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Where to begin, process?

Question asked by mistymadisonjo on Mar 3, 2010
Latest reply on Mar 4, 2010 by Jade


Where to begin, process?


I am brand new to FileMaker 10 (currently using the free download until we can decide on what to purchase) and I am tasked with creating a Laboratory Information System for our small lab, but I have no experience besides using Access in the past.  I am a windows user.  I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment and still in planning stages.  I'm not sure where to begin.  I have been reading the user manual and it does have some great information, but still needing some real-life experience.  So I would like to ask the following.


1. In planning a database, is there a logical process flow?  For example, create the database, tables, fields, etc. 

2. Where does the Value Lists, Looked Ups, etc. come into play?  I find myself trying to create something only to get side tracked on having to completely plan and create something else.


Here is the ideal goal.

1. Create a patient database that will summarize all tests completed on an individual patient.

2. Create an accessioning database for each specimen that comes into the laboratory.  Patients may have more than one specimen over a time period and more than one test on a specimen.

3. Create a test result database in order to easily enter and look up test results.  To use this database to populate a printable report.

4. Create a database for tests offered and the canned text that would need to go into the printable report.

5. Create a quality assurance database to track various data and trends from results that were entered (turn around time, test volume, frequency of test results).


Since this may end up being a complex database, would it be prudent to obtain some type of training and if so, what are the suggestions based on the background that I have given.

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.