Developing a Computerized Tool That Ensures Patient Follow-Up of Health Maintenance Issues Utilizing Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies' IDX Database
Halbower, Ryan Vincent
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In 1946 Michigan State University's Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies (MSU - KCMS) opened its doors to serve the indigent people of Kalamazoo. Since the implementation of their computerized patient filing system a number of years ago, the health care arena has become more computerized, following a trend that most of our civilization is partaking in. Their database that was designed by IDX Systems Corporation is simply referred to as "IDX." It is a means of chronicling every patient I physician interaction, and the outcome thereof, without toiling through arduous and tiresome forms and paper records. The growing usage of their IDX system stemmed from numerous and expensive upgrades that were necessary to sufficiently keep tabs on every one of their patients' visits, and their health status. Although a good system, IDX does have many faults, as does the entire health care sector. It has been discovered by the personnel of MSU - KCMS that keeping tabs on their patients, especially when roughly a third of their appointments are either canceled or tum out to be no-shows, is an insidiously draining task, if not an impossible one. The major loophole within IDX that this project was designed to tighten or close wholly, was the fact that if an unfortunate patient came down with a serious to potentially life-threatening disorder, and either canceled an appointment without rescheduling or was a no-show, it was virtually impossible for that patient's situation to be recognized by the computer. If a patient did have a seriously remarkable disorder and canceled an appointment, they were either lost indefinitely without recognition, or remembered by one of the more observant and talented nurses. But to rely on the overworked and underpaid nursing staff to recall every patient would be metaphorically similar to rely on swatting a mosquito with a tennis racquet. It is my assignment, and most ardent desire that moves me to give MSU - KCMS' s database a conscience of sorts. It is unknown exactly how many patients have fallen through the proverbial cracks of this health care system after being diagnosed with their life-threatening diseases that subsequently ran away with their lives. No one can surmise exactly what happened to these unfortunates, as the MSU - KCMS staff was not supplied with sufficient resources to track any abnormal value in the community. It is in the interest of bettering the health care of Kalamazoo that I embarked on this project, to close the gap and create a more effective means of safeguarding the well being of Kalamazoo's populous. This project can also be translated as direct evidence that one who sufficiently completes a liberal-arts education is capable of almost anything, if they are strong of mind and have the motivation to do so.