Healthcare chronology

1886
The first use of a punched card for data processing occurs when Baltimore's Department of Health uses Herman Baltimore's tabulating system for recording vital statistics.

1889
The Health Departments of New Jersey and New York City use Hollerith equipment to tabulate their statistical data.

The U.S. Army Department, Surgeon General's Office (SGO) uses Hollerith punched card equipment to manage military medical records. Use of the equipment is discontinued after a couple of years, and the SGO returned to manual recordkeeping until 1917.

1917
The U.S. Army Department Surgeon General's Office selects IBM punched card equipment to manage millions of military medical records, and to prepare statistical reports based on that data. The first major deliverable from this effort is a 700-page SGO annual report, where IBM systems are illustrated, described, and duly credited. IBM equipment becomes an integral part of the SGO's  recordkeeping processes and analytical activities through the First and Second World Wars.

1932
IBM ships and installs tabulating equipment at the Peking Union Medical College..

1933
The new Los Angeles County Hospital, the world's largest hospital, selects IBM to provide its time system. The contract calls for a Master Clock, Program Machine, 136 Secondary Clocks, 119 Electroprint Time Stamps, and four Card Recorders.

As a part of their course of instruction, students taking the Vital Statistics class of the Public Health Department of Yale University Graduate School of Medicine visit the New Haven International Service Bureau where they receive a demonstration of the complete line of IBM tabulating machines.

1934
A modernization effort at St. Joseph's Hospital in Yonkers, N. Y., includes an IBM Electric Time System and an IBM-Philco Central Control Radio System. The Time System improves efficiency by providing quantifiable process data, and the Radio System speeds communication throughout the facility. In addition, the radio system - through sound reproducers, ear phones and radio pillows - bring radio, phonograph or microphone programs simultaneously to each bed, providing patients with entertainment conducive to rapid convalescence.

Fifty representatives of hospital organizations which use IBM tabulating systems make up the membership of Customer Administrative School 120, held at IBM’s Plant No. 1 in Endicott, N.Y.. By the early 1930s, hospitals are using IBM tabulating equipment for quantitative analyses of medical data to develop pertinent facts regarding cause and treatment of diseases, such as diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer, lobar pneumonia, and other medical conditions. From an administrative perspective, hospitals use the systems for medical recordkeeping, and to improve efficiency and reduce costs through procedural analysis.

1942
IBM assists Servicio Nacional de Salud in Santiago, Chile, in compiling and analyzing hospital statistics.

1945-47
Seeking to improve the quality of life of wounded servicemen, IBM begins developing prosthetics and communication devices for the disabled.

1950
IBM's Cuthbert Hurd reports to the 99th annual session of the American Medical Association on the role that IBM tabulating equipment plays in improving the efficiency and accuracy of employee healthcare programs in large industrial concerns.

1951
Several IBM systems are installed at Kaiser Foundation Walnut Creek Hospital, tabbed the "hospital of the future." The facility, which boasts the latest in modern automated systems - including IBM's Nurses' Call and Electronic Clock Systems, provides comfort and convenience for patients, and increases staff efficiency while reducing costs.

1953
IBM partners with Dr. John Gibbons to design and build the first successful heart-lung machine. For the first time, open heart surgery is feasible.

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