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Other Medical database

Discussion in 'Software' started by DarkBanana, 20 Jun 2010.

  1. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    My dad is a cardiac surgeon in Malaysia and has a small clinic connected with that. He's thinking of computerising his office to help store his patient files and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the best way to do that.

    He probably sees 3-4 patients a week and he's not amazing with computer so a nice simple solution would be best. I was thinking a computer for him and his secretary with a NAS with 2 1TB hard drives in RAID 1. He can write notes on normal paper and they can be scanned and stored on the NAS.

    The problem is how to index everything... Ideally, the files should be searchable by several criteria such as date, name, DoB, hospital number, clinic number etc. Does anyone know how this can be done? What I was thinking of was saving the files according to clinic number and maintain an exel file cross referencing all the other data but there must be a more elegant solution than that...

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    if you can write websites.. setup a mysql server and setup a online database so he can manage it from home

    I wrote a database a long time ago but it was pure php.. had search and everything and he could upload files from home, ect.. it was highly specific to what he wanted.. a mysql database is a lot easier than that to setup
     
  3. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    Writing (or even configuring) a full on database system would be a big job.

    3 or 4 a week, so we're talking <200 a year?

    Excel (or equiv) would be easiest by far. Yes there will be elegant solutions, but you'll have to invest a lot of time (or money) on them. If you start with excel it's "fairly" easy to add data entry forms and custom searches etc to it, and even use the resulting excel file as a database for other systems... not always elegant but a good place to start... at least while you dad is getting used to using a PC for this work at all.

    Something like an EMIS system may do the job if you're looking for off the shelf, but it'll be real overkill I would imagine for your Dad's needs (and may be too UK focussed)

    http://www.emis-online.com/emis-pcs

    Have a google and see what else is out there.
     
  4. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. The problem is, it has to be something fairly idiot proof and maintainance free since I spend most of my time in the UK. Because of that, me trying to create a database from scratch is probably a bad idea (not to mention I have no clue on how to do it :p)

    My dad probably has about 300-400 patients a year but most of them don't see him in the clinic so shouldn't really need to be booked into the system. EMIS does look interesting but I agree it might be overkill. Plus I don't think it's available outside the UK.

    I don't suppose anyone can recommend a premade database software that's easy to use and will work for this? I found www.databaseoasis.com which might be interesting. Anyone have any experience?

    EDIT: After looking around, it seem Microsoft Access should work. Am I right in thinking that?
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2010
  5. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    My parents use ACT! 2010 for their small not-for profit. If they can use it, it's idiot proof.

    You can search by almost any parameter, and can customize fields.

    If he wants to use it at home, get a 2nd key and use dropbox or similar to sych the database between multiple computers.

    www.act.com

    edit- they also have excellent customer support, including remote setup of the software.
     
  6. bestseany

    bestseany New Member

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    What about a basic Access database? Can have fancy buttons and everything then :D
     
  7. Ljs

    Ljs Well-Known Member

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    As said above, MS Access sounds like a good option for you.

    Its not that hard to use/learn to build a database - I've done it before.

    A decent tutorial book will probably teach you to make something very similar to what you need.
     
  8. Somer_Himpson

    Somer_Himpson New Member

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    Use a SQL backend. Probably best to go with a GP Software System Supplier as they will provide support if things go tits up.
     
  9. Somer_Himpson

    Somer_Himpson New Member

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    In the UK, you have got EMIS, INPS, ISOFT..not sure if they are over there.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I built a database for our cancer psychology service in MS Access (my choice being dictated by the fact that it is well-supported and most NHS computers already have it included in their Office suite --no purchase of another bit of software necessary). It took me a few months to get the trickier bits in place but the basics were done in a week.

    Our database does not only store patient records, but it also prints out the appointment letters (with copies to referrer and GP) and the front patient info sheet for the file. Furthermore it produces reports on any variable you would like: numbers seen, waiting times, number of sessions, referral paths, cancer diagnosis and status, filtered by hospital, practitioner, date range, whatever. The best trick however is that it reads the referral forms automatically. Referrals are e-mailed on a Word 'locked form' with tagged fields; the database then copies the contents of those fields into the corresponding fields on the database record at the click of a button. Easy-peasy.

    The whole database was designed to be idiot-proof so it has a nice friendly input screen with big buttons saying exactly what they do ("print appointment"; "import referral"; "produce report" etc.). Filtering report data by hospitals and practitioners is simply by selecting items from two lists which are dynamically updated (i.e. if we enter a new hospital or practitioner in the database, they are added to the lists for future selection). There are "From:" and "To:" date range fields; leaving them blank assumes from earliest record to today respectively. There is also a tab for aggregated filtering on any variable you would want.

    This allows us to literally hand all sorts of detailed figures and patterns to our commissioners within ten seconds, up to date to today. Currently (and astonishingly) we are the only psychology team in the country who can do this.

    Image of prototype below:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 27 Jun 2010
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  11. DarkBanana

    DarkBanana New Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone! I would have been more active but we went on a spur-of-the-moment' trip to Vietnam :)

    I think he will probably go with the Access route. It's strange, I never realised it was part of the Office Suite. I usually just stick to Word and Powerpoint :p

    Nexxo, your database looks good. Any advice on how you did it? Also, just purely out of curiosity, how did you come about to do it? Most of the software I've seen in the NHS looks slower and more complicated :p
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I kind of learned on the fly. Access has a bunch of ready-made templates for most common purposes which you can modify to suit. I also had to dust off and develop my Visual Basic skills (such as they were). Luckily there is a lot of advice on the internet (another advantage of taking a very well-known, ubiquitous package) on how to achieve specific tricks.

    I did it basically because the general hospital database (where all patients are registered) was not suitable to our needs --it does not store the data we need to audit and direct our service specifically (it is designed to take a hospital-wide overview) and does not produce reports in a way that is useful to us. By keeping our own we can do a detailed analysis of any conceivable variable which is up to date to the last day. It is simply good business to do your own book keeping. :)

    It is simple because our secretary has to work with it, and although she is the queen of organisation she is not particularly computer savvy. My colleagues, like all psychologists including myself are not organised at all but unlike myself are not computer savvy either, and they too have to be able to extract data in a meaningful way. Hence I made it as simple to use as possible.
     

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