Friday, 11 May 2012

Royal Edinburgh Hospital Case Book Database Project

This week saw the beginning of our new project which aims to create a database of all patients admitted to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital during the period that case books were kept from 1840 to 1932. The case books hold detailed information on a patient’s social and medical background, and chart their progress during their time in the Hospital. They are a rich source of social and medical history and are heavily used in genealogical, medical and academic research. In total there are 120 volumes, each with the records of up to approximately 200 patients contained inside.

The database will record the name, sex, admission and discharge or death date for each patient, along with other information if available including age, diagnosis, previous and/or subsequent admissions, and occupation. It will be an invaluable finding aid, capable of speeding up searches for individual patients, and providing a short cut to identifying numbers of patients diagnosed with particular diseases, or by age, sex and occupation. It will complement an existing database of post-1932 patients created from patient case notes (at this time the format changed from the case books to an individual case note file for each patient). The database is being populated by volunteers and forms a new strand of our vibrant volunteer programme. Claire, Arturo and Sandy have so far created entries for 89 patients and we look forward to the next 23,900 or so!
REH Case Book entry from the 1880s

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