How to Use the Orders Tab / Orders Ability

The Orders Ability is used to enter information about a patient's care and to coordinate tasks and workflow with other MacPractice users within the Office. It's a great tool that, when used correctly, can streamline your office's workflow.

Configuring Orders
While there isn't much that needs to be set up initially, there are a few items you'll want to review before using Orders.

Adding the Orders Icon to the Toolbar
You can access Orders from two places: From the Patient Ability in the Orders Tab, or from the toolbar. However, you'll need to add the Orders Ability icon to the toolbar.


To do this, right click on the Toolbar. you'll be presented with a list of Abilities you can add to the Toolbar. Find Orders and left click and drag it to the toolbar. Click the "Done" button. The icon will now be on your Toolbar.

Adding and Configuring Order Types
Order Types are used to organize and categorize orders within the Orders Table. MacPractice comes with eighteen default order types, ten of which are reserved for use with special features. However, you can create custom Order Types to serve any purpose you need within your office.
A user cannot create Orders with a reserved order type.
You can review all Order Types here.

All Order Types are stored in the References Ability.  Navigate to the References Ability and select the Order Types node in the sidebar. You can expand the node to see all of the Order Types present within your office's database.

Creating an Order Type is simple. With the Order Type node selected in the sidebar, click the Green Plus in the upper left corner of the sidebar. All you need to create an Order Type is the name. You can set a Default Form, or a Default user that all Orders of this Type will be assigned to automatically. Once done, save by pressing Command-S, or selecting Save from the Edit menu.


 Configuring Order Preferences
Finally, you'll want to review your Preferences for Orders. Navigate to the MacPractice Menu and select "Preferences". Select "Orders" from the sidebar.



There aren't too many Preferences to review in this section. You'll want to determine how you want the Default Filter by User to be set. A commonly used option here is to choose "Logged in User", as most MacPractice users will be initially interested in the Orders assigned to them first.

You should also set the most frequently used Order Type in the "Default Order Type When Creating New Orders" field.

The Reminders options allow you to control when reminders will pop up. You'll want to configure these to your liking. Please refer to the Preferences - Orders page for more details.

Using Orders
Now that we've addressed the initial set up, we'll now review the Orders Ability and cover how to create orders, set reminders, attach files to Orders, and print Order Forms.

The Orders Ability is split into two major elements: The Orders Table at the top which lists all Orders that meet the criteria of the Filters, and the Order Detail pane at the bottom half where you can review and alter the details of a selected Order.


Orders Table and Filters
The Orders Table contains both the Filter settings so you can control which Orders appear, and a list of all Orders that meet the Filter Criteria. If you have a patient currently selected in the Patient Selector, the Orders Table will only display Orders associated with that selected patient.

Based on your Preferences, you may have the Filter by User set to either your current user or the last user the filter was set to. If you're ever having trouble locating an Order, you should first check the Filter settings. You'll need to click the "Refresh" button in the upper right for any Filter changes to take effect.

From the Orders Table, you can also add and delete Orders by clicking the Green Plus or Red Minus in the upper right hand corner.

Order Detail Pane


The Order Detail Pane contains all information about a new or selected Order. The Detail Pane is split into three segments, the Order Information Pane, the Order Status Pane, and the Order History Pane.

In the Order Information Pane, you can adjust the basic information of an Order. This includes the Order Type, the tied Provider, Office and Incident, and a Short and Long Description of the Order. The Information Pane also lists patient demographics at the top of the pane. You can also use the Attachments tab to link Attachments to this Order (More about this topic in Orders and Attachments).

The Order Status Pane allows you to manage a few details concerning an Order's Status. You can assign a user to handle the selected Order, adjust the Status of the Order, set up a Due Date or mark an Order urgent. For Careslip Charges, there'll be a button present to post those charges to the appropriate ledger.
You can also set up Reminders for an order. There is also a "Sign" function that will sign off on an Order should approval be necessary for a task.

The Order History Pane contains any administrative notices, such as which user created an Order, as well as any manually added notes to the Order. 

Creating Orders
Creating an Order is simple. Click the Green Plus in the upper right of the Orders Table. If you don't have a patient selected, you will be prompted to select a patient to create an Order for. If you do have a patient selected, the Order will be tied to that selected Patient.

