RE: Computer based records

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From:Tim Morken <>
Date:Tue, 22 Jun 1999 07:52:50 EDT
Content-Type:text/plain; format=flowed

Margaret and Cynthia,

For a small operation it is feasable to set up our own database using one of 
several database programs. I've used Filemaker Pro (Filemaker Corp, and Microsoft Access to do this. There are other 
programs out there as well. Filmaker fully is relational, very easy to use, 
requires no programming experience (it has an easy-to-learn scripting 
utility instead), is cross-platform (Mac-PC) and is relatively cheap. Access 
is powerful, (not more so than Filemaker, however) but it requires knowledge 
of Visual Basic coding to make it work well and is expensive. If you have to 
hire a programmer to do the coding it is very expensive. Both programs can 
import and export a variety of file types.

We are using Access here to develop our sections' database and have 
developed the capability of integrating everything from specimen entry, 
block logs, experiment records, antibody and probe information on through 
final reporting. Our goal is to have a system in which information is 
entered once and is then used whenever necessary for anything we may do. We 
have about 20 people working in this program on networked machines.

One problem we are having with this is that it is difficult to get our 
various machine to talk to each other. The cassette labeler, slide etcher 
and immuno stainers all have their own computers with different software 
needs. We are working to integrate all of them into one system.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: "margaret blount" <>
To: histonet <>
Subject: FW: RE: Computer based records
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 09:41:52 +0100

Dear Cynthia and all histonetters,

I enclose a brief synopsis of the replies I received to my enquiry about
computer based records:

In Australia the following systems are available - McDonnell Douglas, Baxter
and Medipath, the comments being that the McDonnel Douglas was the least 
friendly and Medipath the most user friendly allowing the user to adapt it 
their own specific requirements. This correspondent recommended speaking to
local labs to find out their experience, which I would suggest is a very 

Another correspondent uses Microsoft Access and has adapted it to her own
requirements and it can beused to generate bar code labels but requires
additional software and a printer to do so.

I hope I have summarised the remarks correctly, if anyone wishes to add

Margaret Blount
Unilever Research

-----Original Message-----
From:	Cynthia Favara []
Sent:	Monday, June 21, 1999 3:27 PM
To:	'margaret blount'
Subject:	RE: Computer based records

	Have you gotten any replies on this. I use Word Perfect and it
alright for the small numbers that I do here. I have a data base set up to
record the histology numbers and all the information I need for projects. I
merge this data to make labels and to write experimental protocols. The
biggest p[roblem I have is that I can not use macros in the data base so
entering is very time consuming.
	I would be interested in anything you have found that would be
simplify my life here.

Cynthia Favara
Rocky Mountain Laboratories
903 S 4th Street
Hamilton, MT 59840
ph: 406-363-9317
FAX: 406-363-9286

 > ----------
 > From: 	margaret blount[]
 > Sent: 	Thursday, June 10, 1999 6:44 AM
 > To: 	histonet
 > Subject: 	Computer based records
 > <<File: ATT07765.ATT>>
 > Dear Histonetters,
 > I am running a small histology service laboratory in industrial research.
 > To
 > date our records have been maintained on paper. Does anyone have any
 > advice to
 > offer about suitable databases for recording accession numbers, type of
 > blocks,
 > sections required, etc for a histology service? Would such databases be
 > able to
 > generate bar coded labels and would this be appropriate? At the moment 
 > service is small but it is expanding and I would want any database to be
 > able
 > to cope with such expansion. The paper based records work, but we are all
 > encouraged to look at electronic based tools  and I would anticipate 
 > able
 > to archive results, reports and photographs or at least references to
 > their
 > whereabouts within the same database. Are there such databases about and
 > what
 > do histotechs feel about them?
 > I look forward to your replies.
 > Thanks a lot
 > Margaret
 > Margaret Blount
 > Colworth House
 > Unilever Research
 > Beds
 > UK

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