Monday, 22 September 2008


Panel meeting at the week end mostly sorting out the conference.

I am going to experiment with moving to Problems, given that a couple of other panel members have been using these with a degree of success. I have always been put off previously by the data hygiene overhead, but we are a small practice relatively IT capable so maybe we could make it work?

Download the problems section of the training manual from here.


Friday, 19 September 2008

How to search

OK, so not been so productive on the blog of late. Sorry. Anyone is welcome to join as an editor though, so let me know and I will sign you up (Karen!).

Here is how to do basic searches. If you have not explored searching, or were well turned off it by GPASS functions in this area, then it is a worthwhile exercise. Honest. It is easy to create a simple yet useful search and, if you wish to explore further, Vision 3 searching is flexible and powerful for more complex work. It can become confusing when you combine a search with complex reporting logic, but I am only touching briefly on that today.

OK, open Searches and Reports from the Vision 3 main Screen. It's under 'Reporting':

And this opens (in Glenburn) this:

which is immediately confusing! Essentially, though, it is quite feature rich and if you have not looked at searching previously it can seem a little daunting. Do not panic (at least, not over this). I am only going to demonstrate how to create a simple search, so click on the button as below titled 'New ad hoc search'.

OK, this opens the main 'New Search' screen, where you create new searches. This is where most of the work in searches is done.

You will see the form is divided into useful sections.

Group Input / Group Output
Input allows you to choose a group of patients that has previously been saved and use them as the input into the search. You get get such a group by running a search and saving the found patients as a group (Group output) or but saving the group from clinical audit.

Search details
This is where the meat of the search is configured, and is discussed in detail later.

Report Output
Allows you to configure how the search results are presented. The default is 'View' on screen, but other options will present you various amounts of printable detail.

Add Entity
Click the 'Add Entity' button next to 'Search Details' and you see this:

which may or may not be familiar to you. This form allows you to select from any of the Vision 3 'entities' for searching on and, once selected, you are able to search on the attributes of the entity....


Ok, well an entity is a thing that you might have recorded in the patient record, like a 'Blood Pressure' or a 'Weight'. And 'entities' have 'attributes', i.e. stuff around them that you record so 'Blood Pressure' has attributes of 'Date', 'Diastolic', 'Systolic' etc. So really, you add things to search on and then tell the system what values of that thing you are looking for.

Here we navigate to 'Blood Pressure' and OK that:

And 'OK' brings you back to this:

For our 'Search Details' we want to just search on our current active patients. Vision 3 keeps all your transferred out patients on the system (as do other clinical systems AFAIK) and, by default, searches are run on every patient in your database. To tell it to only search on our current patients we need to click on 'Patient Details' and then 'Selections' and tell V3 to look only at our 'Registered' and 'Applied' patients:

This opens the 'Criteria Select' form:

Navigate to 'Registration Status' and select 'Equals', then 'Permanent' also 'Applied':

OK that:

so we are making some progress.

We will set this up now to search on patients who have ever had a diastolic BP of > 85.

Select Blood Pressure in the Details screen and click on 'Selections':

Similar from to the one for Patient Details, but different criteria of course!

Navigate to 'Diastolic Pressure' and select 'Greater' and check on 'Inclusive' and add the value '85', so really we are doing a 'greater than or equal to 85' search.:

Ok that, and here is how it looks:

I only want a count of them, so change the 'Report Output' from 'View' to 'Count' as below:

Our search now looks like this:

Click on 'Run' and wait a minute. The search estimate times are always much longer than the search actually takes. I think this is just to make you feel better...

Here is the result:

So that is 935 patients who have ever had a diastolic blood pressure of over 85. They have 4037 matching BP records in total. more useful if we could find the patients whose last bp was >85. OK, every time I visit this I get confused and it does take a little bit of brain challenging logic. To do this, (R) click on the Report Output 'Blood Pressure' and select 'Options':

This form then opens. Read it through, then read it again...

It does make sense, but you probably need to read it every time you come here. The option we want is 'Before Match'. In other words, after you have found all the blood pressures but before you report on this, check only the last one and only include it if it meets the criteria as above.

So now, when we search we get:

So, 540 patients last BP was > 85. That seems a lot.... better get back to work and stop this blogging malarkey.

Save the search before you exit. Call it something sensible, and in the description prefix it with something (I use my initials) so you can find it again later. Ad hoc searches sort by the Description in the list, not by the name.

OK? Brief searching how to.

NVUG panel meeting in Birmingham tomorrow. Conference planning amongst other things. I am in Dundee currently, though, so a long way to go!