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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 2:51 PM

Report Designer Part 6:Download Reports and Final Remarks (for now…)

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

Creating a download report is streamlined in the Report Designer, although it was not that difficult in the NPR Report Writer. If you designate a report format as Export rather than Standard on the General page, the Regions and Layout Pages become unavailable and the Fields page has a setting for download:


Adm Sample Download Click to enlarge.

Rules and the Rule Wizard
If you need to retrieve selected queries, custom format a date, sort patients into custom age buckets, or do other things that required a computed field using the NPR Report Writer, you will need to create a Rule with the Report Designer rule wizard. This tool is not nearly as user friendly or intuitive as the rest of the Report Designer. The basic process is to point and click to generate lines of pseudo code.


Rule Wizard Click to enlarge.

The process is very cumbersome and slow. The field lookups require you to include the object and field name and specify subscripts.

Overall impression – bugs encountered so far
The Report Designer is much improved since the original release. However, it is still has a way to go.

The Rule editor is very cumbersome and not intuitive.

Adding fields once you are in the layout page with the Add button is clumsy. It is hard to tell whether you can add fields and prompts and how to control which ones get added.

If there really isn't a way to convert a printed report to a download, this will be a significant limitation. It is very common to build a complex printed report, then be asked to strip it down to a download. If you have just spent days beating on the rule wizard to produce 31 columns of data via 31 computed fields, you will not be happy having to repeat the process for the download version of the report you thought you just finished.

At Doylestown, currently, I experienced the following bugs:

If you go into the Notes section and then use Go to Page to go to the Fields page, the program crashes.

If you add a computed sort, there is no way to delete it. The delete X remains grayed out no matter what you do (deleting it from field list and layout does not change this).

The field list and the layout section can become confused and then you may end up having the fields from one record jump to the other or having the page header appear at the bottom of the report in the layout as you change things in the report. Sometimes the only cure is to abandon the bad version and begin again.