Mediforum Technical Support Articles

Sharing Patient Information in a Practice

Q My partners and I would like to use the Patient Ed® system. We would also like to be able to share patient information. We have a peer-to-peer network in our offices. How would we do this?

A First, go to the root directory of the PATIENT ED® system installation CD-ROM and read the NETWORK.TXT file. If you have any questions after reading this document, or at any point during this process, please call us at (800) 366-3710.

The key is to install the PATIENT ED® programs on each computer using the same setup path. First install PATIENT ED® on the machine that will be your server.

  1. Place the PATIENT ED® CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive. (This is usually the D: drive. If your CD-ROM drive is not the D: drive, type in the appropriate drive letter wherever we say "D:" in the rest of these steps.)
  2. Go to the Start button and choose Run.
  3. Type D:\setup in the Run window.
  4. When the Setup window appears, click on Next.
  5. In the Installation Type window, click on Server Install.
  6. After the installation is complete, click on the Start button, go to Programs, and click on Windows Explorer.
  7. Find the drive where you installed PATIENT ED®. If you chose to install PATIENT ED® on the C: drive, you would scroll down the left pane to C:. Right-click on the root directory of the C: drive and choose Sharing.
  8. Click on the Share option and give it an appropriate name (such as "Medifor"). Make sure that everyone has full access rights to the share by clicking on "Full" under Access type.

Now go to one of your other computers and insert the PATIENT ED® CD-ROM.

  1. Double-click on the Network Neighborhood icon.
  2. Click on Browse and find the computer where you installed the server files.
  3. Right-click on the Share (see step 8 above) that you created. Click on Map Network Drive.
  4. On the Map Network Drive window, make sure that the Reconnect at Logon checkbox is checked. Then, in the drop down list, choose the F: drive. Click on OK. (You may choose to map another drive instead of F:. In that case, type that drive letter wherever we say "F:".)
  5. Go to the Start button and choose run. In the run dialog box, type D:\setup.
  6. Click on the Network Workstation button.
  7. When the install program asks you for the location of the server files, click on the Browse button. Choose the drive that you just mapped. Use the Browse function to find where the server files were installed. Click on OK.
  8. The install program will prompt you through the rest of the installation.
  9. Repeat these steps on the other computers that you want to link.

You will get optimum performance of the PATIENT ED® system if the computer you selected to be the server is used for that purpose only. If you want to be able to use PATIENT ED® from the server as well, you must also map the drive on this computer. If this computer has Windows NT® as the operating system, repeat the instructions in the previous section to map the drive. If this computer does not have Windows NT, you will need to edit the c:\autoexec.bat file. To do this, press the Start button and choose Run. Type notepad c:\autoexec.bat. You should see something like the following:



Add the following lines to the end of the file.

subst F: /D
subst F: C:\

Save and close the file. Reboot the machine. Now you have a new drive in your "My Computer" folder. Click on the Start button and choose Run. Type D:\setup. Click on Workstation Install Type. When the computer asks you for the location of the server files, choose the drive you mapped above and use the Browse function as in Step 7 above.


New Feature! Paste PATIENT ED® Chart Note to a Word Processing Program

The PATIENT ED® Quarter 3 1999 release has a new charting feature requested by many of you. You can now paste the PATIENT ED® chart note into your word processing program!

From a medical-legal point of view, documenting your treatment and what you told the patient to do in the event of problems (i.e., precautions) is vital. The chart note can also help your staff answer questions from the patient or pharmacy while waiting for the transcribed note to be returned. Organizations like NCQA and JCAHO are beginning to demand detailed documentation of what the patient has been told.

The Chart Summary is one of three standard reports created by the system. The other two are the Patient Instructions and Prescriptions. The Patient Instructions often include much of the most clinically relevant information about an encounter: the diagnosis and ICD9 code, a summary of the medications prescribed, precautions the patient should be aware of, a summary of what the patient needs to be responsible for at home, the follow-up and referral plan, and even recommended Web sites and other educational resources.

Many of you have come up with ways to combine the Chart Summary with the history and physical. Some dictate the first part of the note and then simply refer to the Chart Summary (e.g., say "See the PATIENT ED® chart summary"). Some write a standard note but add the Chart Summary as extra detail in complex cases. But others told us that if they could just get the chart note into a word processing document, they or their transcriptionist could add the history and physical and have it all in one document. We’re pleased to say that you can now do this. Here’s how it works:

After you have installed your Q3 update, you’ll need to turn on the Copy and Paste feature as follows. In the PATIENT ED® Provider main form, select the Tools menu and then select Preferences. Choose the Print tab. Select the checkbox that says "Copy to Clipboard" under Summary for Chart. This action will now occur by default.

Now go ahead and create a Patient Instruction. When you click on "Done," you will get a new message box reminding you that the chart note is saved in the copy buffer and can be inserted wherever you like. Open up your word processing program. Click in the document and either hold down the Control button while typing "V" or select Paste from the edit menu. Voilá – you’ve just pasted in the PATIENT ED® chart note! Go ahead and fill in the history and physical yourself, or save the document and send it to your transcriptionist to complete from your dictation.

We’re excited about the possibility of using this feature with a voice recognition program like Dragon Dictate ( We are running into more and more physicians who have mastered this technology and are dictating directly to a document as fast as they had dictated to tape previously. They tell us it takes about 6 weeks to fully master, but can save up to $12,000 per year in transcription costs. And because you have the PATIENT ED® chart note already, your dictation time can be cut by as much as half, making this an even more enticing possibility.

One hint if you decide to try voice recognition. Rather than use the microphone that comes with the program, invest in a Phillips microphone. We hear from experienced users that this particular mike can raise the recognition accuracy significantly.

Backing Up Your PATIENT ED® Data - Volume 1 No. 1

We recommend that you back up your data at least once a week. Here are some tips on backing up your PATIENT ED® system.

The PATIENT ED® software saves information to two locations - the Basedata directory and the Trandata directory. If you have installed the PATIENT ED® software on a single computer, these directories are usually within:


In network systems, these directories will be located in the directory which you installed your
PATIENT ED® server files.

The Basedata directory contains your customized EduCare TemplatesT in addition to Medifor-provided content. The Trandata directory contains information about your clinic, providers and patients, and preferences. If you never save templates, you do not need to back up the Basedata directory. You should always back up the Trandata directory.

There are a number of methods for backing up your data. One of the cheapest and easiest solutions is to purchase a Iomega Zip drive for the computer on which PATIENT ED® is installed. Zip disks are fairly inexpensive and can store from 100 MB to 250 MB of data, depending on the particular drive and disk type. A single 100-MB disk will easily hold all of the PATIENT ED® data for a typical practice.

We suggest that you set a regular time each week to copy the entire Basedata and Trandata directories to a zip disk. We also suggest that you keep backups on two separate disks and alternate which disk you use each week. This way you can ensure that you'll never lose more than one week of data.

There are also a number of software programs that can help you back up your data. If you're interested in more details, please call us at 1-800-366-3710.