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Ripdog
20-08-2006, 07:09 PM
Hi all

I have been looking around for anyone who can help with making an access database for use in a medical environment, with functions like

Appointment book
patient notes and records
A recall system with mail merge reminder letters
invoices
reciepts
and a end of day finacual report.


Are all those possible with access, and will things like visual basic be required?

And does anyone know of any pay per hour developer who could do this?

Speedy Gonzales
20-08-2006, 07:22 PM
You could have a look here (http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/templates/default.aspx)

Ripdog
20-08-2006, 07:53 PM
That was the first place i looked, nothing remotely like what i want.

andrew93
20-08-2006, 11:05 PM
Hi

In answer to your questions the answers are yes, yes and yes. All of this is possible, some VBA may be required depending on what you want to do, and you can drop me a PM if you want to discuss this project.

The hardest part will be designing an appointment book in Access that resembles existing products like MS Outlook. Have you considered using MS Outlook for the appointments and reminders? Many an hour and dollar has been spent developing medical systems. You need to beware of 'scope creep', which can prove very expensive. Is there any particular reason you chose Access? And have you considered any 'off the shelf' packages?

A

developer
20-08-2006, 11:22 PM
Yes, all possible with Access, you can have your database tables and forms all in one Access file, you will need some knowledge in database and VBA.

However, if you would like to have better graphic user interface, allow multiple users to modify the database at the same time, generate better reports, etc, you'd better use vb6, vb.net, c# etc to make an application which operates on your Access database file using the jet engine.

My company's rate is 120 dollars an hour. However, the database (or application) you want is quite simple, so you should be able to find cheaper developers (software qualities provided by different companies can vary a lot, a poor software can harm your business, so have a look at their existing software before make your decision). The development time required by the project depends on the final spec.

Thomas01
21-08-2006, 11:03 AM
Hi all

I have been looking around for anyone who can help with making an access database for use in a medical environment, with functions like

Appointment book
patient notes and records
A recall system with mail merge reminder letters
invoices
receipts
and a end of day financial report.


Are all those possible with access, and will things like visual basic be required?

And does anyone know of any pay per hour developer who could do this?
I'm tempted to 2 answers.

(1) The medical profession already uses off the shelf programs - I would suggest google or your local GP for advice.

(2) If cost is a major problem and simplicity is needed then try keeping database content eg Appt book & patient notes separate from accounts which are better with a simple spreadsheet.
I have written quite a lot of this sort of thing for people - never charged more than $10/hour and the databases took about 30 seconds to design and write up. I always used MSWORKS not OFFICE - so much easier and faster.
But I am fully retired now Ripdog so not interested in doing this work any more. You should be able to find somebody to help you though.
Tom

Paul.Cov
21-08-2006, 02:45 PM
Hi,

Many years ago I did an Access database for an optometric practice.

I'm of the opinion that Access can be used for almost anything... if you have the time and patience (or money) to develop it.

The comment above about feature creep is extremly valid... what starts out as a simple project can just baloon endlessly.
Often what you believe you are asking for is quite different from what the developer understands you want.
I'm strongly of the opinion that there's LOTS of merit in the DB being developed by people who USE it - if they have the time and skills. They can add features that your typical desk-bound developer never imagines a need for.

I'm assuming you're looking to have a DB produced because you don't like the cost or functionality or interface of existing medical databases... and assume you're looking at an inexpensive option for a small practice.

Are you thinking of security regarding access to files / viewing priveledges? Networking data between reception and exam room? Taking work home?

Access is not the fastest program... but for a small practice, this probably won't matter.

My biggest gripe with Access is that a lot of designed functionality is broken with each upgrade that MS produces, necessitating that you either refuse to upgrade your version of Office, or you surrender to the costs of fixing issues that you create when you or staff 'upgrade' to MS's latest and greatest incarnation... often for no other reason than the upgrade was on sale.

If you want to have a database that is secure, then you make a mockery of the whole process if any of the computers it is used on are hooked up to the internet. I'm of the opinion that medical databases should be on their own closed network, and thoroughly barricaded against general internet use and staff recreational use.

I'd offer to put something together for you myself, but I'm on an old version of Access still, and have no intention of spending a 4 digit sum on MS for the upgrade... I assume you're on a modern version of Access.
I'm looking at the potential of Open Office to replace all my personal database work in the future.

As for reports / invoicing / mail outs / recalls - all easily designed into Access, without the need to use Word for a mail merge.

Paul

Graham L
21-08-2006, 02:47 PM
The medical profession probably uses proper software because as soon as you store the patient notes and medical records there are major privacy and security considerations. I suspect that an Access application would not meet the requirements.

godfather
21-08-2006, 03:39 PM
Agree with Graham_L here, the medical profession do use dedicated software and reasonably secure servers.

The implications of both privacy and prescription based safety issues would have precluded a DIY approach I would have thought, unless unlimited indemnity insurance has suddenly become affordable...

pctek
21-08-2006, 04:15 PM
www.medtech.co.nz

and they do support too.

Thomas01
21-08-2006, 05:51 PM
My biggest gripe with Access is that a lot of designed functionality is broken with each upgrade that MS produces, necessitating that you either refuse to upgrade your version of Office, or you surrender to the costs of fixing issues that you create when you or staff 'upgrade' to MS's latest and greatest incarnation... often for no other reason than the upgrade was on sale.

I'm looking at the potential of Open Office to replace all my personal database work in the future.

Paul

The constant upgrading of ACCESS is yet one more reason why people should consider MSWORKS for flat file databases. Upgrading is not a problem I find - all versions seem happy to work together.
The mention of Open Office interests me. The last time I looked at Open Office I could find no database - apparently there was already a free one available so there was no need to have yet another. The one recommended I found to be as difficult as ACCESS to understand. Have things changed?
I also wonder if the request for a medical database may actually be a request for running a shop for herbal remedies etc. Or even vibrating cushions. No need for massive security or expensive programs in that case.
However I do agree - the best way to keep information secure is to stay off the internet - after all a cheap second hand computer can handle databases with no problems.
Tom

TGoddard
22-08-2006, 03:58 PM
A cheap second hand computer can handle databases but what happens if it breaks and you can't access your patient files? I would have the following requirements of any database for such sensitive information:

It must be fault tolerant and have extremely high availablity. Both you and some sort of deputy should be able to access the information in the event of an emergency without fail.

It must keep private data that way. It should not be installed on a system connected to the internet unless as part of a high security network with proper protection (Hardware firewall, IDS, log monitoring, 24/7 technician access, etc).

It should not be restricted by third party commercial interests. In other words, you must have access to the data in an open format on demand. This should be a part of a contract with any third party.

Flat file databases will all fail the first unless you have daily off-site backups. These backups should be encrypted to satisfy the second requirement. MS Access doesn't properly meet the third. This would rule it off my list.

A good commercial service should be able to meet all three requirements. Just check your contract carefully!

Cicero
22-08-2006, 06:44 PM
You would find SQL data base system more to your liking,I would give it a go.
Some might say,Access on steroids.