History of Healthcare Computing

  • Kathryn J. Hannah
  • Marion J. Ball
  • Margaret J.A. Edwards
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


Since the beginning of time, people have invented tools to help them. Tracing the evolution of computers gives us a clearer historical vantage point from which to view our rapidly changing world. This approach also identi- fies informatics as a tool that can advance the goal of high quality nursing care. From a historical perspective, however, it is difficult to identify the true origin of computers. For instance, we could go back in time to the devices introduced by Moslem scientists and to the mathematicians of the fifteenth century. An example is Al-Kashi, who designed his plate of conjunctions to calculate the exact hour at which two planets would have the same longitude (De and Price, 1959; Goldstine, 1972). A more familiar example is the first rudimentary calculating tool, the Chinese abacus. This is still a rapid and efficient method of handling addition and subtraction.


Transmission Control Protocol Hospital Information System Silicon Chip Medical Information System American Hospital Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn J. Hannah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marion J. Ball
    • 3
    • 4
  • Margaret J.A. Edwards
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.President, Hannah Educational & Consulting Services, Inc.CalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Professor, Department of Community Health Science Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Vice President, Clinical Informatics StrategiesHealthlink, an IBM companyBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of NursingBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Professor and Coordinator, Graduate Programs Centre for Nursing and Health StudiesAthabasca UniversityAthabascaCanada
  6. 6.President, Margaret J.A. Edwards & Associates, Inc.CalgaryCanada

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