Bits & Bytes May, 2000


A while back I wrote about the ABMC created application which was interfaced to ALEXIS to create color coded file folder labels for Radiology and Medical Records. Since then I was asked to help Communications with a problem.

In this case Communications was providing and maintaining printers that produced reports all day long showing the activity associated with Automatic Call Distribution (ACD). There was an ongoing problem with having paper in the printers, paper jams, etc. Too many man hours were being used to support the printing function and the end users were required to review 70 plus pages of information a day to extract the data they wanted. The paper also had to get to the end user!

The answer was another interface, this time to ABMC’s telephone system. I configured an old PC, that was not Y2K compliant, for this task. The PC is connected to the telephone system and each hour the data that would have gone to a printer goes to the PC. My program captures the data and sends it to a dated file. When the date on the report changes the program starts to capture the new data to a new file and e-mails the previous day's data to those that were getting the paper reports.

No more paper costs, no more need for communications to have someone visit the printers to add paper or un-jam the paper. Nobody has to go to the printer to retrieve the reports. The reports are in an electronic form so that they can be searched for particular data or imported into Excel or other program for further analysis.