Friday, May 13, 2011

VGA2USB Used to Interface a Topography

Our last post outlined that it was possible to use Epiphan's VGA2USB device (running for about $300) to interface any device that has a VGA port. Modern day devices can already connect to a network so this might be a bit of overkill if your machine is new. The machine we used, however, is a very old Topography machine. This device is without network connectivity, USB ports, working floppy drive, and the parallel port (which could have been used for a RedTitan interface) is also not working. To top it off, the machine is sporting Windows 95. Finally, purchasing a new topography machine was also not an option.

My only saving grace was that an extra VGA port on the side of the machine was working and mirroring anything on the main display. That's where the VGA2USB comes in. Using this small device, we can display the Topography machine's image on a completely different computer (see image on the right).

Once the hardware is in place, we would only have to write a small application that captures the screen and uploads the image to the NextGen database. Here are some screenshots

VGA Port on the topography side

VGA2USB device in between topography and computer.

USB Cable from the VGA2USB plugged into the computer.

Topography machine's display

Image on Capturing Workstation's Monitor

Captured Image in NextGen EMR

NextGen EMR Image

Monday, May 2, 2011

Image Capture From Older Devices

Capturing images from outside devices can sometimes be a difficult task. Newer versions of most devices support network connectivity as well as some export to PDF or image file functionalities. NextGen provides many successful methods that can integrate the device to capture data into your NextGen EMR system. One such method, the RedTitan PCL to USB device (, captures anything you print as an image on a separate computer. The computer then automatically updates the selected patient's record.

One method I've yet to see anyone employ is a VGA2USB frame grabber such as the Epiphan VGA2USB device. This device captures anything sent to a VGA port  and sends it to a computer via USB. The computer attached to the USB side would have to upload that information into NextGen EMR.

I'm not aware of any software that will automatically upload the info into NextGen EMR, but some of you other developers might find the information useful for the future.

Concatenation of Multiple Lines with a Return Space in Between

The following situation left me scratching my head... A request came in asking that a particular field on a template automatically populate with 2 paragraphs. These two paragraphs would later make their way to an EMR document. The problem, however, was the trouble i had adding a return space in between the paragraphs. The actual return key would not register, neither would control-return. The only solution I found would be to use the FORMAT() function to place a return space in between two strings. The result would look like this:

And here's how to make that happen:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thank You Viewing!

NextGen's family of products offers an incredible amount of functionality, customization and innovation. As a result, there is usually more than one way to complete a task within the system. The purpose of this blog is to provide you with articles and videos that build your NextGen toolbox for stronger and more stable customizations. Thank you again for showing interest in this blog, I'm looking forward to providing useful information!