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Intelligent searching of value lists when trying to enter data

Question asked by MattMcMillan on Apr 1, 2015
Latest reply on Apr 1, 2015 by philmodjunk

Title

Intelligent searching of value lists when trying to enter data

Post

Hi,

We are making a database for anaesthetic procedures in a veterinary hospital. The problem is that there are a huge amount of options for things like surgical procedures (>500) and breeds of dog (>200). We also need an open value list that people can add to, as we are always doing new procedures.

Basically my concern is that the same data may be entered in many different ways (e.g. we use a lot of acronyms for procedures THR for "Total Hip Replacement" so people may try to enter it in shorthand as well as in full, and "repair fractured femur" or "femoral fracture repair" would be two potential ways to enter data for exactly the same procedure). I really don't want people to enter a new procedure for example because they couldn't find the one they were looking for quickly.

We have developed conditional value lists say for orthopaedic surgery and abdominal surgery which helps to a degree but there are still a lot of options per conditional value list. Subsequently searching for the correct procedure is a little too time consuming. We could add extra layers of conditional tables but this makes it a little cumbersome and, as we are gathering a huge amount of data, rapid entry will be key to ensure complete compliance. 

What I would like is to have "Total Hip Replacement (THR)" in the value list and be able to put "THR" or "total" or "hip" or "replacement" into the data entry field and still get "Total Hip Replacement (THR)" as well as any other procedures that contain these words e.g. "Valve replacement" for "replacement" or "Repair fractured hip" for "hip". 

At the moment I can only seem to get "Total Hip Replacement (THR)" by entering "Tot...." i.e. entering exactly the first few letters of the option.

It appears that when searching the database that this sort of intelligent searching can be done but I am not sure whether it can be done at the data entry point.

Can anyone help me out or advise me on whether this is possible?

Thanks,

Matt

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