Surgical scheduling and data collection is a field that has a long history as well as a bright future. Historically, surgical cases have always involved some amount of data collection. Surgical cases are scheduled and then reviewed. The classic method, that large black surgical log, actually still exists in many hospitals. In fact, there is nothing new about the recording or reporting of surgical cases. If we only needed to record the information and produce a variety of reports on the data, then modern electronic technology would function as a glorified fast index card box--or, in computer database terms, a simple flat file database. But, this is not the future of technology in surgical case management. This article makes the general case for integrating surgical data systems. Instead of reviewing specific software, it essentially addresses the issues of strategic planning related to this important aspect of medical information systems.