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Package Overview

As a medical student, I began to realize the power and utility that the Newton PDAs could have on the wards- I could hold all the pertinent information regarding my patients right there in my hand. Their medications and medication allergies, their lab reports (stretching back as far as I wanted them), an up-to-date problem list, all the procedures that they had received, and any notes I had written about them- from long H&Ps to short scribbles. This device also had the ability to manage a to do list for these patients to keep me organized, on track, and looking good in front of my medical peers. The only shortcoming was the medically related Newton software available at the time. The two that even came close to my standards were remarkably overpriced. On a student's budget (and even a Resident's salary, I realized), there was no way I could afford one of them. What if they did not meet my needs? What if they were buggy? I'd be out a whole lot of money with no tool to satisfy me. Thus, the dream of Palmedic was born- "if you want something done right, do it yourself" has been the motto behind the package ever since. Palmedic has grown from a simple desire to be organized on rounds as a medical student to a package that rivals the expensive solutions on the market today. 

With the release of Palmedic v 2.0, the program has become an invaluable resource in producing and maintaining a patient's medical record. The program is written specifically for the Newton 2.x Operating System, thus taking advantage of its many advances, including speed, ease of use and increased functionality. Version 2.0 uses plug-ins for data entry and reporting. This makes Palmedic the most versatile medical information manager on the market. The user may load only the modules they need, be it medications, problems, and patient allergies or patient billing, and note creation via templates and macros. Users may also have custom modules created for them or may create their own. Palmedic is distributed with a standard set of plug-ins that make it a complete patient management solution, and new modules are being created all the time. There is no longer the need to model the way you manage your patient information after a particular program. Use Palmedic to enter and report on a patient's data using your own methods. 

Another great advance in Palmedic 2.0 is its integration with your Newton MessagePad's other programs. Palmedic integrates with the Names application, Dates application, medical reference books (like Lexi-Comp drug reference from K2 consultants), note writing utilities (notably Transcriptionist from Tactile Systems), and with the capability of plug-ins, Palmedic has the ability to communicate with any other program on your Newton- those that exist now, and those that are yet to come. 

Program Use

System Requirements

Palmedic version 2.0 requires a Newton® or equivalent personal computing device running version 2.0 or higher of the Newton Operating System. The devices internal memory store is sufficient to hold Palmedic, but as patient records increase in size and number, a Flash RAM card may be required. 

Installation of Palmedic and its accompanying packages requires a means to load the packages onto your device. Newton Connection Utilities, distibuted by Apple Computer with your Newton device, is one such example that can be used with your desktop machine. 

Installation

The Palmedic distribution comes with several separate, loadable packages. The package labeled "PInstall.pkg" is the Palmedic Installer ans should be loaded first onto the Newton device. Running this package will give you the opportunity to prepare your Newton for the use of Palmedic. The installer allows you to install a set of demonstration patient data, a medication database for use within Palmedic, and/or a set of note templates for use within Palmedic. The installer that is packaged with the billables plug-in set allows for the installation of billing codes for use within Palmedic. These items are not necessary to install, and some will take significant store space on your Newton device. It is essential, however, to install the Preferences, and Data Soup items that the installer offers. Palmedic will not run without them. Once the desired items have been installed using the Palmedic Installer, this package may be removed from your Newton device. 

Second, the package labeled "PMData.pkg" should be loaded onto your Newton device. It contains the standard set of plug-ins for Palmedic. 

Third, load "Palmedic.pkg" onto your Newton device. This is the package that will show up as "Palmedic" in your Extras drawer. Now you're all set to enjoy a much more efficient means of mamaging your patient data. 

The Status Bar

Palmedic Status Bar
Figure 1. Palmedic's Status Bar

The Information buttoninformation button

About

Selecting the About menu item will display a floater with information regarding the program, including verstion, author, copyright information, and a method to contact the author. 

Prefs

Selecting Prefs gives the user access to the preferences portion of the program. There are several preference options built in to Palmedic, but the majority of preference options are added to the program via the various plug-ins. Each plug-in should have documentation pertaining to the relavent preference items it adds to Palmedic. 

Preferences floater
Figure 2. Preferences floater
Beaming

The preferences associated with beaming are as follows: 

Auto Put Away: checking this item will cause Palmedic to automatically put away any information it receives without the user going to the Out Box and selecting Put Away. 

On Duplicate Patient: the selection in this preference item instructs Palmedic in how to treat duplicate patients it receives via beaming (or mailing). Available options are Query, Duplicate, and Replace. The Duplicate option will cause Palmedic to add the patient to its database, but will cause it to change the MR# of the new patient. Palmedic does not allow two patients with the same MR# to exist. Selection of Replace will instruct Palmedic to delete the duplicate patient and add the newly received patient in its place. No warnings are given before this action occurs so be careful in selecting this option. The Query method will instruct Palmedic to ask the user what to do when it receives a duplicate patient. The Query option is the default. 

Beaming preferences
Figure 3. Beaming Preferences
Overview Lists

Palmedic allows the user to select which lists appear as viewable options in a patient's chart view. It also allows the complete customization of the information shown in these views. Both of these options are provided through the Overview Lists preference. 

