Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 October 2009
In general practice and in hospitals, computerized clinical records have been available for many years, but in assisted conception units information technology has been generally neglected. Until recently no commercial software specifically developed for assisted conception units has been available, probably because it is highly specialized with a relatively small market and there has been a lack of expertise in this area amongst commercial software suppliers. As clinicians strive to provide the best possible care to patients, information technology should be an integral part of that care and as important to the assisted conception unit as the latest intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) machine or microscope.
Good software can increase the efficiency of all aspects of an assisted conception unit.
The more efficient the processing of information, the more time can be spent on quality care.
Data recording and analysis through computerized systems enhances the capability for quality control, thereby facilitating better success rates.
Data recording and analysis through computerized systems enhances the capability for research, thereby facilitating progress in the speciality.
The ideal information technology solution
The ideal information technology solution is a totally integrated system, encompassing all areas of the daily clinical and administrative work routine.
The hardware infrastructure is important and computer workstations should be adequate and appropriately sited for easy access during the daily work routine. For example, if clinic staff must share workstations or if workstations are not sited conveniently, efficiency will be reduced.