Design Of JHC Appointment Reminder System

The Object Oriented Approach

James Healthcare Centre is building their IT base health care system. In this report, the design of one of the most crucial subsystems of the JHC is to be validated through the object-oriented approach and documented accordingly. The code has been written using the JAVA programming language.

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The subsystem is known as the JHC Appointment Reminder. The purpose of this program is to store the appointment details of several patients. The admin can create new patient records at any time. Each patient record would include patient name, their contact detail, their appointment date, appointment time and finally the provider’s name. The admin who logs into the system can add these patient details at any time and save these details accordingly. A huge number of such records can be entered into the system. The main operation of the system is to display the details of all those patients whose appointment date is coming up within the next 2 days. This would give the admin, a chance to contact the respective patients and remind them about their next appointment.

This system would help the patients not to miss any appointment having forgotten the schedule details. Special care has been taken to design the system with keen details to calculating the difference of days and displaying content as per the requirements.

The object-oriented approach has been adapted in the following development process. The system is designed with the help of class, objects and methods. The program uses encapsulation to bind the data members and member methods of the class as a single unit whenever an object of that class is created. Certain member variables and member methods of the class are kept protected so as to provide a boundary for their accessibility. These variables and methods shall be discussed with keen details towards their usage, data types, accessibilities and purpose in the following paragraphs.

  1. text.ParseException
  2. text.SimpleDateFormat
  3. util.Locale
  4. util.Date
  5. util.Scanner

Variable Name

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Variable type

Brief description

patientName

String

Stores the name of patient

providerName

String

Stores the provider name for patient

appDate

String

Stores the appointment date of patient

appTime

String

Stores the appointment time of patient

telephone

long

Stores the contact number of patient

count

integer

Keeps track of the number of patient objects created

i

integer

Loop counter to traverse the object array

choice

integer

Takes user input for menu option choice

flag

integer

Keeps track of return value from called method

dateToday

String

Stores the current date entered by user

patient [ ]

Class: JHCreminder type

The array of objects that store each patient records

temp

integer

Temporary usage

diff

integer

Calculates difference of dates

presentDate

Date

Converts and stores the present day date in the dd/mm/yyy format

appointmentDate

Date

Converts and stores the appointment day date in the dd/mm/yyy format

The class in this program uses two very important methods to achieve its goals. These member methods are called from the main function. The first method described is the setDetails ( ). It has no return type and takes no parameters. The other function used is the upcommingApps ( ) method. This method has a integer return type and also takes in a String value as argument. The purpose of these methods shall be discussed in details in the upcoming section.

Member variables

The program is build and executed through a class named JHCreminder. The class holds five member variables. The String variables include patientName, providerName, appDate and appTime. Another long type variable is used namely telephone. These variables are created each time an object of the class is created. The patientName variable stores the name of the patient object, the providerName variable stores the provider’s name, appDate and appTime stores the appointment date and time and finally telephone stores a Long type phone number of each object respectively. All these variables are set as protected, such that any inherited class can use these member variables in the future, thus assisting to create a scope for future development.

Header Files imported

Constructor

The zero parameterized constructor JHCreminder ( ) is used to initialize the objects with default initializing values. The String data members of the objects are all set to “” or null and the long type telephone is set to zero.

Member Methods

  1. Method name: setDetails ( )
  • Return type: void
  • Access type: protected
  • Arguments: none
  • Purpose: The purpose of this member method is to take input from the user and set values into each object. The Scanner class object helps in the input process. Each of the member variables of the calling object gets set with these input values.
  1. Method name: upcomingApps ( )
  • Return type: integer
  • Access type: protected
  • Arguments: String todayDate
  • Purpose: The method is designed to take the user entered current date from the calling function. This date is then converted into the mm/dd/yyyy date format using the SimpleDateFormat class and is then parsed and stored in the Date type object. The method then stores the appointmentDate of the current patient into a Date type object after setting the dd/mm/yyyy format. The difference between the days are then calculated and stored in a local integer variable- diff. This is where the main function of the program takes place. The method checks if the diff value is lesser-equals to 2 that is if the difference of present date and appointment date is less than or equal to 2 days or not. If the condition matches, each member variable of the object is displayed to the user and the method returns 1 as a success pointer. Otherwise, the method exits returning 0 to the calling function.
  1. Method name: main ( )
  • Return type: void
  • Arguments: String[] args
  • Purpose: The main method is the controller of the whole subsystem program. This is where the program execution starts. The JHCreminder class object array is created by the name patient[]. It is named so because this object array stores each patient records separately as they are created according to user’s need. The array is given a default capacity of 999,999. The program then displays a menu for the user. The menu asks the user to input 1 to enter a new patient record into the system, 2 to view the details of patients who have their appointment coming up within the next 2 days. The user can also opt to exit the system by pressing 3. The choice entered by the system is recorded in an integer type variable named choice. The value of this variable is checked and the respective member methods are called accordingly. To enter new patient record the setDetails() method is called using the new index of the patient object array. The index is then incremented by 1. The variable is given the name, count and is an integer. When the value of choice is encountered as 2, the program iterates in a loop for as long as there are objects in the patient [ ] array. Each object is used to call the upcomingApps() method with the current date variable dateToday sent as argument and the returned value is set in a local temporary purpose variable temp. If the loop ends with the success flag counter value set to 0, the “No appointment is set within the next 2 days” message is displayed. The main method also implements a validation check for the user’s input of choice. If the user is seen to enter any other value other than those in the menu, an error message is shown asking to re-enter the choice again. Finally, if the user presses 3, that is he wishes to quit the system, a farewell message is displayed and the system closes.

As of now, the subsystem is meant to store static data in the local variables within the program. Each patient record is treated as an unique entity or the real life instance of the class as they keep hold of the respective characteristics. However, with the termination of the system, all values will be lost as they are not saved anywhere within the system.

This being just one of the subsystems of the whole health system of JHC, numerous other additions and modifications can be recommended for the future. Firstly, a concrete server based database should be integrated into the system where the patient records can be stored permanently. This would also take off the load from the array of objects that, though has a huge carry capacity but is finite as of now. The emergency health records shall also be a part of this subsystem. Another crucial addition to this particular subsystem would be an auto SMS feature that would send reminder SMS to the patients on their provided contact number if their appointment date is nearing.

Stress Testing: Test with wrong choice input and to check if the program can handle date differences that are 2 but the appointment date has actually passed 2 days ago.

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