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PHONE Keeps Addresses and Lab Test Information

PHONE Keeps Addresses and Lab Test Information

My Phone Book application serves double duty. I use it as it was intended to keep my address book. In addition, I keep a mini database of laboratory test results.

 I have entered the names of about 60 different lab tests in the "Name" area of the Phone Book card. In the "Phone Number" area I have entered the Normal values for each lab test. Finally, in the "address" slot, I put a list of possible causes for abnormal values. I saved the whole collection under the name LAB.PBK; now when I want to transform the 95LX's Phone Book into a diagnostic tool, I just load LAB.PBK into PHONE.

 This kind of information is particularly important to a physician. We occasionally see patients whose charts have several unexplained, unusual lab tests attached to them. With this database, I can instantly know what the lab study was about. Also, when faced with several slightly abnormal lab values on a single patient, it's helpful to be able to flip from one "laundry list" to another, looking for some disease common to the abnormal lab values. I have more than once caught a diagnosis early this way; even before the classical serum abnormalities and symptomatology emerged. It works a lot faster than my memory too.

Finally, there are times when you have a patient who is not responding to treatment. With the push of a few buttons, you can have a short list of other possibilities.

 When using this scheme, the quickest way to look up information on a particular lab test is to type in the first three letters of the lab test name. The cursor will automatically jump to that section of the lab name list. Then I just press (ESC) twice and use the cursor arrow keys to move the highlight bar to the lab test of interest. Then I press (ENTER) for the full display of possible causes. If I want to view the next full display without returning to the index, I just press the Page Down key (press (<Shift>)-(<Down>) ).

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