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PDF Generation from SQL Database

Updated: Mar 23

The Business Challenge

If there is a power failure at a hospital, lives are at stake. They rarely lose power because they have backup units and special arrangements with the power company, but nonetheless, there still needs to be a contingency plan in place.

There are also planned downtime events, where a system needs to be taken down to perform maintenance. Virginia Hospital needed a plan to cover both of these types of events.



Solution Considerations

  • The data needed to be extracted from the mainframe on a regular basis and frequently enough that it would be useful - once per hour. This data included information such as which patient was in which bed, or what medications they had been administered and when.

  • The data needed to be sent to a stand-alone computer that did not require anything but a backup power supply. It could not require any network or internet access to run reports (that were no older than 1 hour), and print them to a printer connected directly to it.

  • The reports needed to have all pertinent information about patients currently in a bed.

Technical Design

The Solution involved the following processes:

  • Once per hour, reports with patient and unit data were extracted from the mainframe

  • Individual pages were placed in a SQL database

  • Pages were pulled out in various order (by Patient or by Unit), and PDF documents generated

  • PDF documents were sent via SFTP to the standalone computer

  • A web page hosted on the standalone computer displayed links to the documents

  • A printer was connected to the computer, and the documents could be printed when a downtime event occurred



Solution's Impact on the Business

  • Hospital could meet regulatory requirements to have a downtime contingency plan

  • Hospital could function in the event of a scheduled downtime

  • Solution was relatively low in cost compared with other solutions

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