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System 6000: hints and tips for sophies

Using exec

The Exec question was put in for this purpose on System 5 many years ago, and can be used to view your own html files as follows

$EXEC/c:\iexplore.exe \\orac\dept\software\projects\S6000\prodigy\minutes\pr-mm025.htm//

You will have to call internet explorer( or other ), and have it fully pathed ( it's not normally in the c:\ folder!). Then pass the URL and this should work fine. The forward slash " / " is used as a delimiter between the different sections in the construct of the question so beware if it is part of the URL.

Printing advice leaflets

At the end of running a sophie a question box comes up asking if you want to insert into the notes and also print an advice leaflet. Both default to yes. We got fed up with sophie printing advice sheets we didn't want when people forgot to uncheck the latter.

You can change the defaults by editing the sys6000.ini file held on each workstation in c:\windows. 0 is no and 1 is yes as you'd expect. eg:


Sophie Runtime parameters

Here are the runtime parameters that SOPHIE can accept

-m<H|S>  mode hidden or show (defaults to show)
-p<ID>  patient id (defaults to none)
-g<string>  guideline (defaults to none) (prepends path defined in .ini file, if not an explicit path)
The mode can be used to run watchdog SOPHIE's, so -mH will run the SOPHIE in the background, and pop up if any user input is required. If this command is not present then the SOPHIE will be fired in the foreground.
-p$PATIENTID  will automatically load the current patient into SOPHIE.
-g used to define which guideline is run (e.g. -gs:\meddata\s6000\guidelines\meditel\wellpers.gdl). Multiple -g statements can be used to fire several SOPHIE's from one Read Code. In this case the user will be presented with a dialog before running any of the guidelines, asking which of the guidelines they wish to run. They can run any combination of the hooked guidelines.

The sys6000.ini file contains the following section


The default path can be used to state where the guidelines are, but this must be set up on each individual workstation, so it may be better to explicitly path the guidelines.

Sophie error checker

Those of you who have loaded v1.4 will have noticed the error checker which runs automatically on loading SOPHIE. This is outlined in the documentation - what is not described is the way of turning this on and off. Only guideline authors need to have the thing turned ON - it will worry other users and slow down the loading of SOPHIE, so they can have the thing turned OFF.

The ON/OFF switching is done in s6000.ini, where all the best fun is to be had. Look at the section headed [Guidelines]. This may or may not include a line:


If the line isn't there, then add it, but if it is there then 0=OFF and 1=ON.

Creating Sophie Hooks

From within the Hooks Editor the individual parameters can be set as follows

  1. The Hook Type must be "Callback"
  2. The Hook Event Name can be either "Add Read Code" or "Save Entry". "Add Read Code" is triggered when the note is entered and every time it is edited, whereas "Save Entry" is only triggered when the note is first created.
  3. The Event Trigger Value contains a Read Code, and must have 5 characters, padded to the right with dots, for both four and five byte systems.
  4. The mode is only useful for triggering in hidden mode for Watchdogs, and is -mH, otherwise the normal mode (-mS )is the default and run when no mode is specified.
  5. Before and After don't have a great deal of use for the Sophie hooks.
  6. Any Read Codes in the hooked SOPHIE that are not explicitly put under a particular problem will be put in the problem from which the hooked note was entered. If the hooked note was a problem, then they will be put in that problem.

Graphical SOPHIE Editor v1.0 Known Bugs and Workarounds

Listed below are the currently known bugs and workarounds. Please e-mail any further bugs that you find to gse@meditel.co.uk. Please also use that e-mail address for any other correspondence about the Graphical SOPHIE Editor including requests for it. All of these bugs will be fixed in the next release of the editor within the next couple of months.

1. Importing LOOK question
Bug: Importing a LOOK question transposes the connections. Thus when you export it back, the "read code found" response is directed to the "read code not found" response and vice versa.

Workaround: After exporting a protocol containing an imported LOOK question which has not been changed, edit it using a text editor such as Wordpad and exchange the next question number for the $Y and $N statements.

2. Exporting MCQ10 question
Bug: When an MCQ10 question is exported, the protocol contains MCQTEN which the SOPHIE engine does not recognise.
Workaround: After exporting a protocol containing an MCQ10 question, edit it using a test editor such as Wordpad and change all instances of MCQTEN to MCQ10.

3. Answers on LOOK question
Bug: When you click on bulbs to indicate Read Code found or Read Code not found on the LOOK question, it gives OnOpenConnector error which does not allow entering note to be added or advice to be given.

Workaround: Use FETCH question which is intended to replace LOOK question and has much more functionality.

4. FETCH question needs variable
Bug: If you delete the "variable to hold value" in the FETCH question, then the protocol gives an error when it is executed.

Workaround: Select a variable even if the question is not going to retrieve any data.

5. Importing DATE question
Bug: Importing a DATE question transposes the date limits in the VAL and LIM segments. Thus when you export it back, the VAL contains the date limits from LIM and vice versa.

Workaround: After exporting a protocol containing an imported DATE question which has not been changed, edit it using a text editor such as Wordpad and exchange the date limits for the $VAL and $LIM statements.

6. Incorrect tool tip for CALC question
Bug: For a beginner user, when the cursor/mouse pointer is held over the blue question mark of a CALC question, the tool tip says "all answers connector" and when the cursor/mouse pointer is held over the blue diamond mark of a CALC question, the tool tip says "Confirm user decision", both of which are wrong.

Workaround: None needed as it is just a display issue.

7. Copying questions using held answer
Bug: When you select the two questions connected by a 'using held answer' connector (and possibly any other questions) and try to cut/copy them, then the editor crashes.

Workaround: Make sure that the set of questions that you are trying to cut/copy do not contain questions connected by a 'using held answer' connector.

8. Validating CONFIRM question
Bug: When a protocol is validated, it does not check to see if the NO answer of a CONFIRM question is connected to any other question or marks the end of the guideline.

Workaround: Manually ensure that all CONFIRM questions are connected properly.

9. Using exported protocols with System 5
Bug: The instructions in the online help for the steps to be carried out to use an exported guideline with System 5 are incorrect.

Workaround: Do not perform the last step "Type the command SOU and press Enter. This will update the System 5 SOPHIE contents and the guideline should now be available to be picked from System 5 SOPHIE." as that undoes the changes made in the previous steps.

10 Small bug in the EXEC function:
If you enter a command line such as: /usr/bin/progname p% the first / is not recognised by Unix and the exec fails. Placing it in quotes i.e. "/usr/bin/progname p%" solves the problem, except that soped does not send the quotes. They have to be added to the $EXEC function afterwards.

A little niggle, but something that needs to be remembered if either the gdl or wse file is re-edited in Soped as the quotes are lost again.

Heading attachments

There are three basic types of heading attachment in SOPHIE

Sophie drugs

Sophie looks for authorisations.