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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are many arguments for and against the computerization of medicine. The idea of having physicians and nurses log onto computers while taking care oF you may seem strange. But there is a positive side that i think is worth mentioning.

Computerization provides important checks and balances that allow us to reduce the chances of making errors in patient care. A great example is allergy to medications or drug interactions. If programmed properly the computer systems we use can warn us when we are giving someone a drug they should not have or a drug that can cause problems when combined with another medication.

Of course, we still need to keep the human element involved. Trained physicians, nurses and pharmacists still have to be the final word but this extra layer of protection is great to have.

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