The UnitedChart software has been designed to support many computing environments.
The software is written in portable C++, a powerful object-oriented computer language. Software portability allows the same code to execute in varied systems.
UnitedChart transfers data between distributed systems. The data is stored portably so that it can be exchanged between systems with differing hardware, operating systems, and data base managers.
A client is a version of the UnitedChart software tailored to run in a specific computing environment. Clients will be developed as new environments appear. A list of the current clients follows.
The graphical user interface (GUI) is the primary interface in use today, having superseded text-based interfaces in the early 1990s. UnitedChart GUI clients are available for Windows NT, Windows 95/98, Windows 3.1, and DOS. At this time only Microsoft operating systems are supported by the UnitedChart GUI client. To support Linux and UNIX, the UnitedChart GUI client will be ported to X-windows. Until then, the UnitedChart Web client must be used on non-Microsoft platforms. The GUI client is web enabled so that it can communicate with web servers across local area networks and the internet.
For many reasons, the web server/browser model is the next generation user interface. The web client can be used in two ways:
The Palm VII is a facinating device. While not a substitute for a computer, due to its lack of a keyboard, it offers powerful remote access capabilities. With this shirt pocket-size device, doctors can access their patients' clinical charts from most areas in the US. Any changes get synchronized back to the local system at their health care institution.
Many modern cell phones now include a "mini-browser" developed by Unwired Planet, Inc. The phone client allows doctors to run the medical system from the face of their cell phone. Again, any changes get synchronized back to the local system at their health care institution.
Microsoft Word client
Due to compatibility and integration issues, Microsoft Word has become the dominant word processor. Since most medical dictation is now done through Microsoft Word, a client has been developed so that users can create documents from information in the medical system, and save documents to the medical system, without ever leaving Word. Time-saving features, like automatic typing of the current medicine list, should significantly increase dictationist efficiency. The Microsoft Word client operates in two modes.
Netscape Navigator client
The Netscape navigator client (plug-in) performs automated transfers of medical records between local systems and the internet repository.
The CGI (Common Gateway Interface) client runs silently behind the scenes on a web server. It supports all of the above clients by generating web pages and performing data transfers.