Recently, our hospital installed a computerized patient information system to more efficiently communicate throughout the hospital and to transmit important patient data. Requests for radiologie imaging studies were to be entered on the computer system, and we designed a menu that would allow electronic selection of significant patient data or allow the significant clinical data to be entered by typing. Unfortunately, the pediatric house staff declined to use the computer system themselves, preferring to having the requisitions and appropriate clinical information entered by the floor clerks. The result denied the radiologists of significant clinical patient information including clues as to the rationale behind the examinations requested.
While radiologists pride selves on the "Sherlock Holmes" approach to medicine, even Sherlock Holmes obtained a case history in addition to astutely observing both While radiologists pride them subtle and overt clues. Thus, losing clinical information about patients meant that radiologists did not have the basic data that had prompted the patient examination in the first place.