My wife had been a Hospital Floor Nurse in Gynecology for at least 10 years when Home Health began. This is where nurses visit the patient in their home. She saw this as a New Ground Floor Opportunity and transferred.
It didn't take many nights for me to notice that I was finding myself Sleeping Alone. Several nights a week at 1:00AM in the Morning, I found my wife bent over the coffee table in the living room with 100 stacked sheets of paper and scratching ones-and-slashes onto a legal sized notepad.
The obvious question was "What's going on?". She explained that the Home Health Nurses were including Surveys in their home visits and the nurses were assigned to determine any Measurable Outcomes from the Collected Data.
I owned all of the Windows development tools that I utilized for Custom Industrial Applications (Basic, Compiled Basic, C) and I told her that I would look into helping her out beginning the next night.
A couple of weekends and many nights later, I had a Data Entry Form for her survey and was able to print the survey into a simple row and column list. This made it easier for her to see the survey all at once instead of the 100 or so individual sheets of paper.
One week later, the same thing occurred and I asked the obvious again. She told me this was a new survey and there would be more to come. I explained that I couldn't keep up at that rate and I also had a job to go to. I did create another data entry and printout to help her out.
She did understand my problem because that next weekend, she mentioned a Microsoft database product called Access 95 that might be able to do what was needed. I spent one single night looking into Access 95 and agreed but that we should purchase the entire Microsoft Office 95 Suite that included Access 95. This Joint Bet set us back Four to Five Hundred Dollars.
8 weeks later, Access 95 sure did what was needed. I had learned to create a table and user form in a single night and my wife entered the data on the following night. The next step would be to analyze the data together on the 3rd night with raw-queries and looking at the raw-number-results. I would query the data about a 100 ways and she would pick about 10 that could be considered "Measureable Outcomes". This is where I took those 10 queries and created Colorful Graphical Charts for her to take to work.
We were able to do more in those 4 nights of a few hours compared to something that seemed near impossible before.
Her employer asked my wife where she got those reports. Hours later, I was contracted to continue working FOR my wife at home.
Later, I became a Full-Time Contractor, provided an office and my wife leading. Another nurse was brought in for full-time data entry. As a 3 person team, we were expanding the sophistication of the surveys and reports and producing new Measureable-Outcomes each week.
Obviously, MS-Access became a Cornerstone Tool for me ... ( I believe there are many uses for it in the Industrial Environment too ).
This work also provided me with enough extra money to buy a Fully-Loaded Microsoft Development Server including MSSQL and dedicated Frame-Relay internet connection to experiment with webservices from within my home.
Unknowingly to me at this time, these were the main building blocks (along with my industrial experiences) to prepare me for the extraordinary development work needed at Palm Beach Tan and Mystic Tan.