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Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Internal Medicine Bedside Ultrasound (IMBUS) Program Transforms Patient Care With FileMaker Software Solution On iPhone

For nearly 200 years the stethoscope has reigned as the primary diagnostic tool for physicians. But bedside ultrasound scanning, performed by a physician using a portable ultrasound device, is quickly becoming an essential tool for the efficient diagnosis and treatment of patients within leading-edge hospitals. Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn., is leading this charge.

The technology improves bedside diagnostic accuracy and efficiency. And, in contrast to the CT scan, x-ray or other imaging tests that expose patients to radiation, portable ultrasound does not have any harmful bio-effects.

Through a custom FileMaker database solution built with help from FileMaker developer Tim Cimbura using the FileMaker Platform and FileMaker Go for iPhone, the leading Minneapolis hospital’s Internal Bedside Medicine Residency Program (IMBUS) has made big strides in the training of its medical residents using bedside ultrasound exams.

Physicians previously used 5x7 index cards to record results. If the cards were lost or misplaced, the information from the day’s studies sometimes went unrecorded. But now, they simply use FileMaker Go for iPhone to access an IMBUS tracking application hosted by FileMaker Server software. Because most of the hospital’s physicians also use iPhone as a pager, it is always handy. And with a few taps, they can record the results of each exam, which are sent wirelessly to the FileMaker Server via Abbott Northwestern’s campus-wide network.

The FileMaker IMBUS solution:

  • Ensures that physicians are trained, evaluated and credentialed in the most rigorous fashion possible
  • Records bedside ultrasound exam results in real time
  • Paves the way for introducing a vital new examination tool into general practice for improved patient care

“We considered Microsoft Access and a set of Excel spreadsheets, but that approach was not nearly as intuitive or scalable. FileMaker offered very easy integration with iPhone. Also, we previously had good experience with FileMaker for our physical exam database in the residency program. Based on that success, we felt FileMaker was the best choice for IMBUS.”

- Dr. David Tierney, director of IMBUS Program, Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency Program

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About FileMaker, Inc.

FileMaker is the leader in easy-to-use database software. Millions of people, from individuals to some of the world's largest companies, rely on FileMaker software to manage, analyze and share essential information. The company's products are the FileMaker line - versatile database software for teams and organizations, for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and the web - and Bento, the personal database for Mac, iPhone and iPad. FileMaker, Inc. is a subsidiary of Apple.

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