Open Source software succeeds when we put our fellow human being first. We share to help each other instead of ourselves, and we thank everyone who shares their donations of time and money moving Cottage Med to a brighter future of open-source Electronic Medical Records.
All changes to layouts and scripts should be shared with our programming team so that we can include them in future versions for everyone to share.
NOTE: Back up all fields and folders before upgrading to a newer version of Cottage Med and then import your records into the newer version.
There are newer FAQ instructions included with the software itself. Our video tutorials are with our Downloads on SourceForge. They are the best way to learn the software, and then dive right in.
How do I start?
How do I dictate?
How do I dictate notes (the long version)?
Why can't it find files when it runs?
Why does it print off the page?
Why do I get an error when clicking on the calendar (or other buttons) on the layout?
Why doesn't the "synch" button work?
How do I back up records?
How do I upgrade to a newer version of Cottage Med?
How do I change to my address book program?
How do I change to my preferred browser?
How do I change the scheduling program?
How do I store and view photographs?
Cottage Med won't open - what user name should I use?
Is Cottage Med compatible with FileMaker 7?
Open Cottage_Med and use the BIG red button to go to the first screen. This is the demographics page. Click in any field to enter information. There is a menu bar at the top of the screen and 8 yellow tabs below that. Click these labelled tabs to go to different parts of your patient's chart. You can cut, copy, and paste in any field until a note or field is signed and locked by the system for security.
To start a progress note click on the tab for "Notes." Click a green button for the type of note you are writing, then start typing in the new window you see. You may insert boilerplate text by placing the cursor where you need and then click one of the green physical exam buttons in the upper right part of the screen.
To write a prescription, please go to the bottom of the screen in the red prescription area and type what you want, hit the tab key for each field (dates are entered by the system automatically), click the first checkbox to flag your rx, then click the orange "Log" key above the rx window to save a phoned prescription or the orange "Print" key to print and save the rx.
Double click in the square under the word "Dictate:" at the top of the progress note windows. Record, pause, save as you wish. Ctrl-clicking the same square can erase the dictation.
What's funny is this takes 2 seconds to show users in person, but it sounds like a chore in writing - once you try it you'll see what we mean and love it! You can dictate any note by starting in the "Notes" screen, click a green encounter button, then jump out of the new blank note by clicking on the yellow background of the Cottage Med screen. Now the dictation field is the bigger little box in your blank note under the word "Dictate". Double click this box, click the red record button to start and the stop button to stop. You can hear the note at any time after by double clicking the Dictation box in your note. You can erase dictation from the menu bar or with a Ctrl- mouse click.
It does. CottageMed learns as it runs. If it can’t find a file, please follow the onscreen instructions to show it where the file sits on your own computer. This ‘error’ message will go away as you use the program and teach it where your files are stored. All files are included in the download.
Another common beginner problem is the claim that 'it lost my data.' This always and inevitably occurs when a user enters data in FIND mode thinking that they are in BROWSE mode (Ctrl-F for Ctrl-B). When you enter FIND data, not new chart data, it of course will not be there after you finish your find query. This is so common a mistake of new users that we have to beg you to read the Filemaker user manual carefully to understand all the power at your fingertips and use it wisely.
This information became mostly obsolete with the 2009-2010 version 2.6.1 where we rewrote whole pages of the program to make it work on PC's which lack an intelligent way to scale screen dumps correctly.
All printed forms are formatted to print at 84% of full screen size in order to fit more on a page. On macintosh computers we have already set this preference for you. PC networks are harder to manage. This is why some printouts are larger than one page until you set the print scale to 84% or smaller (smaller if your computer has larger fonts).
There are a few file links which you need to tailor to your particular computer and application preferences. Please write us if you have any trouble fixing shortcuts or program links and aliases.
- An error message means something needs to be selected from your individual environment to work for you.
- No error message threatens your data. Only improper & unprofessional backup or upgrade policies can do that.
This feature is present but obsolete due to a lack of physician demand for synchronized data selections. It does still prepare files for tablet use and mobile use where your machine memory may be limited..
The "Synch" button opens all relevant databases, runs their startup routines, and selects only active patients and all their chart contents less than 1 year old in preparation for synchronizing. The actual "synch" operation was triggered on the Palm Pilot or Pocket PC with their "hotsync" button after Cottage Med's Synch subroutines finished.)
Copy all of the files (not folders) from your CottageMed folder to another hard drive, computer, or CD. Most of these files begin with "CTG_". We recommend hourly or daily backups to a separate hard drive volume, and weekly to monthly archival storage on a CD-R or DVD disk.
Many backup and sync programs are available from third-party vendors, and other backup storage drives, tapes or cartridges are possible, but you must not run them while Filemaker is running at the same time. You must stop all Filemaker programs before you backup your data. Only Filemaker Server can make automatic backups while running.
The upgrade process has been partly automated and is fairly painless. First in your old version back up all records with the "Backup" button on the opening home screen near the big red start button. Then from your new version press the "Import Prior Records" button in the opening screen. Follow the instructions until everything finishes. Every database automatically runs their own upgrade routine to choose "File" from the menu bar, then choose "Import" and then "File" for each prior database of the same name. All new data field names match the old ones. New fields added will have no old fields matched to them and will often be blank when first used.
After importing for each of the 22-odd databases, your upgrade is done. Please check your files and file sizes and most recent (last are newest) records in each database to make sure they are the same before continuing your work and entering new information.
This upgrade process is great for cleaning up damaged files and can be used to help fix broken records. Please read your Filemaker manual for important instructions on routine database management and maintenance. Upgrades or file re-imports to clean empty Cottage_Med copies should be done at least once a year or more often if machines have been shut down unexpectedly.
Go to Scripts menu and open Scriptmaker, choose "Open Rolodex" script and edit it to point to your own address book with AppleScript or some Microsoft tool.
Go to Scripts menu and open Scriptmaker, choose "Open Browser" script and edit it to point to your preferred browser with AppleScript or some Microsoft tool.
Go to Scripts menu and open Scriptmaker, choose the "Go To Scheduler" script, and edit it to point to your scheduler with AppleScript or other Microsoft tools.
Click on the little squares to the left of the dictation square for the visit you're documenting. You can then cut and paste photos into the three windows you see for storing and viewing. More windows can always be added in layout mode if you have need of more choices.
'Hello' and 'Hello' for username and password. The username is identical to your password (please see the passwords section in the help file table of contents). We recommend changing your username and password for yourself and your office after downloading Cottage Med. Please see your FileMaker manual for more information.
YES. Cottage Med is fully tested on all FileMaker versions 5 through 12+. The current release runs on Filemaker v. 7-12+, but we recommend Filemaker version 9. Filemaker version 7 was buggy and version 10-11 added few important changes. Filemaker version 9 is the best tested most optimal version to use, but all appear to work safely.
For future reference, what follows is our standard policy on the wisdom of Filemaker upgrades:
1) Most commercial FileMaker medical record programs still use FileMaker Server 5.5 or 8 - most upgrades have no features that you need. Save your money to spend some more time with your children and spouse. Filemaker 9 is best for CottageMed.
2) We do not want to be part of the rapid pace and pressure in society and on consumers to constantly upgrade software. We want Cottage Med to remain affordable for doctors in developing countries and non-profit programs everywhere. Our upgrades will come slowly and responsibly as our patients need. Please use whatever Filemaker version 7-12+ which you prefer.
Please keep those questions coming.