Today's leading edge hospitals are quickly learning the diagnostic value of beside ultrasound scanning. However, learning to perform them isn't an easy task: it takes formal training to become certified. At the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, they realized that FileMaker development could help with this daunting process.
Initially, they considered using other software. However, when judging excel vs. FileMaker, they found that the former just didn't have the ease of use or flexibility required for such a difficult and important task.
In the past, training happened largely via index cards. Doctors had to lug them around everywhere, recording data on the date, time and any observations made during their exams. Considering how many components they were looking at—heart function, lungs, organ size and any other abnormalities—it quickly got tedious.
In addition, if one of the cards was lost or forgotten, that information simply didn't get recorded.
No longer, thanks to FileMaker. Using the Go program for iPhone (most of the doctors already use these smartphones as pagers), physicians can access a custom tracking program. With just a few button presses, they can easily record, with is transmitted wirelessly to servers.
This functionality doesn't just help caregivers perform ultrasounds, it helps them do them better. When teaching a a trainee, a trainer can quickly evaluate how accurate the diagnoses are, and step in to correct any ongoing mistakes. In addition, physicians can track their own progress and improve on any areas in which they might be lacking.
Says Dr. David Tierney, director of the hospital's ultrasound program: "In the end, it is all about taking the best possible care of patients using the tools we have available. If ultrasound can fit in our little black bag, it is wrong for it not to be there. FileMaker is helping us make bedside ultrasound part of our standard tool set."
Just another way the simple program can help save lives.