Before an Order is saved, you'll need to fill out the Short Description field. This should be something short and sweet, but still be descriptive enough that you and your co-workers know what it's for at a glance. Whatever is typed into this field will display in the "Subject" column of the Orders Table.

The Default Order Type will pull from Preferences > Orders. You should always double check to make sure the Order Type is correct, especially if your office extensively uses Order Types.

Be sure to check all fields for accuracy. Once you've gotten a Short Description in, you can save the Order anytime by pressing Command-S.

Setting Reminders and the Reminder Lightbulb
Reminders can be set to pop up for the assigned user at a designated date and time. They're very useful to ensure Orders don't slip through the cracks.

With an Order selected, you can click the "Reminders...(x)" button to bring up the Reminder window. The number in the parentheses ()'s indicates how many Reminders are tied to the Order.


The Reminder Window displays each reminder as an individual row, as in example (2). You can add Reminders by clicking the Plus button in the upper right corner (1). If you ever want to remove a reminder, you can click the Minus button on the row with the Reminder you wish to remove (3). The Minus Button at the top will clear ALL reminders.

When you are done managing your Reminders, click the OK button (4).

The Reminder Lightbulb is in the lower right corner of the MacPractice Window next to the Support Bubble. It is visible from all Abilities. 


The Reminder Lightbulb will light up if the currently logged in user has an Order assigned to them with a Reminder active.

glossary_Lightbulb.png Default: No Reminders

glossary_Lightbulb_on.png Yellow: A Reminder is queued Up

glossary_lightbulb_red.pngRed: An urgent reminder is queued up.

You can then click the Lightbulb to get a list of all currently active Reminders.


For more information, please refer to the Reminders article.

Orders and Attachments

Sometimes you'll want to include additional information to an Order. For this purpose, you can include Attachments on an Order. You can do this from either the Orders Ability or the Attachments Ability.

To attach a file to an Order from the Orders Ability, you'll first select an Order, and then click the "Attachment" tab in the Order Information Pane.


From here, you can view existing attachments linked to this Order. Click the Green Plus to add a new attachment. You can either add a pre-existing attachment already added to the Attachments Ability in MacPractice (presuming that the attachment is already associated with the patient in question), or you can upload a new file.

Alternatively, from the Attachments Ability you can use the "Associate to Order" button in the upper left hand corner to link an existing Attachment to an Order.


Printing Orders

To print Orders, you'll first need to ensure an Order Form is set in Preferences > Forms. 


If there is no option for an Order Form, you may need to activate the Order Form in the References Ability under the Forms node.


Once you have an Order Form selected in Preferences > Forms, printing Orders works like printing anything else. Simply select the Order from the Orders Table, and then you can either use the Command-P shortcut, or you can navigate to the File menu and click Print.

Special Order Types
As we discussed previously in Adding and Configuring Order Types, there are ten default order types that are reserved for special purposes. We won't cover all of them here in this guide, but we will cover some of the most common ones. For more information on Order Types, please refer to the Order Types article.

  • Careslip Changes: These Orders are created from the EMR Ability, the EHR Ability, or the iEHR App if a user creates a Billing Order. This generates a Careslip Changes Order in the Patient's Orders. Instead of a Short and Long Description, information concerning the billing codes and diagnosis codes will appear instead.
    There will also be a "Post Charges" button present that, when clicked, will post all charges in the Order to the Patient's Ledger. The New Charge window will appear, which gives you the opportunity to make any changes.
  • Laboratory: Lab Orders types are used to create and manage lab requisitions and receive lab results from selected laboratories. Configuring lab requisitions is an additional purchased feature. For more information, please contact the MacPractice Corporate Sales team or refer to the Labs Ability article here.
  • HL7 Imported Transactions: This Order Type is used for transactions that were imported via HL7. For example, transactions from the iPhone interface or from SpringCharts would come through as an HL7 Imported Transaction. For more information on these, please refer to the HL7 Imported Transactions article.
  • Patient Portal Corrections: This Order Type is used for any corrections received from the Patient Portal. This can include messages, or updated demographic information.
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