Registration - Computer station inside rear side door

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Registration of patients in the database/computers

Patients enter the clinic through a side door. At computer terminals, they are registered, and a routing slip is generated and printed. The patient, and routing slip, is then sent to Chart preparation.


Patients are organized outside into groups based on their status and needs. Volunteers line these patients along the wall just outside the door. The door is guarded by a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper makes sure no patients enter the registration area unless all of the following conditions are met:

  • the patient (or parent) has filled out two forms; a patient data form with name and address information, and a medical history form
  • there is a free computer at which the patient can be registered

Assuming that both of the above conditions are met, the gatekeeper will direct the patient to the free computer terminal.


There are 3 eMac computers located just inside the door. Each Macintosh has Safari and Firefox web browsers installed; generally, volunteers will use Firefox but if they prefer, Safari can be used instead. The Macs are all running Mac OS X Tiger, and users must login to use the computer.

The Mac OS X login user name is volunteer, and the password is volunteer.

The database and registration software is all Internet based. There are plans to locate the servers within the clinic to help avoid downtime due to lack of Internet access, though in general, the access has been mostly reliable for the past few years.

Firefox's default page is The main registration page is located here. The page has several menu options, one of them, Patients, is used for registration.

Use of the system requires the volunteer to login to the database. The username is "registration". The password changes from clinic to clinic. The password will be reset immediately after the clinic to protect patient data from access between clinics.

When a patient arrives at the computer, he or she will have two forms, one containing general address information, the other containing medical history. Both of these forms will be completely filled out; the patient is not allowed into the building otherwise.

The patient will be either new or returning. Volunteers at the computer terminals should assume all patients are returning, and follow this steps:

  • search for the patient using the "Search, Modify, Delete" menu item. It is important to make a best effort to locate the patient in the database. If the patient is in the database already, and you fail to find him or her, and you add a new record for the patient, the database will contain duplicates. See Search Tips for hints on how to find patients accurately in the database.
  • if the patient is found, click on the edit button. if the patient is not found, return to the Patients page and click the "Add New" menu item. Regardless of whether the patient is new or returning, this should leave you in a form that can be used to modify or enter patient information
  • enter the patient information, using the data on the form provided by the patient. If the patient is returning, verify the information on the screen matches that on the form, and make any necessary corrections. Once the form is filled in, hit the Submit button at the bottom of the page

Once the submit button has been clicked, a screen will be displayed that verifies the patient has been entered or updated, and a link will also be given allowing you to register the patient. Click this link, and you will be presented by a screen that displays the clinic location and date, with defaults set for the current clinic. Submitting this form will register the patient, and display a confirmation page. One final step remains, printing the routing slip. A link on the confirmation page, "Print routing slip", when clicked, will display a Mac OS X print dialog. The printer is located immediately behind the computers, and will be automatically selected in the print dialog. Use the Mac OS X print dialog to start printing the routing slip. The routing slip should be retrieved from the printer, and then passed to charts.

Monitoring Registrations

The computers and charting process usually runs from around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. until early afternoon. When things are clicking, it usually takes 2 to 3 minutes to process each patient. Given we see about 100 patients, this translates into an end time near 2 p.m.

Progress can be following by signing on to the database, clicking here:

and then selecting the clinic date from the popup menu, and hitting submit. You should see about 20 or so registrations an hour if things are moving smoothly.

What to do if the computers are down

  • Check cables. Despite best efforts, sometimes the power cord to the router on the floor below the computers gets kicked out. The computers should be directly connected to the incoming line from the ISP via a router. There is wireless access in the building, but it is not used for the printer nor for the registration computers.
  • If the cables are ok, then perhaps the ISP is down. Contact Bob Chalfa and have him contact the ISP for help.

While computers are down, don't shred the patient registration forms filled out by patients. Use these forms to get or make charts, and then save them in a pile somewhere. Charts will have to manually make routing slips. Once computers are back up, volunteers can enter these patients from the forms, the only difference in all this is that we must manually make routing slips for the patient instead of having them generated during the registration process.

Chart preparation

Currently, all cleft palate patients folders are filed alphabetically and kept in cardboard boxes on top of a counter next to the computers.

On Fridays, volunteers who arrive early help file all folders that are returned to this area that have not been filed from the previous clinic.

The folders from patients that had surgery last clinic are obtained and a list is made of these names. The list is given to the ladies of the Ensenada Rotary working with the patients outside the building. These names are called out throughout the day for follow-up surgical exams. The charts are kept on the counter, in the chart area, in alphabetical order for prompt access. All charts from the surgery patients who do not come to the current clinic are filed with all other charts.

Blank charts are prepared for new patients by placing xray stickers and clinic stickers in the center, on top of each chart.

Owner and Alternates

Sign on to the volunteer website and click here to view.

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