I have developed a prototype of a Web-based scheduling system for a generic radiology practice. Referring physicians' offices would use this application to schedule radiology procedures for their patients. A Web-based system streamlines this process, eliminating long waits on the telephone. The appointment can be made while the patient is still in the office. The person scheduling the procedure enters information one time, instead of three. Relevant instructions for the patient are also easy to print out.
The system consists of a servlet, a helper class that handles database functions, a Java application to generate the first XML file, HTML files, XML files, DTDs, cascading style sheets, an XSL style sheet, and a database.
The user is sent a sequence of HTML forms:
- a login form to validate the medical practice and password, and to ensure that a dropdown box on the next form is tailored to a particular medical group;
- a main page form to collect patient data, and to ascertain the desired appointment date;
- a scheduling page where the user can select an available time on the selected day; and
- a patient page listing the appointment day, time, location, and relevant instructions for the scheduled radiological procedure
The first three forms reference cascading style sheets. The main page form contains eight hidden layers, one for each radiology department. A user sees only the questions relevant to the chosen department. The last HTML page displays patient data by using an XSL style sheet to transform an XML file.
A servlet processes the HTML forms. The servlet determines which form generated a particular request, extracts parameters from the form input, and assigns tasks to the database-handler class. After the database-handler inserts information into the database (through a complex series of SQL insertions, queries, and updates), it queries the database for information it uses to write XML files. The servlet creates RequestDispatcher objects to send appropriate HTML pages to the user. Java-Script binds these pages to the newly created XML files. The user's Internet Explorer browser parses the XML, and Java-Script is used to write HTML code dynamically by manipulating the DOM.
I have learned a lot by doing this project: Java-Script, cascading style sheets, HTML layers, XML, DTDs, XSL, servlets, DOM parsing, and XHTML.
Advisor: Dr. Joseph Daugherty