File Manager 22.2 Getting Started Manual

Contents > Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Getting Fancy

The first two chapters provide some basic information about how to use Fileman. Now that you know the basics, there are some nifty tricks you can use to save time when working in Fileman.

Partial Responses

Raise your hand if you want to type ACETAMINOPHEN twenty times a day. We didn’t think so. When choosing an answer from a Select prompt, you can just type the first few letters of your answer before pressing Return. This is called a partial response.

Choose 1-2:

If there is only one item on the list that matches your partial response, Fileman automatically enters it as your answer. If there is more than one possibility, Fileman gives you a numbered list. You can then select your answer using its number.

Keep in mind that a partial response only works if the answer is already in the database. Fileman is smart, but it doesn’t read minds. If your answer isn’t in the database, you’ll need to add it by typing the entire thing. (If you find you need to add an answer and are not allowed to, contact your supervisor or Application Coordinator.)

Multi-Part Responses

Sometimes, just typing the first part of the first word of the answer you want to select isn’t going to do the trick. With some select prompts, you can use a multi-part response, which uses a comma to separate words—or parts of words—that you are looking for. For example, you might be trying to look up a doctor. You remember that his first name is Tim or Tom, and his last name is Brad something. Bradford? Bradshaw? Bradley? Something like that. You can use a multi-part response to find the doctor based on this partial information:

Select DOCTOR: T,BRAD <Return>
1 T. Bradford Griffin
2 Tamara Bradlee
3 Thomas Bradwell
Choose 1-3:

Fileman responds with a list of entries that match your multi-part response.

Note that multi-part responses are not as flexible as, say, Google searches. Each part of your multi-part response has to be the beginning of the word; you cannot search for strings found within the word. In addition, the parts have to be in the order you typed them. Our T,BRAD search, for example, would not find a doctor named Bradley Thompson because the words are in a different order.

Longer Default Responses

When a default is 20 or more characters in length, it won't be followed by double slashes (//). Instead, it is presented with a "Replace" prompt:

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace

Accepting this kind of default is exactly the same as accepting shorter default answers; you simply press the Return key.

If the answer you want is kind of similar to the default, but something needs to be changed, you can tell Fileman which parts need to be replaced. Fileman will respond with a “With” prompt, allowing you to type in the replacement text. Here is an example:

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace Bay <Enter> With
North <Enter>

In this example, we’re asking Fileman to replace the word Bay with the word North. Fileman responds with another Replace prompt, so we could change more about the original address if we wanted. Otherwise, we can press Return without entering any text to signal to Fileman that we’re done replacing. The whole dialog would then look like this:

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace Bay <Enter> With
North <Enter>
Replace <Enter>
  301 Northshore Boulevard

So, if the address you want looks nothing like the default address, do you have to type the entire default in order to replace it? You do not. You can enter ellipses (three periods) to indicate that you would like to replace the entire answer.

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace ... <Enter> With 5995
Folsom Street <Enter>
Replace <Enter>
  5995 Folsom Street

More About Ellipses

In the above example, we showed you how to use ellipses (…) to replace an entire answer. You can also use ellipses to replace part of an answer.

At the beginning of an answer:

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace ...Bay <Enter> With
499 North <Enter>
Replace <Enter>
  499 Northshore Boulevard

In the middle of an answer:

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace 1...ore <Enter> With
15 Lakeside <Enter>
Replace <Enter>
  3015 Lakeside Boulevard

At the end of an answer:

ADDRESS 1: 301 Bayshore Boulevard   Replace Bou... <Enter> With
Drive <Enter>
Replace <Enter>
  301 Bayshore Drive


“Replace...With” is a useful tool, but you need to pay attention when using it. Fileman will only replace the first instance of a sequence in the answer. Consider this example:

ADDRESS 1: 1026 Eastlake Avenue East   Replace East <Enter> With
West <Enter>
Replace <Enter>
  1026 Westlake Avenue East

Now, if you meant to change the address to Westlake Avenue East, that’s great. If you didn’t... well, you messed up. It’s easy to mess up if you go too fast and don’t think your answer through.

Keep in mind, however, that messing up is not the end of the world. You can fix your answer and keep going—as long as you’re paying attention and noticing what Fileman does with your answers.

Jumping Around

When you’re in scrolling mode, fields for information are presented to you one at a time. In screen mode, your cursor advances through the fields in a predetermined order. We have already discussed how you can skip fields by pressing Return without entering information.

However, you can also jump from the current field to another field—either an earlier field you already finished, or a later field you need to get to. To jump, enter an up-arrow or caret (^), and then the first few letters of the field you want. In the following example, the user jumps from the SSN field to the date of birth field.

