Natural language storage and retrieval of medical diagnostic information. Experience at the UCLA hospital and clinics over a 10-year period

Computer Programs in Biomedicine
R S OkuboB G Lamson


A natural language storage and retrieval system initially designed for pathology reports has been in operation for ten years at UCLA Hospital and Clinics. The original system has been improved to provide a thesaurus processor with added capabilities for expanding search request terms and a newly developed set of search programs with user options that make complex and more accurate retrievals possible. Summarized diagnostic statements or impressions from five specialities (Surgical Pathology, Bone Marrow, Autopsy, Nuclear Medicine, and Neuroradiology), are automatically encoded by referencing a master computer dictionary containing a unique numeric code for each English word. Input and retrievals are batch, off-line operations in free text, and are currently processed on the IBM 370/145. User acceptance is high, quality of retrievals improved, and cost is nominal. This paper describes an expanded natural language system which in now providing a viable form of information storage and retrieval for research, medical education, patient care, quality control, statistics and administrative purposes.


May 4, 1970·JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association
Nov 1, 1971·Radiology·R E Robinson, I Meschan

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Feb 11, 1978·Journal of the American Society for Information Science·G S DunhamA W Pratt
Jan 1, 1981·Journal of Medical Systems·G Wiederhold
Aug 1, 1980·Computers and Biomedical Research, an International Journal·R L WongD M Joseph
Jan 1, 1979·Medical Informatics = Médecine Et Informatique·M G Pacak, G S Dunham
Jan 1, 1983·Virchows Archiv. A, Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology·P Gallo, V De Blasi
Jan 1, 1992·Medical Informatics = Médecine Et Informatique·K OhtsuboH Shimada

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