Xojo Application Helps Hospital Manage H1N1 Pandemic
For Michael Vester programming started out as a hobby. When his hobby started making money he pursued a Computer Systems Technology degree. Vester is now employed at Alberta Health Services where he works directly for doctors and nurses in the emergency department at the University of Alberta Hospital.
Vester created an application using Xojo called EDIS_Reports (Emergency Department Information System Reports) that produces reports and charts from a large Oracle database. Nurses, doctors and management use EDIS_Reports to make operational decisions regarding the management of medical staff and patients in a large emergency department environment. Xojo connects to a large Oracle 9i database through an ODBC driver. The database tracks patient movements through eight emergency departments in the city of Edmonton. Around 400,000 patients go through these emergency departments each year and they are all tracked by EDIS_Reports. The charting is done via the MonkeyBread Software ChartDirector Plugin. The client side is a Windows XP environment and the server side is HP UX.
Just before the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, Michael produced a MS-Access program to generate day-to-day tracking of influenza symptoms. The IT department was supposed to make the MS-Access program accessible to the eight emergency departments. Having a great deal of experience with large IT departments, Michael knew they can take months, even years, to do the simplest things. He quickly coded a Xojo application that he ran each morning. This application gathered data specific to patients with influenza symptoms and emailed the results out to management in all eight emergency departments. His boss was so happy with this application that she bought him an expensive bottle of wine!
Michael first discovered Xojo at a previous job. “I was so impressed because my boss, who introduced me to Xojo, was able to generate binaries for Mac OS X and Windows,” commented Michael. “Many doctors I work for use Macs, so I wanted a programming language that would support OS X and Windows. Despite only having a few months of Xojo experience, I quickly became very productive.”
- Size of application: 8.9 Megabytes so far
- Number of users: Currently 15, with many more planned
- Platform of development: Windows XP
- Platform of deployment: Windows XP
- Externals: MBS ChartDirector
- Number of lines of code: More than 30,000 so far
- Database Accessed: Oracle 188.8.131.52 running on two HP V-Class Servers running under HP-UX 11.0
- Size of Database: A few terabytes
- Number of Transactions: We see 1000 patients a day and each patient is about 500 transactions, so that’s about 500,000 per day
- Connectivity: EDIS_Reports uses the ODBC driver that comes with Windows XP. The emergency departments in the Edmonton region are connected with an optical WAN. EDIS_Reports is not responsible for any inserts, updates or deletes on the database. Alberta Health Services uses a shrink-wrapped application called HASS/EDIS. EDIS_Reports provides easy to use access for doctors, nurses and management to report on HASS/EDIS data. Many of the reports are very complicated and go way beyond HASS/EDIS's very primitive reporting capabilities. EDIS_Reports is a work in progress. When it becomes a bit more mature, it will be rolled out to 7 more emergency departments. All 8 emergency departments use the same database. EDIS_Reports has been built from the beginning to work with all 8 emergency departments.