Planning for the information age: a survey of microcomputer use in a faculty of health sciences.
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Microcomputers can greatly enhance information processing by clinicians and improve the quality of health care. We surveyed 983 full- and part-time faculty members to assess the state of microcomputer use in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont. The ratio of faculty members to microcomputers was close to 1; however, 29% of the full-time and 52% of the part-time members who responded indicated that they did not use a computer. Among those who did, the range of applications was generally limited. There was no mention of more advanced uses such as diagnosis, treatment and patient records. Only about 30% of the respondents had taken a computer course, but all indicated a desire to take courses (on average, three of the seven listed in the questionnaire). Our results showed an extensive but unequal distribution of microcomputers and revealed the need for planning and education to put them to optimal use.
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