David F. Leigh

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Hospital Procedural Tracking

These programs were all similar in form and function, and were created for three reasons:

  1. The accounting software that our small county hospital was using did not allow individual departments to report on procedures that were done that day, and the vendor wanted outrageous sums of money to add the functionality.

  2. The doctors and services that billed separately could not send bills in a timely manner due to reason number 1, resulting in a customer relations problem.

  3. The local hospital did have software that was being used in the Radiology department for this purpose, but it was written in Pascal and used unsigned integers to track its linked list, and had run out of integers.

I wrote a replacement system in FoxPro 1.2 for DOS and with the help of the author of the original system, created a conversion program to move the data from his system to mine. (NOTE: The author of that system also provided office management services to the hospital's head radiologist. He was so impressed by the new functionality that he bought my office management software as well. I still keep in touch with him.)

 The main function of the Procedural Tracking software was to replace the paper procedural ledger that was being used in each department. The way the old system worked was that each time a procedure was done, it was recorded in the ledger by hand. The ledger was then delivered to the accounting department each day at close of business, where busy hands typed the procedures into the AIX computer. However, once the procedures were entered, very little of anything useful could be done with the information beyond hospital billing.

 My software did the following:

The major difference between the three systems were in the number and content of the fields in each table, and in the procedural code lookup tables that were included. Other than this they used the same user interface engine and had similar look and field. Each was a single-user system. To enable true graphing in FoxPro for DOS I wrote reports to generate text files that were then fed into licensed copies of PC-FILE. The graphing interface of PC-FILE was the only portion of that program that was used. 


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