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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:01 PM

“Fishbone” Diagrams (MAGIC or C/S)

Written by Joe Cocuzzo, Senior VP of Report Writing Services - iatricSystems

Recently, I was working on an export of ED clinical data and I noticed some funny imbedded graphics which appeared to contain unlabeled lab values when I viewed a report in PCI.


These are “fishbone” diagrams, apparently, a shorthand method of presenting lab results:

Here are some common ones, with the tests indicated:
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The tricky part of these diagrams is drawing a diagonal line. This can be done fairly easily in a MAGIC NPR report by turning the HP printer into a plotter, but such printer commands are blocked by the C/S “Print Manager.”

Only in MAGIC can you get an NPR report to do this by plotting some circles and arcs.
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First I tried to see if I could scale a “>” and “<” to a sufficient size to serve as my fish tailbones, but the result was poor; the angle of the lines was too shallow to be satisfactory.

Then it occurred to me that the C/S print manager will allow you to save (push) and restore (pop) the printer position and also move the printer position anywhere on the page.

By moving the printer cursor position in 300ths of an inch and printing multiple “dots,” it turns out it is possible to create reasonable versions of these fishbone diagrams in a lab report:
Here is an example from “Print to Preview” from a MAGIC site.

The basic approach is to move diagonally in four directions (up and to the left, down and to the left, up and to the right, down and to the right) and print many dots, crude but effective.

In the start macro of the report, you just set up your lab test mnemonics to match what is used at your site, referring to the handy documentation and diagram I have provided:

Then you create a picture which prints the lab results and calls for the “fishbone” from a computed field:

An example report for both MAGIC and C/S have been uploaded to our report library: