Abstract : Healthcare is a field in which accurate record keeping and communication are critical and yet in which the use of computing and networking technology lags behind other fields. \
Healthcare professionals and patients are often uncomfortable with computers, and feel that computers are not central to their healthcare mission, even though they agree that accurate record keeping and communication are essential to good healthcare.
In current healthcare, information is conveyed from one healthcare professional to another through paper notes or personal communication.
For example, in the United States, electronic communication between physicians and pharmacists is not typically employed but, rather, the physician writes a prescription on paper and gives it to the patient.
The patient carries the prescription to the pharmacy, waits in line to give it to a pharmacist, and waits for the pharmacist to fill the prescription.
To improve this process, the prescriptions could be communicated electronically from the physician to the pharmacist, and the human computer interfaces for the physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals could be voice enabled.
According to Carmen Catizone of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, there are as many as 7,000 deaths from incorrect prescriptions in the United States each year.
A Washington Post article indicates that as many as 5% of the 3 billion prescriptions filled each year are incorrect. These numbers indicate that there is an urgent need to reduce the errors in healthcare.
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