Akron Children's Hospital and IBM

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In 1961, Akron Children's Hospital and IBM in 1961' conducted a joint study to examine the viability of eliminating some or all of the paperwork that has burdened hospital personnel for many years. The study resulted in an initiative, announced on Feb. 18, 1962, to addressing many of the same issues which Health Information Technology (HIT) strives to solve today:such as becoming more efficiency, reducing costs reduction and patient safety and care. 'Therebyand improving patient care. Two years in into the projecteffort, Roger Sherman, the hospital's administrator at the time, implemented heralded developments such as drug dosage monitoring and harmfuland adverse drug interaction (ADI) alerts, concluding that it both of which he said had improved quality of care as well as and the ability to tracking disease correlation [5]. The system also allowed users to easily view lab results on terminals. Users were able to view their lab results. Here is the actual announcement [1][5]

The above milestones were note mentioned when discussing the history of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).The effort is sometimes neglected when the history of the development of electronic medical records is discussed. A 1966 film on the use of computers in healthcare features Roger Sherman showcasing the system [5] [6]. The project is also discussed in Melville H. Hodge’s 1978 book titled Medical Information Systems: A Resource for Hospitals, and a 2004 brochure titled Reducing Medical Errors: IT Helps Secure the Patient Safety Net [3].

The Akron's Childrn's hospital at the time

  1. Was the largest children's hospital in the country based on admission
  2. had 14,000 admissions each year
  3. 275 beds with close to 300 hundred doctors and nurses

System Used

I.B.M. Ramac 305 [[2]][3]


  1. centralize patient records
  2. share patient information
  3. eliminate paperwork
  4. alert nurses when patients needed their medication.
  5. project the amount and type of nursing care required on each floor for each shift in the hospital's daily operation [8][4]

Time decommissioned

Unknown [6]

Historical Values

  1. first attempt to apply systems approach to the operations of an hospital
  2. first attempt to improve the improve the efficiency and quality of health care using computerized information systems
  3. first application of computer system supporting the patient care activities of nurses [1]

Current EHR system of Akron children's hospital

Akron has started a 5-year, 60 million project to upgrade the EHR to EPIC system. The migration is expected to complete by 2014.[6]


  1. http://www.scribd.com/doc/81639384/Press-Release-Febuary-18-1962
  2. https://www.akronchildrens.org/cms/home/index.html
  3. http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15179735
  5. http://www.navinet.net/blog/1961-year-electronic-health-record‎
  6. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/the-miracle-of-digital-health-records-50-years-ago/
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-aiKlIc6uk
  8. http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2012/02/electronic-medical-records-its-back-to-the-future.html