In this lab, we explore the question whether office automation can be used to avoid those awful dehumanizing lab report letters that can come back to a patient when the results of a biopsy are determined.

If you have ever received such a report, they can be unnerving in their abrupt "post card" check-the-box style.

But, good office automation should allow us to generate a nice letter, with all of the options that a simple check-the-box form would allow, but expressed in more sensitive wording. Is this true? Or is office automation still too cumbersome to be profitable or practical in a large pathology lab?

Will post cards always rule?

The experiment will use Microsoft Word's "autotext" feature and "form fields" in a documents similar to that at the right to explore just how eassy or hard it is to generate context specific, sensitive form letters.

Another interesting, and fun, aspect of the lab is to design your own letterhead, using our large collection of medical and dental clip art.

While seemingly harmless, many professional offices spend rather large amounts of money on logos and letterheads, just to convey the desired professional impression to their clients. It is a human relations aspect.

Here are some examples of my own. They print much more nicely than they look here.

Class examples are more "creative"!