The nature of bacteriological investigations creates data processing problems. Non-numerical results must be coded. This may be done retrospectively or at the bench, the former method involving extra work and staff, the latter implying simple codes, stringent checking, a nearby computer, and decoding programs. The use of a shared computer for producing daily reports diminishes departmental autonomy. Benefits occur in more readily available records and statistics, quality control, epidemiology, and diagnostic bacteriology.
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