Here you will find a collection of tutorials for our in-house developed Comprehensive Data Management System for Protocol Patient and IRB Documentation Management (PORTS). You can get PORTS for free.
Written by Tomas Mackevicius.
How to set your own values for the drop-down lists
PORTS uses couple of tables to keep running lists of CRAs, PAs, doctors, procedures and other useful things. These lists are used for data entry drop-down selections and they are dynamic - every time your click on drop-down button, data base looks to a specific table to produce the list. This is very convenient feature, because you can keep running list of doctors with the information which ones are active and display only active doctors for the data entry selection.
How to change location of the DB back-end file
PORTS DB consist of two files: cancer_research_enc.mdb which represents data entry panel (front-end) and cancer_research_enc_data.mdb which contains all data (back-end).
Initially you will need to "connect" data base front-end to the back-end data file.
Also you will need to do this for using PORTS in a multi-user environment where multiple users are using DB to query and enter data. You will have to put back-end data file on a file server or other computer with a shared folder accessible by other team members. Then you will have to "connect" front end to back-end. After it's done, you can put the copy of the front-end file to all other workstations.
These are steps you have to perform to "connect" front-end to a new back-end location:
- Open MS Access Linked Table Manager tool:
- "Select All" tables, check the "Always prompt for new location" check box and click "OK":
- Table address should be updated for each individual table, that's why I find it easier to copy entire path with DB name and copy-paste it right into the DB name field following with a click on "Open" (or just press the "Enter" key).
Local address would look like this: D:\Admin\Docs\Research\cancer_db\Clean DB v7.2\cancer_research_enc_data.mdb
Shared location address would look like this: \\Research\cancer_db\cancer_research_enc_ data.mdb
- After all tables were linked, uncheck the "Always prompt for new location" check box and click "OK":
- Now you can open front-end file (cancer_research_enc.mdb) and start working with the PORTS DB.
IF you are using PORTS in a multi-user environment, you can put the copy of the front-end file to all other workstations.
How to enter new patient
- Most of the demographic data is entered trough the "Main DB" form. To start, select it from the switchboard list:
- Click "New Record" button. New data base entry for the patient will be created and ready for data entry. Our experience showed that while searching or entering new patients, users tend to accidentally overwrite data fields of existing patients. This is very important because one may accidentally overwrite patient's MRN (medical record number) which is the most important field that carries related information to all other data tables. In order to avoid this situation, main demographic fields of the main form are locked and cannot be edited. To edit them click on the "Add/Modify Patient Inf." tab:
- Once most important information is in place, return to "Demographics" tab to finish data entry. You may have noticed there are 3 fields for the MRN number. In some of the hospitals patient may be registered couple of times, so this is our way to keep track of all the accounts related to the patient.
How to search for a patient
- Searching is one of the most used data base features. Basically you can search any field on database, but most likely you will search for MRN, Last Name or DOB. The rules are simple. First put your mouse cursor to the field you want to search. This is very important, because usually users click "Find" button and then cannot understand why they do not find anything You search the field where the mouse cursor is blinking.
- Once you selected the field, click the "Find" button.
- You will be presented with "Find and Replace" dialog box where you can enter your search criteria. Field "Look In" shows you what field you are searching (where your cursor was positioned):
- If you're using MRN2 and MRN3 fields, and want to search combined field MRN, MRN2, MRN3 - you will have to include asterisks before and after search phrase eg. *12345*. If patient has two MRNs on record but you will search without asterisks, you will not find that patient.
If your remember just part of the last name, you can search for Johns* (full last name could be Johnson).
- Search for date using the same format you're using for the data entry eg. 1/12/1947