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Re: [Gnumed-devel] Appointment handling

From: Jerzy Luszawski
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Appointment handling
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 05:20:39 +0200

On Sat, 30 Mar 2013 21:34:58 +0000
"Busser, Jim" <address@hidden> wrote:

> > Found some old code in git.
> >  
> >

I missed this one - I simply didn't pull so old commits :)

> There has also, all along, been discussion of GNUmed taking advantage of 
> calendaring already being performed in other applications. For example, I 
> believe that if people were running
>       KDE / konsolekalendar
> then one of GNUmed' plugins could load entries from that file and potentially 
> bring patients into focus through name matching.

While external scheduling application may be easier to implement, it
looses one important feature of Gnumed - single, consistent database
with proper access rights, auditing and maintenance (backups etc.).
Furthermore, it is (IMHO) impossible to enforce consistency between
Gnumed encounters and external appointments.
Generally, I don't see any advantages of a plugin which only displays
appointments managed by external application - that external
application must be opened anyway. OTOH bi-directional
communication to open/focus related entries seems so complicated that
it overweights the benefits of not writing a genuine widget.

> Another idea was to be able to load and parse Google or ical format files.
... maybe use CalDAV?

I do see the need for occasional import/export of appointments data,
but I think that for regular work appointments should be managed
internally. To be more precise: even fetching appointments in
the morning *every day* is still only occasional import.

> Nowadays, patients are increasingly wanting to make their appointments based 
> on a knowledge of what openings are available.
> This almost makes it desirable for the calendar to be outside GNUmed, with 
> GNUmed able to
> 1) "read" the calendar and
> 2) perhaps "feed" the calendar with the doctor's availability
> I almost suspect some business model exists in an external scheduling app, 
> almost like a match-maker
Indeed, there are such services in Poland (at least I have seen
their advertisements). For this - import module putting appointments
into waiting list would be enough. 
But still -  everything is managed outside Gnumed. Especially
cancelling appointments would require special care to reflect it
in Gnumed. And no data mining combining medical history and future
appointments would be possible, for example finding all patients after
some kind of surgery, who are scheduled for follow-up next month, or
who have not shown up for more than 3 months and are not scheduled for
next visit, and so on. These are simple queries, which will not be
possible without schedule data in the database.

Recently I started to use Taskcoach
( and I keep thinking of a way to
incorporate it into Gnumed. It has good task management with subtasks,
categories, priorities and time tracking, but lacks time-finding
features (time slots etc.), proper month/week view, and advanced
filtering. It is written in Python :) I think that switching from its
XML-based storage to database and merging with
wx appointment scheduling widget might improve it a lot. I'll see what
I can do with it.

Jerzy Luszawski

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