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Determine printing options available for preprinted medical forms

Use forms design and data mapping tools to create soft forms that the print data can be dragged and dropped onto rather than using preprinted medical forms.

What are the printing options available for preprinted medical forms? Previously, these forms were designed to print at 66 LPP, 6LPI, 10 CPI on a dot matrix printer using continuous forms. Now, it seems everybody wants to use a some sort of laser printer with preprinted single sheet forms.

The preprinted single sheet forms never line up correctly because of the top and bottom margins built into the printers. If you try to print an "X" in the preprinted box towards the top of the form, you might only hit half of the "X" in the middle of the form because the "X" either creeps up or down. What can I do to prevent this?
My basic advice would be to stop using preprinted forms and instead use Forms Designer and data mapping tools to create "soft" forms that you can then drag and drop the print data onto. Everything will always line up that way, plus you open yourself up to being able to save the output as a PDF, etc.

The reasons for eliminating preprinted forms and the headaches associated with them are numerous. I have done whole...

presentations on this topic at technical conferences. There are many packages on the market that do this, although I have a bias towards IBM Infoprint Designer. Once the forms and data mapping are done, everything runs natively on the iSeries -- no need to move data back and forth between the iSeries and a PC server.

Admittedly, IBM Infoprint Designer can be difficult for some people to learn, although anyone I've ever trained and worked with has had no trouble after training.

This was last published in May 2009

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