Baylor College of Medicine has five Teen Health Clinics (THC) dispersed throughout Harris county. The population served by the clinics includes inner-city adolescent boys and girls 19 years of age and under. Patients receive services such as family planning, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment, perinatal care, counseling, and support services. Adolescents may receive services at any one of the clinics at no cost to the adolescent or their dependents. Given the geographical distribution of the clinics and the reliance on paper-based records, client services cannot be provided efficiently or expeditiously. According to the statistics developed by Clinic staff, ineffective coordination of service needs and client schedules undermine the follow-up needed for effective care. For example, a counselor will often need to balance a school schedule, clinic visits, well baby follow-up, and the Best Friends Program for a new mother. In addition, the lack of ready access to patient information impairs the ability of clinical and social service staff to provide continuity of care. In fact, some cases of client dropout are attributable to these difficulties. We have developed the Collaborative Social and Medical Service Application (CSMSA) to facilitate the provision of social and medical services to this population. The CSMSA is a domain-specific application based on a robust infrastructure known as the Ambulatory Services Architecture (ASA). This system is designed to support integrated social and ambulatory care. The ASA is a Baylor developed application framework and architecture for the computerization of the patient medical record in the ambulatory care setting. The working environment for the CSMSA user is an integrated desktop which provides an operating environment for both third-party applications and the CSMSA, as well as a fundamental set of services. The integrated desktop services include a mechanism for object organization or grouping, a facility for the management of desktop objects including disposal and storage, and an embedded search utility to assist in the location of desktop objects as well as other application objects. The access control mechanism will provide the security for the desktop environment by requiring the user to log into and out of the environment. This security mechanism will also enable/disable CSMSA tools based on the user's role at the clinic. The CSMSA is designed to provide work process, functionality and data access appropriate to the responsibilities of the user, e.g., a THC clerk may have permission to view a patient's orders but does not have the facility to create an order. Patient context is defined through a patient browser containing the master patient index or a user defined patient list. Patient encounters are managed using forms based on the process for each encounter type (e.g., initial visit). Forms are used for data entry and for queries. Data entry forms are only committed to the patient database (i.e., making the patient data available to other users who have permission to access the data) when the user approves the data. The CSMSA provides a means to suspend an entry into a chart by saving incomplete or non-committed data entry forms as part of the desktop state which is restored when the user logs into the system. CSMSA was designed to provide a robust, expandable application capable of accommodating the changes in health care and social services delivery while encompassing evolving software standards and new technology. This goal was achieved using object-oriented methodologies and technologies, combined with an object-oriented database management system as the foundation of our server to facilitate the evolution of our data model.