The Division of Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health (USA), sponsors roughly 80 General Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) throughout the United States. Those centers provide expert nursing staff, dietetic services, laboratories, and from 6 to 20 beds for medical research involving human subjects. In 1972 the Division initiated the CLINFO (CLINical INFOrmation) project to identify the information processing activities and needs critical to clinical investigation in the GCRC community and to recommend ways to satisfy those needs. The project was organized as a consortium of members of the NIH staff from the GCRC Program and the Biotechnology Resources Program, three research physicians (from the University of Oklahoma, the Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Washington) and members of the Information Sciences Department of the Rand Corporation. The general course of the project was monitored by ad hoc committees which acted as advisors to the NIH.
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