Summary of

Loma Linda University, School of Dentistry's Computer System

As Designed and Programmed by Gary Shumway

  My initial involvement with Loma LInda University School of Dentistry began in 1978 when the School had three Mini-Tec Terminals (one of which was operational). Since that time I've taken (1978-1986) or help take (1987-1995) the School through three translations (differing version of MIIS - a dialect of MUMPS), six different computers, from 15 routines to nearly 2,000 and from less than a megabyte of data to well over 1.25 gigabytes. The system, as of 1995, supported 70 simultaneous jobs/users with 140+ operators and some 300 students able to directly access the system.  

The system functions I have been solely responsible for (including the analysis, programming, testing, documentation, and user instruction) from 1978 to 1995 include, but are not limited to:

1. Patient Database

  • Patient demographics
  • Retrieval of patient data via patient name soundex, social security number, phone number, Denti-Cal number, student assignment, etc.
  • Medical and drug allergy flags
  • Student (re-)assignment tracking
  • Membership in family groups
  • Inactivation tracking and letter production
  • Patient recall system produces letters and reports by department

2. Appointment scheduling

  • Departmental by student/provider
  • Main Clinic by chair (computer automatically optimally assigns chairs based on department and time)
  • Missed/Canceled appointment tracking

3. Chart Tracking

  • Student checking charts out/in (time and number with limits)
  • Inter-department chart checking to track chart location
  • Charts requested by student or department when checked in

4. Treatment Planning

  • Treatment plan entry and maintenance including date procedures completed and estimated treatment cost
  • Patient/instructor authorizations
  • Listing of treatments and patients currently being treated

5. Student Clinical Requirements

  • Student points tracking for clinic procedures
  • Students with advanced standing production tracking and remuneration
  • Clinic attendance tracking including block requirements completion
  • Selective hours tracking for extra curricular/special assignments

6. Financial

  • Budgeting (yearly budget creation and manipulation, travel funds budgeting and expenditures, cost center and object code expenditures, creating/printing/tracking check requests, etc.)
  • Comprehensive patient accounts receivable system
  • Patient and insurance billing
  • Cashiering functions

7. Insurance

  • Responsible party demographics
  • Clinic Accounts Notebook (used by insurance, dental records, data entry and financial personnel to track patient financial transactions/agreements-to-pay)
  • Paper billing of insurance
  • EDI billing of Denti-Cal patients

8. Test grading and grade book

  • Mark sense grading of exams and tracking by exam type
  • Exam scores kept on-line by course including labs
  • Support differently weighted exams and questions with multiple exam versions
  • Regrading and manual entry of data by specific operators
  • Comprehensive exam report including question suitability and difficulty index, dispersion, skewness, and other analyses
  • Student exam card produced indicating questions missed, score, and grade
  • Comprehensive end of course report

9. Clinic Production

  • Procedures started, in-progress and completed using Patient Visit Form (PVF)
  • Student points tracking including adjustments and reporting

10. Department requirements tracking

  • Student progress toward graduation requirements for each department/area
  • Special reports required

11. Sterilization

  • Courses taken and requirements met by students, faculty, and staff
  • Equipment, cassette, and expendable supplies checking out/in and usage tracking by student and faculty using bar coding
  • Equipment sterilization tracking

12. Support for private practice groups associated with the School

13. Faculty, student, and staff database

14. Routines accessible through department/student specific menus or via application/routine keywords(s)

15. Electronic mail between operators

16. Text editor with spell checker and merge capabilities of patient and student data for letters or reports


Plus all the screens, reports, documentation, and training to support the above functionality. Even though the system was written in MIIS (a dialect of M or MUMPS) it would not be that difficult to translate it into M or Caché with a GUI interface.