Prison Pete

Friday, June 19, 2009
  Two Things.
I know how you dislike me asking you to do "things" for me but there are two things that I would really appreciate your assistance with.

The first is do you remember that book I recommended to you with the love letters in it. I think it was by Robert Fulghum. The first letter was written from one second grader to another and then read at their wedding. One of the last stories was about a woman and her couch and how she got others to help her move it. I think they are both in the same book but I know the first story is the book I am looking for.

There is a guy here, only 20 years old, who for some unknown reason has taken to talking to me a lot about his struggles. At times I get the feeling I am speaking to a thirty something guy. Weird. Ironically he personally knows several of the officers here and one of our regular ones is only a few years older than him and knows the same people on the street. I do plenty of listening and he usually seeks me out versus me chasing him. Anyhow he has shared a bunch of romance novels with me, and he and his wife sort of share the books and underline parts they can relate to. And I get to read those books. Very strange.

Anyhow, the point is as we have been talking, the hove letter book popped into my head as something he and his wife could relate to. Boy to be that young and in love with the type of girl he has. So mushy Yuck. HA HA Yeah I am jealous as hell. Of course I had that with Karen, but was too stupid to know any better.

So my thought is, if you could at the least remember the full title and author, that would be a start, I remember at one point it was in Hamilton, but I do not think I have seen it lately. If you could possibly send me the book, either a used one via the web or the one you have that would be great. I do not remember what happened to my copy; either I may have sent it to Bobbielou or lent it to another inmate and it was not returned. That is it, I lent it out. Drat. Okay that is the first thing.

The second is to see what you can easily find out about the veteran's medical record software. One of the latest medical records articles said eight in 10 doctors still do not have an electronic records system in place. As I recall, since the veteran's software was paid for with tax dollars,

What I was trying to write was that I thought the NYT article said you were able to get both the application and the source. The most recent article mentioned that it was still too expensive for the average doctor to install a system. But what would happen if first of all one had access to a whole bunch of free source code. Then as I used to do, were able to install a system in stages, so that you did not need to sock a prospective client with a $150,000 plus start up fee. No with access to source, you could attack specific areas one by one, adding both training and hardware as needed.

For example, the first use of the system would be to put in current info only as patients some in, maybe only general health stars. Then you could add the Lab work module, pharmacy script writing, referrals, and eventually electronic storage of X-rays etc.

The orthopedist I go to has his x-ray machines directly wired into the computer no films at all. The ear nose and throat doctor had the voice input option on their network. But I would think that for a small office, one could get the doctor started for less than $10,000 and than add features and hardware over time. One service that could be provided would be trained data entry clerks to upload history files or maybe just offer seminars to train people of the doctor's choosing. The thing why I this is doable is the way Obama keeps talking about the whole electronic records thing is going to be part of the stimulus money he keeps doling out.

So to recap, do you get source code, if so what language is used. At this point I assume once you knew the file layouts you could even use a product like Access to develop custom interfaces. Ideally what I am thinking is how much you could port over to a Lunix system and then eliminate all cost for operating system and runtime licenses.

I am dreaming here to be sure, but I am thinking about building a grass roots tech force where the initial installations are done by less trained individuals, and as the doctor increases the use of the system, more experienced tech people take over. I am thinking you could build a non college educated tech force, supervised by properly educated to support them. With all the low price storage devices available, I can see basically building a prototype growth path, with a clear path of what each step would cost both in additional hardware and staff training time. In addition what support services are available and what their cost is.

Of course the two biggest issues on the good news bad news see saw that is my life. Good news I am willing to put in a whole bunch of sweat equity, and work for cheap. The bad news is convincing my parole office that I am not a threat to have access to some computer hardware. But first I need to see what resources are available so if this VA stuff is really any good at all, think about what a goldmine that could be. I do recall that the VA package was a success.
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