Overview Lists Preferences
Figure 4. Overview Lists Preferences

Check marks appear next to lists that will appear as available "tabs" in the chart view. In order to customize one of the overview lists, tap on it within the preference floater, and the Overview List Editor will appear. 

Overview List Editor
Figure 5. Overview List Editor

Several controls exist within the overview list editor which allow for changes within the list. At the top of the floater, a view of what the list looks like in its present form is shown. The controls below it help to edit that list. By default, the first list column is selected as the one being edited. 

  • The Header input line is for entry of the text that one wishes to appear in the list column header.
  • Value controls what data is found in that list column. For example, selecting "medication" from this list will insert the medications name, dose, route and frequency into the list column; selecting "medication name" will only insert the name of the medication here; and so on. The Value popup list changes according to which overview list is being edited. Some values, like patient name, MR#, etc., are constant as they be found in any overview list.
  • The Place input line controls where in the list the column being added/edited is to be placed. An entry of '1' places it at the far left of the list columns, '2' makes it second in the column list, etc.
  • Width is an indication of how wide the column is in comparison to the other columns. Palmedic will total all of the column Widths and adjust each column accordingly. For example, if a 2 column list has the column in place 1 with a Width of 20, and the place 2 column with a Width of 40, the first column will be half the size of the second and take up a total of 1/3 of the list's width.
  • Justify signifies the justification of the value in the list column. Selection of Left places the text to the left of the column, Center will place the text in the center of the column, and so on.
  • The Add button will take the information entered in the controls, and add a new list column to the list using that data.
  • The Change button will take the information entered in the controls, and change the column that is currently being edited. By default, the column in place 1 is the one being edited. To edit a different column, simply tap within the header item of the column you wish to edit. The controls will change appropriately.
  • The Delete button removes the column that is currently being edited from the list. By default, the column in place 1 is the one being edited. To delete a different column, simply tap within the header item of the column you wish to delete, then tap the Delete button.
Patient Lists

Palmedic allows multiple patient lists to be defined within the program. Each of these patient lists is completely configurable within Palmedic.

Patient List Preferences

Figure 6. Patient Lists Preferences

Check marks appear next to lists that will appear in the Show button's popup menu. In order to customize one of the patient lists, tap on it within the preference floater, tap the Edit button, and the Patient List Editor will appear.

Patient List Editor

Figure 7. Patient List Editor

Several controls exist within the overview list editor which allow for changes within the list. 

  • The Filter On control allows you to specify an attribute that you would like to use to include or exclude patients from the list.

The remainder of the list is exactly the same as the Overview List Editor. Near the top of the floater, a view of what the list looks like in its present form is shown. The controls below it help to edit that list. By default, the first list column is selected as the one being edited. 

  • The Header input line is for entry of the text that one wishes to appear in the list column header.
  • Value controls what data is found in that list column. For example, selecting "medication" from this list will insert the medications name, dose, route and frequency into the list column; selecting "medication name" will only insert the name of the medication here; and so on. The Value popup list changes according to which overview list is being edited. Some values, like patient name, MR#, etc., are constant as they be found in any overview list.
  • The Place input line controls where in the list the column being added/edited is to be placed. An entry of '1' places it at the far left of the list columns, '2' makes it second in the column list, etc.
  • Width is an indication of how wide the column is in comparison to the other columns. Palmedic will total all of the column Widths and adjust each column accordingly. For example, if a 2 column list has the column in place 1 with a Width of 20, and the place 2 column with a Width of 40, the first column will be half the size of the second and take up a total of 1/3 of the list's width.
  • Justify signifies the justification of the value in the list column. Selection of Left places the text to the left of the column, Center will place the text in the center of the column, and so on.
  • The Add button will take the information entered in the controls, and add a new list column to the list using that data.
  • The Change button will take the information entered in the controls, and change the column that is currently being edited. By default, the column in place 1 is the one being edited. To edit a different column, simply tap within the header item of the column you wish to edit. The controls will change appropriately.
  • The Delete button removes the column that is currently being edited from the list. By default, the column in place 1 is the one being edited. To delete a different column, simply tap within the header item of the column you wish to delete, then tap the Delete button.

Register

The Register menu item only appears in the information button popup menu if you are still using the demo version of Palmedic. Selecting this item will cause the Registration floater to appear on your PDA.

Registration floater

Figure 8. Registration Floater

The Registration floater shows the registration code for your copy of Palmedic. Space is provided for entry of the registation password that will "unlock" your demo copy. Once unlocked, Palmedic will allow the entry of more than five patients into its database. Purchase and registration information can be found on the home page of JRAd consulting, Inc. at http://www.jrad.com

The Patient Picker buttonpatient picker button

The patient picker button allows the selection of a patient to view from anywhere within the program. Selecting a patient from this popup while in a patient list opens up the patient chart view for that patient. Selecting a patient while in any other view causes the selected patient to open in the current view (i.e., while viewing 'Notes' on the patient Jack Smith, one selects June Warhol from the patient picker popup and thus displays the 'Notes' for June Warhol).

©1997 JRAd consulting, Inc. All rights reserved
last updated 10/11/97

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