Hey Clinic

Surgeon invents custom electronic medical record (EMR) app using the FileMaker Platform

Hey Clinic streamlines patient care and outcomes with custom app


  • Leading spinal deformity specialty clinic creates custom electronic medical records app using the FileMaker Platform


  • Healthcare


  • Created FileMaker-based custom EMR app to run entire medical practice, from managing patient intake to tracking clinical notes, documenting surgery, and processing billing transactions


  • Clinicians can track data at each stage of medical care; surgical procedures have improved due to real time access to information such as X-rays and patient charts on iPad during procedures; improved compliance with MU initiatives; streamlined patient intake; enhanced follow-up

Dr. Lloyd Hey, an orthopedic spinal deformity surgeon based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has run a successful practice for children, teens, and adults since 2005. His office, the Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery, has patients from all over the world. Part of his success was the early realization in his medical career that successful patient outcomes rely on individualized, quality patient care. To provide that level of personal care, Dr. Hey devised an innovative custom application that follows patient progress both in the office and in the operating room, including on Palm and Blackberry devices.

In the early years of the Hey Clinic, Dr. Hey chose the FileMaker Platform to create another custom application for assessing patient outcomes and gathering data at each stage of medical care. By 2009, he had seen such success with his app that he hired a full-time programmer and began the in-house creation of a custom FileMaker electronic medical record (EMR) program, known as Aqueduct.

The custom app running on both desktops and iPads has since become an advanced medical practice management solution to capture data. The information flows from each patient’s initial office contact through clinic visits. The continually updated record follows the patient through to the operating room and on into post-operative visits.

Hey Clinic

The custom EMR created using The FileMaker Platform also tracks family history of disease, an important predictor for Dr. Hey.

Through Dr. Hey’s custom app, patients can go directly to the clinic’s website to request appointments. During appointments, Dr. Hey or his physician assistant (PA) use FileMaker and Filemaker Go for iPad to access Aqueduct to prepare and store electronic clinical notes. The app also stores X-rays and other imaging histories, as well as medical records, encounter notes, billing information, a scheduling calendar, and more.

After an appointment is complete, either the PA or Dr. Hey prints a handout explaining the full write-up and outcome of the visit. Simultaneously, the clinic’s billing staff receives and processes payment records and receipts through the FileMaker app on iPad. They then can provide an invoice to the patient via e-mail or e-print. The staff also securely emails or faxes clinical notes to any other authorized parties, including the patient’s primary care physician to maintain collaborated treatment plans.

Enhanced information access during surgery

Dr. Hey’s custom app is also helpful during surgery. Before implementing Aqueduct, Dr. Hey had no direct link to patient charts during procedures, so he would take note of surgical procedures on paper in the operating room. After the surgery, administrators would scan this handwritten information back into the hospital charts.

Now, Dr. Hey can record and review critical data in the operating room during surgery via his iPad or laptop using Aqueduct. The information captured in the operating room flows directly to FileMaker Server, where the staff back in his office can access it immediately.


With the newest version of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go for iPad, FileMaker has made a huge leap in giving us ways to work and communicate more efficiently and effectively across all platforms.

— Dr. Lloyd Hey, founder, Hey Clinic for Scoliosis & Spine Surgery close-quote

Easier compliance with Meaningful Use (MU) mandates

Hey Clinic
“Dr. Hey's EMR app based on the FileMaker Platform captures extreme detail on every patient.

Meaningful Use mandates are United States federal laws governing, among other things, the security of electronic medical records. Compliance with MU mandates is necessary for the Hey Clinic. These laws help secure communication between healthcare entities and with patients. Direct messaging provides a convenient, privacy-protected way for healthcare organizations to exchange critical patient information electronically, such as the transition of care documents, improving provider-to-provider communication and care coordination as patients move through the healthcare system.

With FileMaker Pro, Dr. Hey and his team are thrilled with how much easier it is encrypt patient information, keep it secure, and create even sleeker layouts. They also appreciate the improved performance due the revamped FileMaker Server software. These features help keep the EMR custom app in compliance with the Meaningful Use mandates.

“Using the FileMaker Platform, we are able to provide X-rays and other documents to physicians and PAs quickly with remote access and inter-office messaging through Aqueduct," says Sarah Rivera, office manager for the Hey Clinic. “The information is all sent securely, because of the enhanced security FileMaker encryption provides."

Sharing information more efficiently

Dr. Hey is a past chair of the Scoliosis Research Society, a nationwide board focused on adult spinal conditions. He continues to share the best practices he has experienced using the FileMaker app with others physicians in the field.

“I began using the FileMaker Platform years ago, and found its flexibility and cost-effectiveness perfect for a medical practice. I have instant access to all of the data I need right in the app. Not only that, but I can also prepare custom reports and research any data point I need using the database we have created," says Dr. Hey. “The FileMaker Platform provides a tremendous leap forward in giving us ways to work and communicate more efficiently and effectively across platforms."

For Client:

Wendy Welker
Director of Research and Education, Office Manager
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis & Spine Surgery
C. 919-931-4223
P. 919-790-1717


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