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All of the information described so far can be thought of ``discrete''
patient data. It is generally recorded manually and only requires
infrequent updates. For example, admission/discharge only occurs once
during a patient stay. ICU transfer will only occur a few
times. Medication will only occur a few times a day and reports will
be added when particular diagnostics are performed.
In contrast, the high resolution waveforms which are discussed next
are recorded constantly. Measurements are recorded automatically by
computer 125 times per second. The relational database described above
is a poor device for recording data of this type and a separate system
is used to store these waveforms.