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Re: [Gnumed-devel] demographics editor

From: J Busser
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] demographics editor
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 00:59:06 -0700

At 2:04 PM +1000 9/16/04, Richard Terry wrote:
I find this whole debate interesting or should I say ridiculour,  for the
following reasons.
Imagine you use a paper system. Before sitting down to your desk, you look up
your manual appointment system and find out who the last patient was. Then
you go to the file and get out their records. Then you take that file and sit
at your desk. Next you look up who you really want to see next.

Nice lampoon but a bit off base. Let me give an alternative.

You are with your patient in the exam room. You receive a phone call which you must take in your private office, so you must choose between leaving the chart open (with the next patient's charts accessible underneath), or you close the chart, and either leave it on the desk within the exam room, or you put it temporarily in the slot just outside the exam room door. You go attend to your phone call, and return to your exam room. Where is the chart? Your secretary has put it away! Now you have to do initiate an extra step to get it back, and to wait for it.

Or your patient had left, and you moved the chart to the comfort of your private office, to complete your note and a test request, but you realize you will be late for a meeting or you must go urgently to the hospital. So in your absence, and on your return, the chart will serve as a useful placeholder for how far you had gotten in your work flow. If you still need the chart, you have no delay. If you do NOT still require it, there was no harm in it having stayed there during your absence.

It is true that in the electronic scenario, the time taken to fetch/refresh the patient's data will have been wasted if in fact you do not need to access their record. If just prior to your last logout, you had somehow communicated to GnuMed "I have finished with this patient, put the chart away [loose the focus]"), no patient value would be saved at logout, and that way upon next logging in you do not need to incur the wasted fetch. But on the other hand, if you had NOT finished with that patient, there will have been some value to what I had suggested. The fact that GnuMed retains, in the search box, a list of recently activated patients reduces the work of retrieving the last patient so may not justify the extra work required to "dismiss" the last patient before logging out.

I see nothing wrong to consider a work flow (though it disagree with your own) that recognizes having been in the midst of a task when you had to log out, and therefore to help you rejoin GnuMed in a way that lets you resume that work, with a minimum of interruption.

This whole business of pulling in either 'anyone' or the last patient seems
ludicrous to me. Why on earth would you want to to it. I cannot think of a
situation where I've ever wanted either a random patient, or the last patient
I've just seen when I first boot up my program. How confusing for users.

Nowhere did I suggest a random patient, in fact I specified we should *NOT* re-activate the last patient if the user had changed.

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