What kind of Database program to use to sort out information


At my work our surgeons digitally record a lot of their surgeries.  One of the doctors would like to have a system where he has all of his patients in a database and be able to sort with specific categories.  Categories such as:

- Year
- Right Leg
- Left Leg
- ACL Reconstruction
- Meniscus repair
- etc.

Then the database should report which patients meet that search criteria.  In theory that should also help him find the videos that he is looking for.  The videos that are associated with that patient or procedure.  Probably where the videos are stored and so forth.

I would think that Microsoft Access should be able to do this.  What do you think?

If he wanted the database to actually store the videos (associated with the patient) as well, that may be more tricky.  What will be involved with storing the videos inside the database?
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAsked:
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I do not think you should go with MS access.  I think you should go with a version of SQL Express like SQL 2012 express with management tools.  

You could store your audio files in the database, but it would probably work better for you to store them in a network share or locally and write in the location of the specific file in the database.  It is an easier task to accomplish without programming skills.

The management studio can provide the basis to retrieve your data or you can setup reports to be created from the data with 3rd party applications (ie Crystal reports, etc)

Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
You could easily do this with Access, assuming you don't store the audio files in the database. You can also use SQL Server (or any other database) and link your Access FE with that database.

You'd have to have some method for the user to apply the "tags" for each video, so I'd think you'd have a table to store the information about the video (i.e. the Date, WhereTaken, etc) and then a related table to store the tags. From there, you could simply have a form that allows users to enter/select Tags, and you'd search on the TagTable to locate videos with those tags.
David AndersTechnician Commented:
Filemaker can do this.  A thirty day trial is available.  
The trial has many Starter Databases included.
http://forums.filemaker.com  is a community help forum.

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Andrew AngellCo-Owner / DeveloperCommented:
For this sort of thing I would second the FileMaker recommendation.  With the others you would typically build a database and then also develop some software that works in conjunction with that database.  FileMaker will allow you to sort of handle both of those things together.

You could get this sort of thing put together very quickly in FileMaker.
Jeff DarlingDeveloper AnalystCommented:
I would also recommend SQL Server.  If you do decide to use Microsoft Access, make frequent backups because Access tends to become corrupt and will need to be restored from backup.
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
To be clear:

A database is simply a container where you store data. As other have suggested, SQL Server is a good choice for this, as would be any server-type database (or the ACE engine, which is a file-based database engine that Access uses by default).

However, you're also asking about UI functionality (i.e. "Then the database should report which patients meet that search criteria."). SQL Server won't do that unless your users are adept at writing queries in SQL Server Management Studio (and that's somewhat far-fetched to assume they can).

In terms of UI, you could use any number of development environments to create those sorts of interfaces. MS Access can easily interact with SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, etc etc - or as mentioned previously, you can use the Microsoft ACE database

make frequent backups because Access tends to become corrupt
The vast majority of corruption in Access occurs due to poor planning on the part of the developer, or a faulty environment. Server-based databases are typically more fault tolerant, but categorically stating that "Access tends to become corrupt" is simply wrong. Used correctly, and in the correct environment, Access is stable and fast. Used incorrectly - for example, as a website database, across a wireless connection or WAN - you'll very likely have troubles. That's not the fault of Access, but rather the developer.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:

I do not think the doctor will want to take the time to learn SQL Scripting, this is for his personal collection; hence, it is not an official work function.  Perhaps using SQL Server is not such a great idea.

Perhaps MS Access and a field to state where everything is located.  i will look into what Filemaker has to offer as well.
Andrew AngellCo-Owner / DeveloperCommented:
I really think FileMaker is going to be your best bet here.  It combines the database creation and UI creation to make it very simple to build full solutions.
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
I think Access is a better solution than FileMaker, especially if you already have experience with Access (or VBA of any flavor).
David AndersTechnician Commented:
Jeff DarlingDeveloper AnalystCommented:
If working with personal info, you might want to consider looking into HIPAA Compliant encryption also.

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