Friday, March 12, 2010

Scribus in the Hospital - 3
over the top

It may have seemed that what I've already shown was as much as one could do, but you'd be wrong with that assumption.

Once we have access to something like Scribus, with all of its layout capabilities, you don't have to stop at lines, labels, barcodes, and text. Add images.

There are ways of doing all sorts of things. Behind the scenes, I have added a free program called Hoversnap to the mix, and now I can make screen captures of scan images, so I can add these to the chart.

I would quickly add that in the long run, these have no relevance. These chart pages get scanned into the EMR system, and as you can imagine are totally useless at that point, since they come out as they would running them through a fax machine. So why do them at all?

Education. In two directions. One is for the non-neurologists, who do not necessarily know what they're seeing on scans, and therefore don't generally bother to look at them, and admittedly the important pictures are typically a handful of hundreds. So I trim it down to the essence.

The other is for the nurses (and other non-physician staff). My note talks about what I see in the images, and the pictures show what I'm talking about. So everybody gets some education about brain scans and what they show. And people appreciate this – you know they do, because they go out of their way to tell you. Furthermore, this is round-the-clock teaching – even the overnight nurses get in on it.

As I said at the beginning, I am not advocating this, I am not suggesting this is what all doctors should do, it's just something I am doing, and I enjoy it and feel it's worth my time.

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