Web technology for emergency medicine and secure transmission of electronic patient records.

Date Published:

1998 Jul-Aug


The American Heritage dictionary defines the word "web" as "something intricately contrived, especially something that ensnares or entangles." The wealth of medical resources on the World Wide Web is now so extensive, yet disorganized and unmonitored, that such a definition seems fitting. In emergency medicine, for example, a field in which accurate and complete information, including patients' records, is urgently needed, more than 5000 Web pages are available today, whereas fewer than 50 were available in December 1994. Most sites are static Web pages using the Internet to publish textbook material, but new technology is extending the scope of the Internet to include online medical education and secure exchange of clinical information. This article lists some of the best Web sites for use in emergency medicine and then describes a project in which the Web is used for transmission and protection of electronic medical records.