SSN: 000123123// ^DATE OF BIRTH <Enter>

To get a list of the fields to which you can jump, enter a caret and a question mark (^?) at any field prompt.

Jumping Out

You can also use your up-arrow to jump out of a record altogether. For example, let’s say you selected a patient record to edit, then realized you had the wrong patient. You can type an up arrow, by itself, at any field prompt to jump out of this patient’s record and select another one.

SSN: 000123123// ^ <Enter>

Entering the up-arrow by itself to exit a given function is a convention used throughout VISTA applications.

Cancel (^^)

Usually, when you ask VISTA (and, by extension Fileman) to look up or retrieve information for you, you get a response almost instantly. If traffic is heavy, it may take as long as a second.

If it seems that a search is taking too long, it may be an indication that there’s a problem with the system (or that you accidentally gave Fileman a search that’s really complex). If it seems you’ve been waiting too long for a reply, you can type two up-arrows (^^) and then press the Return key, to tell Fileman to cancel the search.

Required Fields, Required Identifiers, and Key Fields

Some Fileman fields have been set up as required fields. You will be able to tell when you reach one of these fields, because you will be unable to skip it by pressing the Return key. sHowever, you can jump out using an uparrow, or jump to another field using an up-arrow and the field name.

Some required fields are also required identifiers. This means that if the field contains no information, the record will not be saved. For example, if you are trying to create a new record that is a patient appointment, the date field might be a required identifier. If you left the date field blank, Fileman would not save the appointment. You would receive a warning before the appointment was discarded, so you could correct the problem.

In a key field, the information is not only required, it must be unique. For example, each patient should have a unique Patient ID number; if you try to enter two patients with the same Patient ID, Fileman will alert you, and will not accept the duplicate information.

More About Field Prompts

Deleting a Fieldʼs Value (@)

We have already showed you how to accept a default response, and how to enter a different response. But if a field has a default, how do you tell Fileman to leave it blank? You can do this by typing an @ at the prompt, as in the example below:

DATE OF BIRTH: May 21, 1946// @ <Enter>

In this example, the date on file would be erased: there is no answer to the DATE OF BIRTH question; its value is now null. You’re asked to confirm the deletion; this gives you a chance to change your mind before deleting the information.

In chapter 2, we mentioned that a free-text field will not accept an @ by itself. This is one of the reasons; an @ by itself means “delete the information in this field and leave it blank.”

Spacebar Recall

This is a neat trick you can do with all select prompts. If you want the same answer you picked the last time you saw this select prompt, press the spacebar and then the Return key. Your previous answer will be selected. For example, if you are editing a particular patient in a Nursing application and then switch to the Order/Entry application to work with the same patient, you can use the spacebar to select the same patient at the Order/Entry “Select PATIENT NAME:” prompt:

Select PATIENT NAME: <Space><Enter>

Spacebar recall should work at any select prompt. It may also work at other prompts; you can try it and see what happens.

Here is a secret: VISTA programmers can add spacebar recall to just about any prompt you encounter. If you find yourself really wishing that a particular prompt had a spacebar recall, you can ask for it. Contact your IT department and see what they say!

Typical Data Entry Session

So far we have discussed responding to individual prompts. Here is an example of a typical data entry session. The example is characteristic of editing data in many VISTA applications:

Select Patient (Name or SSN): FMPATIENT, <Enter> 25   01-12-41
000456789   COLLATERAL

Height: 5' 4"// <Enter>
Weight: 150#
Date Weight Taken: TODAY// <Enter> (MAY 17, 2013)
Usual Weight: 145#
Wrist Circumference (cm): <Enter>
Frame Size (SMALL,MEDIUM,LARGE) MED// <Enter>

Calculation of Ideal Body Weight
  H Hamwi
  M Metropolitan 83
  S Spinal Cord Injury
  E Enter Manually

Method: S <Enter>

Extent of Injury:
  P Paraplegic
  Q Quadriplegic

Select: P <Enter>

Select Ideal Weight (109-118) 114 lb // <Enter>
Does Patient have an Amputation? NO// <Enter>
Do you wish Anthropometric Assessment? NO// <Enter>

Collecting laboratory data …

Calculate Energy Requirements Based On:
  1 Actual Body Weight
  2 Ideal Body Weight
  3 Obese Calculation

Choose: 1 <Enter>

  No existing text
  Edit? NO// <Enter>

Do you wish to FILE this Assessment Y// <Enter>

Your Next Steps

You now know just about everything end users need to know about Fileman. As we’ve said, most of your interactions with Fileman will take place through one of the packages you use for your job. A good next step would be to find the user manual or getting-started manual for those packages, and begin familiarizing yourself with how they work.

Of course, if you’re curious and want to learn more about Fileman, you certainly can. In that case, a good next step would be to read the next part of this manual, about how super-users interact with Fileman.