Microfilm availability (was how many)

From:"Morken, Tim"

Bob, The microfilm industry is as busy as ever. Just a few years ago I was
in a hospital where we microfilmed all our old reports with great success.
They have incorporated ways to search the film electronically so it is very
easy and fast to find a record. And the new readers print like laser
printers - very readable, even on old reports. We could call the microfilm
center for a report and have it by fax within 10 minutes. It was great!

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
From: RSRICHMOND@aol.com [mailto:RSRICHMOND@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 12:07 AM
To: histonet@pathology.swmed.edu
Subject: Re: How Many

Joyce Weems, Pathology Manager, Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta asks:

>>How many of you keep paper copies of your pathology reports - forever?<<

Speaking purely as a "consumer" of old pathology records, I think they
be kept forever, since I fairly often have recourse to quite old ones - 
patients do live a long time. I don't think it's practical to keep the paper

records, and I think they should be put on microfilm - or better microfiche
after a few years. 

What I don't understand is whether these old film media are still available,

and whether it can get done right - that is, every record readable. - Right 
now we're in a transitional period where the price of filming old records 
onto digital media (CD-ROM's and such) is falling very rapidly, and it will 
soon meet the price of microfilming. I distrust the permanence, both
and computational, of the new digital media. Microfilm is practically 
indestructible, and there'll always be a way to read it.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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