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Concise Guide to Computers in Clinical Psychiatry

Carlyle H. Chan, M.D., John S. Luo, M.D., and Robert S. Kennedy, M.A.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-100-2
  • Item #62100

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This groundbreaking pocket guide, the latest in American Psychiatric Publishing's Concise Guide series, is an essential primer about computers for students, residents, and clinicians. It focuses on computer applications relevant to clinical psychiatric practice, including all the new tools for assimilating and managing the requisite knowledge (e.g., online Internet learning), facilitating the required documentation (e.g., electronic record keeping), and providing clinical service (e.g., telemedicine).

Divided along content areas that may be read independently as well as sequentially, these easy-to-read chapters explain everything from initial purchase and setup of your computer (including peripherals such as scanners and storage devices) to

  • Handheld computers/personal digital assistants (PDAs)—Focuses on Palm and Pocket PC operating systems, which offer specialized medical applications in addition to standard appointment, memo, e-mail, and to do list features.

  • Software applications—In addition to the standard software and utilities, discusses software for voice recognition, practice management, electronic medical records, psychological testing support, and virtual reality (used in desensitization therapy for phobic disorders).

  • The Internet—Includes a wide-ranging selection of excellent web resources and covers e-mail, popular search engines, newsgroups and chat rooms, mental health resources, pharmaceutical information, journals and research, and medical sites.

  • Telemedicine/videoconferencing—Discusses the technologies required to conduct effective consultations, clinics, educational conferences, and even psychotherapy at a distance, including obstacles such as state-by-state medical licensing, emergency care, and privacy.

  • Security—Spanning confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, covers passwords, encryption, and firewall software, in addition to anti-theft strategies such as engraving your name/driver's license number on your computer.

  • Maintenance—Presents prevention and tips, from startup to normal wear-and-tear to regular backing up (or copying) and defragmenting your data, uninstalling software, and disaster prevention.

The authors conclude with a chapter on future directions for technologies that affect clinical care, such as patient screening, treatment, and education and certification. Extensively referenced (including web resources) and indexed with an immediately useful glossary, this practical, convenient handbook is the ideal introductory reference for clinicians who are either new to computers or still contemplating their first purchase.


  • Choosing a computer. Desktop computers. Notebook computers. Peripheral equipment. Personal digital assistants. Software. The Internet. Telemedicine. Security. Maintenance, prevention, and tips. The future. Glossary. Index.

About the Authors

Carlyle H. Chan, M.D., is Professor and Vice Chair for Education and Informatics in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

John S. Luo, M.D., is Assistant Professor and Director of Psychiatric Informatics in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, in Sacramento, California.

Robert S. Kennedy, M.A., is Editor and Program Director at Medscape Psychiatry and Mental Health, and Associate in Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, New York.

It is heartening that a book as wonderful and instructive as this came from psychiatry. I know of no other books like it for any other specialty, medical or otherwise, and I would imagine that most practitioners and most people in general would find this book extremely useful.—Thomas A. M. Kramer, M.D., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 4/1/2003

The Concise Guide to Computers offers the most user-friendly introduction available for the computer challenged novice and a rich, fact-filled up to date resource for the advanced psychiatric informatician. From web-surfing to e-mail, telemedicine to virtual reality-based therapies and electronic medical records, this book has much to offer everyone engaged in practicing and in life-long-learning psychiatry at the start of the 21st Century.—Joel Yager, M.D., Professor and Vice Chair for Education, University of New Mexico School of Medicine

In an environment saturated with information, the Concise Guide to Computers in Clinical Psychiatry provides a great service to clinicians who are novice computer users by defining essential elements of technology. This guide crisply delivers practical, succinct, and essential material that enables clinicians to make intelligent and informed decisions about computer hardware and applications. The authors maintain an articulate focus on technology as a tool for clinicians, rather than an end product. The guide provides clinicians a practical review of today's technology, as well as exciting glimpses of imminent technological innovation and challenge in psychiatry.—Ronnie S. Stangler, M.D., Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, University of Washington; President, American Association for Technology and Psychiatry

This is a clearly-written and well-organized book, which is no surprise since it is written by three of the finest teachers of psychiatric informatics. It is perfect for the relative computer novice attempting to upgrade their technology literacy. It appears to be designed for finding the answer to any computer-related question quickly and completely. It is a must-have for the psychiatric clinician who wants to know more about using information technology to facilitate their practice.—Thomas A. M. Kramer, M.D., Deputy Executive Vice President, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc.

This is a valuable book summarizing the state-of-the-art in psychiatric computer technology for the beginner.—Michael J. Schrift, DO, Doody's Health Science Review

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