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mlcktmguyFlag for United States of America

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Waiting Room Application

I have been developing Access apps for many years but this request is uniique to me although I am certain it is common in the real world.

An exisitng client of mine has asked for a quote on a waiting room app with three stations. I understand the logic for each of the individual stations but I'm not sure how to 'pass' information from the check in station to the two others in a real time way. All three stations are on the same local network.

Station One: will be the patient check in.  As the patient arrives we recognize who they are and  ask them to confirm their appointment time.  

Station Two is the receptionist office.  When the patient checks in on station one the receptionsist should receive a notification of this check-in.  The notification should be in the form of a screen popup.  The best analogy I can think of is the way that MS Outlook notifies you of a new email message arriving to your Inbox but I would prefer not to do it by sending an email from station one.  Maybe it will end up being the best solution but it just seems so lo-tech and is dependant on Outlook being turned on.  It is also dependant on the user logged in to the sattion which will change from day to day and even throughout the day.

Station Three: A large display monitor in the office waiting room showing the waiting patients the order that the patients will be taken in.  Any given patient will know the number of patients in front of them.


Questions:
When a patient checks in on station one, how is the message sent to station two that they have arrived?  I know I can send an email using the sendobject command but that doesn't seem like what they really want.  One way I see of implementing this is to have an app running on station two that monitors a particular area on the server for new activity.  When it sees new activity it puts a pop up on the screen.  Can this monitoring app be created in Access?  Once again this really seems lo tech and I'm hoping there are better ways.

How does station three become aware of new patient check in and update the monitor displaty?

Station two can also make changes to the schedule which should update the monitor display.

Looking for some genral ideas on how to do this, the more the better.  I realize there is no 'right' and 'wrong' way of implementing this but I am hoping for some ideas.  I know this had been done before.
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Aaron Tomosky
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Thanks to all for your input