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Resident interfaces with hospital database

Resident interfaces with hospital database

I am a resident in internal medicine at East Tennessee State University where several physicians are using the HP Palmtop on the wards. I have been using the HP 100LX Database program for patient management, PHONE to track contact information for different hospitals, SOLVER for medical equations, and MEMO for text files of worthy medical reference information. Recently I have wired a special phone cable to connect the serial cable to an RJ-11 plug. There are phone style jacks at the nursing stations and in the offices to access the VAX computer at our Veterans' Hospital.

I walk around the wards, plug into the system using DataComm, and use the HP 100LX as a VT-100 terminal to capture needed information, including patient medicines, diagnoses, radiology, pathology, and chemistry and hematology lab data.

When I get an admission I log onto the system and check for prior information as we have many veterans who are readmitted for persisting problems. By the time I go to the bedside or the emergency room, I have needed information available.

At the bedside I type the patient's medical history and physical examination into a text template for printing. I then bring up generic admission orders from my text files, paste the patient's medicines at the bottom and modify as necessary for printing admission orders on a laser printer. Medicines and diagnoses go into the database as well as test results. And at the time of discharge prescription medicines are printed on a physician's order form for filling in our hospital pharmacy.

Using this system I can generate paperwork five times faster than one with an ink pen, which is helpful at a federal institution that thrives on paper work!

The only complaint that I have about the HP 100LX Palmtop is that even though I have DataComm set at 9600 baud, the screen refresh is woefully slow. But the capacity to pause the capture is indispensable to my needs.

Robert L Mitchell, MD CompuServe ID: [72764,3061]

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