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  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Unanswered: Maximum quantity of text characters permitted in 'Single-Line Text Field'

    I am almost embarrassed to ask this question because it seems so simple yet I cannot find an answer. What is the maximum number of characters that can be entered int a 'Single-line text field'?

    I have always assumed it to be 256 since I think that is what EXCEL is limited to; however, I was doing some data importation this evening as part of a test and one of my EXCEL cells that I was importing 'from' had a length of 444 characters. When I looked at that particular field in Brilliant Database, all 444 characters were in place and all accounted for. I searched the User Guide and was unable to locate any limits for a 'Single-line Text field'. I was intrigued and then entered at least double that amount (close to 900) and all the characters remained. I closed Brilliant Database and re-opened it and all the data was still in place... what is the limit of text characters for that field?
    Daryl G

  2. #2
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    Hi Daryl
    Can't see any mention in spec's at Database Software Design and Management - Brilliant Database - Additional Info but seems to be over 1000 maybe several 1000 but being only a single line you would be limited by screen width.
    Regards
    David

  3. #3
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    David,
    Your findings substantiate what I thought I was seeing. Screen width is not an issue with this project because I am concatenating several strings of data and examining these with Brilliant Database's 'If variable contains'... well, that is my thought anyway. I have eliminated the time-demanding massive drop-downs and instead of examining the 12 different fields for the same criteria, I hope to examine one field that will contain the contents of all 12. So far, it seems to work; however, I am experiencing some challenges when, for example, one field contains a procedure of 'Appendectomy' whereas another field contains 'Laparoscopic appendectomy' - these are two unique procedures yet all occurrences of 'Laparoscopic appendectomy' are being counted as 'Appendendectomy' also. That issue I am hoping to tackle this morning.
    Daryl G

  4. #4
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    More testing revealed that the 'Single-line text field' can ONLY hold 256 characters. Oddly, yesterday it held way more but not today!!!
    Daryl G

  5. #5
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    Just an observation, but dealing with the strings for the names of medical procedures is inherently messy. I'd STRONGLY encourage you to consider using the ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes instead. The codes are used by every practice that I've ever worked with and are the only way to claim insurance payments so I'd be stunned to find any provider that doesn't already use them.

    If nothing else, using the code values will make your BD code cleaner and faster while costing the user nothing. Most medical professionals can type the codes they use from memory faster than they can type the name of the procedure.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  6. #6
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    Pat,
    My wife and I had a discussion this afternoon (prior to my reading your reply) and she highly recommended that I use the CPT10 coding rather than the actual long text (great minds do think alike!). After she told me about this, I saw that many of the issues and questions I was having would not longer be a problem.
    Daryl G

  7. #7
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    Either code set will fix the problems that you've cited.

    IDC-10-CM codes are relatively static (updates occur every few years) and are required by every insurance company that will co-insure with Medicare-Medicaid, which is now every insurance company in America due to the Affordable Care Act. My experience may be an exception, but all of the practitioners that I have ever worked with use the IDC codes exclusively.

    CPT 10 codes can be revised three times per year by the AMA and support the services and procedures approved by the AMA. The CPT codes are supported and recommended by the AMA, but are either translated or refused by most insurers.

    I'm lazy, but a relatively static list that is used by everyone seems a better choice to me than a dynamic list used by some providers!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  8. #8
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    Pat,
    Not being in the medical field myself (my wife is a physician, not me), I do not know the difference in ICD codes and CPT codes. From your post, I was able to ask some intelligent questions and discover some possible obstacles that may lay ahead. The clinic currently uses CPT codes while the associated hospital uses ICD codes. Since it is mandated that ICD-10 codes be utilized effective Oct, 2014, it seems very wise that all locations (both the hospital AND clinic) observe these changes concurrently.

    I will now be using the actual codes rather than the descriptions - this is going to be a very challenging assignment! This board is continuously proving itself to be way more valuable than I could ever have imagined.
    Daryl G

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireant911 View Post
    I will now be using the actual codes rather than the descriptions - this is going to be a very challenging assignment! This board is continuously proving itself to be way more valuable than I could ever have imagined.
    This echoes a message thread that was going on between iNet (the company that actually owns DBForums) and the DBForums moderators a week or two ago. There are a number of other websites that focus on fast, technically correct answers with speed being the over-riding concern. Those websites provide a valuable service, and I use them often but DBForums provides a different experience...

    We look to provide a sane, well reasoned and experienced place to discuss the problems that database administrators and developers face. We don't just answer a question with "here's how to do what you asked", but we provide insight and experience that will often show the limitations of a particular point of view...

    In this case you asked a technical question focused on a specific database tool. The answers that David provided helped with the technical side of your problem, but I chimed in and pointed out an issue that you hadn't considered which both resolved the technical issue in a different way and pointed out another need that you must address... You don't have a lot of time now, but it is far better to find that by April than to find it in August when the failure pre-notes go out!

    Except when competing for a job, I've always preferred to hang out with smart people!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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