Electronic Obstetric Record System
We describe an open-source electronic obstetric record system (EORS) using the World Wide Web. The use of the Internet and the hypertext markup language (HTML), the language used in web-based programming, has simplified the transfer of information across various computer platforms (such as PCs, Apple Macintosh, and Unix). This allows data to be shared among various users regardless of computer system. Why use open-source software? Open-source software is available for anyone to use, and the software can be modified for specific tasks. The open-source community promotes software reliability and quality by supporting independent peer review and rapid evolution of programs. Similarly, improvements to the EORS can be made by clinicians working in the obstetric field.
Methods: PostgreSQL is a free database manager using the Structured Query Language interface. PHP Hypertext Preprocessor can create dynamic HTML integrating the database with a web page. Apache Web Server is a web server modified to use PHP directly. The operating system used is Linux (SuSE 6.1, kernel 2.2.12). The hardware used includes the following: PC, with an AMD K-6 233-MHz processor chip, 64 megabytes of RAM, 6.1-gigabyte hard drive, Linksys 10/100 PCI Ethernet card, and an ATI videocard.
Conclusions: The creation of an open-source EORS provides the obstetric community with easy access to patient records at anytime of the day, regardless of location, office hours, or staffing concerns. The EORS is freely distributed, and the software can be placed on any available PC. Future enhancements would include improving the look and feel of the HTML interface, security features for both within the office and on the Internet, and the ability to modify a database based on the individual clinician’s practice.
A paper by Frank Y. Mukaida MD and Steve G. Fettinger MD published online on Obstetrics and Gynecology on 20 March 2000
linuxselfhelp.com review: http://www.linuxselfhelp.com/HOWTO/Medicine-HOWTO/record.html which also notes the the last update is unclear.