Since 2011, physicians at Abbott Northwestern Hospital have been using focused bedside ultrasound scanning to examine patients, diagnose problems and guide invasive procedures in the convenience of a patient's room. This new technology improved hospital efficiency, but required physicians to go through a specific training program to become certified to use the machine. While the portable ultrasounds could deliver powerful results, Abbott Northwestern was limited in their implementation by how fast it could train physicians to use them.
Initially, the Internal Medicine Bedside Ultrasound (IMBUS) program at Abbott Northwestern relied on 5" x 7" index cards to catalog trainee's observations during exams. The cards were then manually assembled and tracked. If the cards were forgotten, the information from the day's studies would simply be lost.
Now, physicians simply use the FileMaker Go app to access an IMBUS tracking application on their iPhones. Because most of the hospital's physicians also use iPhone as a pager it is always handy, and with a few taps they can record the results of each exam and send them wirelessly to the FileMaker Server.
"We considered Microsoft Access and a set of Excel spreadsheets, but that approach was not nearly as intuitive or scalable," says Dr. David Tierney, director of the IMBUS program at Abbott Northwestern. "FileMaker offered very easy integration with the iPhone. Also, we previously had good experience with FileMaker for our physical exam database in the residency program. Based on that success, we felt FileMaker was the best choice for IMBUS."
The FileMaker solution has given physicians and evaluators alike more freedom and functionality, all while saving them previous time. In addition to tracking exam results, IMBUS' FileMaker app can also send images to be collated and stored on the FileMaker server. Most importantly, trainers can evaluate a trainee's experience and accuracy for each type of ultrasound exam much faster and easier than they ever could with a collection of index cards.
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