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[Gnumed-devel] Coding SOAP - Richard's comments

From: Richard Terry
Subject: [Gnumed-devel] Coding SOAP - Richard's comments
Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 17:48:36 +1000
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6 (X11/20040503)

To reply to this earlier thread, I've worked extensively with coding in 3 IT projects - script writing, pathology and diabetes. We explored many of the coding systems and certainly ICPC Plus came out ahead in terms of using more natural language (especially GP oriented) and can be mapped back to the others.

The advantage of coding SOAP lines if possible to ICPC can include later trawling the database for say all patients who presented with a particular symptom (S) with a particular diagnosis (A) who were given say a particular drug (P)

Now if you follow the data entry paradigm I've outlined extensively (and well exemplified in the docs on say pathology ordering, data in the SOAP edit area, like all the edit area is easy to enter and easy to code if part of the entry system involves text delimiters ie.

S: earache;fever;sore throat;
0: red ear drum;
A;otitis media;
P etc

Note that using the popup phrase wheel causes the ICPC diagnoses to automatically be supplied to the user. Any new languages that does not exist in ICPC should be saved back to the database tagged to the doctors ID, so that it too is included in the phrase wheel. That way over a period of time, as the user uses the program, it becomes easier and easier and quicker and quicker to fill in the lines, as we tend to describe things the same way all the time.

This is the method I used in my program.

To attach the ICPC code to the SOAP lines is incredibly quick and simply as one simply parses out each line into an array, using the de-limiter, here a ';' key, and compares to the ICPC stuff. If not present it is dealt with appropriately as 'not coded'. Malcolm Ireland and I back in 1996 developed a user extensible ICPC coding system where the user could equate synonyms of their own to the ICPC codes in a separate module.

I would emphasise here again, it is vitally important that we use some sort of delimiter for the reasons outlined above. It speeds up data entry and parsing by a huge factor.



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