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Re: [Gnumed-devel] state of test results handling

From: James Busser
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] state of test results handling
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 10:29:06 -0700

On 30-Mar-08, at 4:32 AM, Adrian Midgley wrote:
I've often remarked that medical records tend to be tall thin documents,
whereas we look at them usualy on short wide screens.

Adding fixed detail above and below seems to me to restrict this viewing
window furhter and not always to our benefit.

Placing controls on the right works well for me in some small programs
I've written.

I agree it is a competition for space. The ability to see more rows, to more quickly take in the range from results from a single point in time, competes with the ability to quickly take in a series of values for any one test over time. In the two hospital systems in which I work, one presents the most recent result column at left with older results to the right, and the other in the inverse direction. Needless to say, it gives the possibility of confusion especially when I was able to access one hospital's results remotely from the other hospital... I terminated that session with an unclear idea about what was going on with a patient and nearly concluded that an abnormality was dismissible because it had "resolved". But something nagged at me, and so I rechecked the screen to confirm I had mis- interpreted and read it the wrong way.

Personally I favour having the most recent at *left*, which puts it next to the test name. The extent of test history then determines how many additional columns are appended to the right, instead of determining how many get inserted to the left, displacing the most recent information.

I am not sure whether in arabic, hebrew and in any asian systems, a right-to-left paradigm would be preferred.

I think it would be a good idea for left-to-right or right-to-left (at least for test result presentation) to be configurable at the system level if not the user level.

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