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  • 1Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), Indianapolis.



Greater use of computers has been touted as one way in which health care quality can be enhanced while reducing costs. The authors assessed factors associated with acceptance of computerized order-writing.


From April 1990 through October 1991 a survey was administered to 275 medical students and housestaff who used computer workstations to write all their orders on the general medicine wards at Wishard Memorial Hospital. The survey assessed computer literacy, ease of workstation use, effects on practice and time management, and usefulness of information provided.


A total of 212 (77%) of the computer-workstation users responded. Opinions were generally positive. Those of junior students were the most positive, with opinions declining progressively for senior students, interns, and residents. The housestaff were most critical of time spent using the workstations, although they required less time to write orders than the students did.


The favorableness of the respondents' opinions declined as the level of training increased, a trend that was independent of computer literacy. Hence, increasing computer use by physicians will probably require modification of the educational and socialization process rather than mere reliance on increasing computer literacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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