Physical Exams, Medical Exams, Medical
Administering new physical/medical exams
and keeping track of information from past exams is an
important part of an
health program because they contain so much
information. Likewise, a person’s medical history
records tell the health care professional many important
We’ve all probably had the experience of filling in a
health history questionnaire. “What diseases did you
have as a child? (Check all that apply)” “Do you smoke?
If so, do you smoke cigarettes? How many packs a day?”
“Do you participate in any of the following hobbies?”
“Is there any history of heart disease in your family?”
The health history tries to collect information about
the employee/patient and his or her lifestyle, personal
and family history, past medical problems and more.
There are a couple of interesting (from an information
management viewpoint) aspects to all these forms. First,
they’re related. They are all really just a list of
questions and answers. In some instances the answers may
be general text, in others lists of choices. But at the
heart of the matter each form is a questionnaire and
Second, everybody has a different list of questions! The
health history form at Company A is very likely
different from the one used by Company B. Different jobs
may require different questions; a firefighter is
exposed to a different workplace environment than an
office worker. Over time the questions may change, if
only because different doctors want to know different
pieces of information.
Many years ago DataPipe dealt with different physical
history/exam needs by providing customized forms for
each. Different customers would have different forms
because the information they were after differed, as
One day we were at a meeting in the Medical Department
of a large manufacturing company. Three occupational
health physicians were present. An argument ensued over
which physical history and physical exam forms to use;
each doctor wanted “his” form used. So, depending on
which physician an employee was to see, a different
health history questionnaire would be used and, of
course, different information would be collected.
This was the impetus for our developing the
Questionnaires Module. The one module can handle
physical history, physical exam and any other kinds of
questionnaires. You may have multiple version of a
questionnaire. You can build questionnaires for
wellness, lifestyle and any other medical information.
The Questionnaires Module can also be used by other
DataPipe users for safety audits, accident
investigations, environmental surveys, industrial
hygiene field studies and literally any other kind of
information collection need. Because the information is
entered into DataPipe, with its integrated database for
all EH&S information, the data entered into a
questionnaire can be distributed to other DataPipe
To put, say, a health history from into DataPipe you’d
enter each question into the appropriate from in
DataPipe (Questions). Order (at this point) doesn’t
matter. In fact, if you’ve previously entered questions
you want to use again in other questionnaires you can do
so without re-entering them. You also choose the “type”
of each question; date, time, numeric, single or
multiple choice, logical, lookup (validates against a
DataPipe table), Employee (validates against Personnel)
and free-form text.
You build a questionnaire by assembling the questions in
the order you want them asked. If you want to have
sections in the questionnaire that are skipped based on
the user’s choice (e.g., answering “Do you smoke?” could
cause the questionnaire to skip over all questions about
smoking if answered “No.”) you can use “logical”
questions to “branch” to or around additional questions.
Questionnaires are then completed on-line in
DataPipe by selecting the questionnaire and filling in
the information on a question by question basis.
There are a couple of variations on how you might have
people fill in questionnaires.
If they questionnaire is relatively simple, you could
have the questions on a Web page for someone to fill in.
Perhaps a week before they’re due in to the clinic for
an annual physical you have DataPipe send them an e-mail
with a link to a Web page for them to fill in a current
physical history form. When completed the information is
inserted into DataPipe, where it becomes ready for
viewing by the medical staff.
We’ve all probably filled in a physical history form and
thought “They’re asking me the same stuff as last year.
Why do I have to go over the same questions again and
A variation to the on-line form described above would be
to show the employee/patient the answers they provided
last time and let them make additions or changes to the
data, saving the results as a new set of questionnaire
answers (this way the history of their answers is
There is also an optional component for the
Questionnaires Module that lets questionnaires developed
in DataPipe be downloaded to a PDA (specifically, a
Windows Pocked PC-type PDA), where they may be filled in
as needed. A field person could have various
questionnaires pre-loaded onto his or her PDA, and
select the one needed for an inspection, audit, sample
collection job or whatever else is encountered. Each
“master” questionnaire loaded onto the PDA can be copied
and filled in as many times as needed (well, up to the
memory limits in the PDA). When done, the PDA is docked
with a computer and the results uploaded into DataPipe.
At that point the information is in the DataPipe
database just as if someone had filled in the
questionnaire directly in your DataPipe system.
Typically nurses and doctors who are using
health software will want to administer and track the
data for physical exams, medical exams and medical history
for patients. These are tasks that are easily
handled using the DataPipe
Other Suites within the DataPipe EHS