After a 4 month hiatus, I think it's time to start blogging again. I've had a great term working for RL Solutions, a company that makes risk and feedback management software for hospitals. It is inevitable that healthcare practitioners will make some mistakes. These incidents can range from very serious(think: adverse drug reactions), or very mild (patient left without checking out). Several studies report around 1 000 000 injuries a year, with anywhere from 45 000 to 90 000 deaths from medical errors (more info here and here). The idea is that health care institutions use software to log their errors, and run reports to learn and find ways to improve patient safety. For example, one study found that there were roughly 10% more medical incidents in the month of July. This so-called July effect seemed to be caused by new hospital staff starting in July.
The specific stuff I worked on was several .NET applications that take this incident information in our system, convert them to something similar to the HL7 CDA, and then send them securely to Patient Safety Organizations(PSOs). These PSOs then do some more powerful data mining and analysis on this data and give more detailed reports to the senders. There's also some more boring legal reasons why hospitals might want to send data to PSOs, but I won't talk about them now (Short story: incidents reported to PSOs can't be used against the hospitals in law).
This term, I had the privilege of reading through more massive spec documents that make little sense. I really wish they were better written. :/ Another new thing this term was using XSLT to do data conversions, and practice writing very thorough automated tests. The term itself was really fun, since this is the first time I got to work with a bunch of co-ops in a "co-op pen". The environment is also mega relaxed and fun, with PMs handing out beers once a week for no reason during work. :) There was also a David's Tea close by where everyone got to know us very well. :P All in all, it was a very fun and educational term.
Other notable things this term include me finishing Doctor Who. It's easily become my favorite show, and I'm disappointed that it took me this long to watch it. I'm currently downloading all the old episodes to see how comparatively awful they are. :P I also finally watched all of Arrested Development. I should have checked out that show much earlier too.
Next term should also be quite busy. I have 4 courses this semester (Testing, Requirements, Security :) , and DB Implementations), as well as part time development work for Karos Health and maybe even REAP too. Hopefully I'm not too busy with all that. :)