Using Visual WebGui, 1 Programmer Internally Develops Web Based EDP for Hospital in Just 1 Year

The Klinikum Ingolstadt is a hospital in the middle of Bavaria, Germany, that provides medical service in all categories of the mainstream medicine (Care Level 3). The Klinikum has 1,200 beds and over 3,000 employees.

A well-functioning EDP is the alpha and omega for the treatment of patients in a hospital. Each investigation is recorded electronically and is available for the treating physicians at any time and place. This allows recording and evaluating patient data at the bedside to the satisfaction of the patients and the physicians. Unfortunately, in some areas of the medicine, Doctors and nurses often have to work with complicated software that doesn't meet the needs of the users, or do not offer such interfaces to expand the software by the required functions.

In intensive care units, where doctors are constantly pressed for time, it is essential to have an intuitive and after all flexible patient-management-system. ICUs record information alongside the "normal" patient data, that isn't covered by most hospitals information systems. This data accrues only in intensive care areas and are exclusively used by them. For these reasons, The Klinikum developed the doSys software.

The previous version of doSys based on a MS Access 2003 database and was no longer able to meet the ever-growing demands of The Klinikum intensive care units and it was needed to be replaced with an updated solution. Since an off the shelf alternative doesn't exist and a specific solution by an external software house would overrun the budget it was decided to enhance the software in-house.

One of the main problems of the old version of doSys was the fact that only machines with Office Professional installed on them were able to start the program and manage patients. Thus it was required that the new software provide access to the program from any PC, regardless of the software being installed on it.

Another aspect that had to be taken in consideration in the implementation of the new version was to be able to remain with the graphical user interface of the old one. This was a crucial requirement since changing the UI as opposed to leaving the familiar interface means that users would need to be retrained to using the system and spend valuable time on getting used to it.

The Klinikum development team had already realized several software solutions by using the .NET-Framework before and it was decided to develop a web application based on ASP.NET. Unfortunately, the team found out that an ASP.NET application cannot be realized as easy as a WindowsForms application. The lack of experience in developing with ASP also contributed to those difficulties.

In the beginning of 2008 an article brought Visual WebGui to their attention and after evaluating it the team realized the with Visual WebGui it was possible to develop the graphical user interface within the shortest time by designing the Forms with a drag and drop designer.

"By developing the application like a WinForms application, we didn't have to make any compromises in the implementation of the look and feel of the previous MS Access version of doSys", said Michael Schaller, Chief Developer of doSysIII. "The biggest advantages was to create own controls by simply deriving a class from Gizmox. WebGUI.Forms.UserControl. Hereby, we were able to create specialized controls to fit all the information that a physician has to know after a single view on the control."

Developing an application in ASP.NET requires knowing .NET languages as well as a rich knowledge in HTML and ASP and otherwise a sophisticated session management to realize complex applications over multiple pages. Another disadvantage of using pure ASP.NET is that there is no chance to provide data to the user after the page load event was fired.

Visual WebGui is a rich internet applications platform that overcomes all these difficulties while developing fully interactive applications that are accessed over the web. In addition, Visual WebGui amazingly proved that "a single programmer is capable of creating a web application without the need of having any experience in HTML, ASP, JavaScript or AJAX" as stated by the Chief Developer of the doSysIII project.

Besides creating the database and the .NET-Remoting DataLayer, which receives the patient data from the database and encapsulates it to classes passed to the GUI, the implementation of the graphical user interface took The Klinikum less than three months by assigning only one developer.

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