After reading the replies from Mike, Rob & Don, thanks, each of you, I realize I didn’t present my original question very clearly. The following, not so abbreviated description, attempts illustrates what I am considering to do. I hope that this might be a bit clearer.
My 6.3 abc veterinary application uses unique alpha-numeric codes (1-10 characters) for services and products. The user enters, or selects from a list, these codes into a form (window) of items to be associated with another related animal encounter record, no real limit of codes per encounter (many to one). During any day there may be many animal encounters and each encounter may have may items although the average item count per encounter is not typically large.
My thinking is a unique bar code of some existing standard, I don’t think I care, would be uniquely associated, in some TBD file, with each of my item codes. Product codes may possibly be the same as those used by the manufacturer but I don’t think it would be that simple as different manufacturers of a similar product would likely have their own bar code. The bar codes themselves are completely unimportant to me. The presented bar code on the product or on a paper list, readable by some device, would be translated into the appropriate code, in my existing structure, and be placed in the item record.
Service codes are typically intangible, e.g. “Exams …”, so some paper list of those service codes would have to exist that would have the device readable bar code present. Some users have hundreds of these codes so I think a lot of what they have conceived as an input shortcut might not be as convenient as they might believe.
Much of the interface I describe above would be software that I would have to write.
I think the one practice that has asked me about this would like the computer to read the mind of the inputer. When I figure out how to do that … Practices that use my software are typically smaller so no super market type device would be considered, something pretty basic.
Speech to text might be a better approach to this whole exercise.
Anyhow, with this response, I’m hoping to better describe what I am considering to try to implement. Other than speech to text there may be some other completely different approach that I have not even thought about.
Thank you to anyone who may have some experience or suggestions on how to speed up boring data entry like this.
Kindest Regards to all,