APPLICATION: Sweetwood Kitchen Automation Project -- Despite
having a staff ratio of three caregivers for every client, G. Pierce Wood
memorial Hospital in Arcadia, Fla. finds it very difficult to assure proper
nutrition for every one of the 450 severely ill patients. If not carefully
supervised, patients with their diminished capacities may overeat, under
eat or eat foods they are allergic too. In a worst case situation, where
an allergic reaction might lead to choking, something as basic as daily
meal service can present life-threatening issues.
With the full support of the hospital executive committee, the I/S department
led by CIO Glenn Palmiere, began work on a new meal service application.
It was designed to keep track of every meal being served to every patient,
which amounts to 400,000 meals per year, and assure the right meals got
to the right patients in the right portions. The system had to be a high-speed
data management application that would also be easy for the non-technical
caregiver staff to learn and use.
To do the job, the developers selected Cache, a post-relational DBMS
from InterSystems Corp., Cambridge, Mass., for the data management portion
of the application. To build the graphical user interface, they selected
Visual Basic from Microsoft Corp.
One of the major obstacles facing the developers was how to build the
new application without rewriting the legacy system containing critical
patient information. With Cache and Visual Basic, the developers created
an application that works with a 10-year-old legacy database. The new
application was built and implemented in eight months.
On completion of the project, the development staff felt that Cache met
the three goals of the project. First, it provided a connection to legacy
data from an advanced Windows 95 interface built with Visual Basic. Second,
it provided the information users needed within seconds. Third, it provided
two levels of backup in case the connection to the server was lost.
- Rich Seeley
GLENN PALMIERE, CIO
BRANT MILLER, computer programmer analyst
FRANK FAHEY, computer programmer analyst
REBECCA FISHER, office automation specialist
Protected the health and safety of patients while reducing staff time in
serving meals, freeing the staff to work on more critical patient care issues.
Compaq ProLiant 1000 server for Novell NetWare server
Intergraph InterServe 640 for Windows NT server
Compaq Pentium 133 MHz with 16Mb RAM for Windows 95 clients