Solutions

FileMaker Pro Charts Course for Better Child Health
Learn how the Institute for Child Development at the State University of New York uses FileMaker Pro to simplify development and manage data to improve services for childhood disorders.

SUNY

Providing services to help children with autism and related disorders is a data–intensive endeavor. From gathering clinical information to documenting each child's progress, the Institute for Child Development at the State University of New York relies on FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker, Inc.

Overview

  • Service, research and training facility focusing on the causes and treatment of autism and related disorders
  • Approximately 50 employees, with 90 graduate and undergraduate students each semester
  • Runs FileMaker Pro databases for clinical, research and administrative functions

Industry

  • Higher Education

Solutions

  • FileMaker Pro 11

Benefits

  • Created customized database solutions without having to hire dedicated programming staff
  • Supported better patient care
  • Enabled rapid development
  • Leveraged charting in FileMaker Pro 11 to share clinical findings and child progress

What's amazing about FileMaker Pro is that just two of us—neither formally trained in programming—can tailor tools and create PHP scripts to meet ICD's unique needs. We wouldn't even attempt that with any other database solution out there.

— Dr. Raymond G. Romanczyk, Founder and Director, Institute of Child Development

Business Challenge

Providing a wide range of clinical, educational and diagnostic services to children with autism and related disorders, the Institute for Child Development (ICD) at the Department of Psychology of the State University of New York at Binghamton is an important center for research and training. Programs and studies at the Institute help pave the way for new treatments and forge a greater understanding of the causes of childhood disorders.

In helping children, the ICD processes large volumes of data — patient records, case histories and extensive background information as well as the routine, day–to–day administrative material a busy clinical and research organization generates. The information must be stored for ready access, and research data must be available for analysis, cross checking and presentation to staff members. Daily routines require comprehensive scheduling, preparation of program materials and report generation.

"We do everything from providing intensive educational services to children and their parents to training clinicians and students to assist children with autism spectrum disorders," says Dr. Raymond Romanczyk, founder and director of ICD. "We also provide diagnostic and early intervention services as well as conducting our Social Learning Center facility where children can safely learn and play."

Successful Solution

A centralized FileMaker Pro database system handles the information related to all of these tasks. "We've used FileMaker Pro since the beginning," says Romanczyk. "FileMaker Pro is the engine that drives all of our activities."

Among the most interesting uses of FileMaker Pro is storage of clinical information. Staff members record detailed data about each child in the program — data that can include audio and video components as well as text, all stored in FileMaker Pro. From the database, the information is processed and made available at the touch of a button for projection on a large screen during staff meetings. "With FileMaker Pro, we can pull up every combination of clinical results from a week ago, a year ago or three years ago," says Romanczyk. "We can analyze cases with great specificity and interactivity — with all the information we need available at the click of a button."

With FileMaker Pro, we can pull up every combination of clinical results from a week ago, a year ago or three years ago. We can analyze cases with great specificity and interactivity — with all the information we need available at the click of a button.

— Dr. Raymond G. Romanczyk, Founder and Director, Institute of Child Development

ICD is currently transitioning to FileMaker Pro 11, a move Romanczyk welcomes due to its support for charting. "When we meet with families, it will be so helpful to show them the information related to their child as charts and graphs — to give them a visual picture versus just showing them numbers on a page," he says. "We are very excited about the ability to graph and chart test results, monthly norms and other gauges of each child's progress."

Instructional materials for use in classroom settings are also generated in FileMaker Pro and printed for distribution with a minimum of effort. Program staff uses custom FileMaker Pro PHP scripts running on Apple iPod touch devices to collect information on the fly for uploading into the main database. Staff can use their mobile devices running FileMaker Pro to record clinical activities when providing services to clients, eliminating paperwork and streamlining follow–up activities such as accounting. Mobile functionality in FileMaker Pro is also used in the field to help training supervisors track and record student progress. FileMaker Pro even plays a role in program security and payroll with a barcode scanner connected to the personnel database checking the ID badges of employees reporting for work.

"What's amazing about FileMaker Pro is that just two of us — neither formally trained in programming — can tailor tools and create PHP scripts to meet ICD's unique needs," says Romanczyk. "We wouldn't even attempt that with any other database solution out there."

Customer Benefits

FileMaker Pro drives efficiencies across the organization that make it possible to provide services such as free screening clinics. Through support for multiple tables in FileMaker Pro, Romanczyk and his team can take on different tasks — interviewing parents to obtain the child's history, going over questionnaire results or observing the child's behavior. The information gathered by different clinicians can be easily collated in FileMaker Pro Server for everyone's access.

"Several times a year, we conduct free screenings," says Romanczyk. "It literally would not be economically feasible for us to offer free services without the ability to split the workload and then unite the information in FileMaker Pro."

Romanczyk summarizes the benefits of using FileMaker Pro in two words: flexibility and cost. "Our in–house development costs are extremely low, and we don't have to pay dedicated programmers," he says. "FileMaker Pro always seems to provide a way to accomplish what we need. There is also a strong FileMaker community with forums and support. FileMaker Pro is so ubiquitous here that it's almost like our everyday word processor, only much more powerful."

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker, Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Institute for Child Development:

Dr. Raymond G. Romanczyk
Director
Institute for Child Development
607-777-2829
http://icd.binghamton.edu
rromanc@binghamton.edu