A Data Bank to Better Prognosis and Treatment of Infective Endocarditis
Infective endocarditis is a difficult to treat and complex disease, and a computerized case history for past cases would be an aid for treatment of future cases. The case descriptions together with data from the literature (also to be computerized) would help the physician characterize the prognosis and choose the appropriate treatment. To this aim a flexible data bank was designed to organize the description of the 91 cases treated during the last 15 years at the Institute of Cardiology of Bologna university. Because of the complexity of the disease we developed a system of linked screens of various types to describe the key moments of the course. It was necessary to have a scheme that would encourage standardization while permitting graphs and free fields. The aim of the data bank is to provide the physician with a means to extract from past cases relationships between therapeutic regimen and outcome, with respect to the underlying conditions such as pre-existing heart disease and the microorganism involved. From these results diagnostic and therapeutic strategies will be developed to deal with patients with frequently occurring etiology. An attempt to optimize therapy for less common forms of the disease will be performed by selecting past cases similar to a current case and examining them individually. The system is currently in use.
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