Database Utilities, located in the Managers ability, allow you and your office staff to make major changes to your MacPractice data very easily, and to change data in bulk. If there is something of this nature that you need to change or fix in MacPractice, there may be a Database Utility for that purpose. This class will cover how to prepare for and run a Database Utility and cover a few of the most commonly used utilities.
Since Database Utilities make such wide changes to the database, they can only be accessed on the server computer. No other computer will be able to see the Database Utilities node in the sidebar. When running a utility, everyone else in the office should be logged out of MacPractice. This is VERY important as you are making system-wide changes to your data; someone else working in and changing the old data simultaneously could cause inconsistencies. You can double-check to see that all other users are logged out from the server itself, without having to go around to each individual machine. Go to Window > Online Users. The “localhost” user is you on the server; this is what the window should look like when running a Database Utility, with only the person running the utility logged in.
Always create a backup before running any Database Utility. Database Utilities are pretty quick and easy to use, however, if something out of the ordinary should occur (such as a power surge in the middle of running a Database Utility, for instance), you want to be sure that all of your data is saved beforehand. Check your computer for a current backup. If you do not have one that is recent enough, you can create a backup in Preferences > Server Backup, by hitting the backup button and selecting the location where you wish to save the backup. The time it will take varies greatly per office. Again, everyone else should be logged out while MacPractice is backing up, and the process should be allowed to complete. If you have any questions about how to backup in MacPractice or checking to make sure your backup was successful, please contact Support.
A Database Utility, by its definition is changing data in you database, so be sure to quit MacPractice on the client machines and have a current and complete MacPractice backup.
Now we’ll talk about some of the most commonly used Database Utilities:
The list of available utilities is in alphabetical order, and we’ll work our way down through the list.
Archive: Archiving something in MacPractice means that it will no longer be available for use or reference. You will not be able to see it in your active data. It is different from deleting inasmuch as it is still saved to your database and can be retrieved if needed. The most commonly used of the Archive utilities is Archive Paid Incidents. Incidents are a great way to organize a patients ledger so that it does not become cluttered. However, if you create a new incident for every patient visit and suddenly find yourself drowning in Incidents, this is the utility for you. All incidents with a $0 balance and no open claims will be archived.
Be sure to read over anything in this area of the screen. The top part will explain what the utility does, and the bottom part allows you to set parameters.
Once you are ready, hit Go. A window will pop-up, reminding you to log out on all other terminals. If you have done so, hit OK. The next pop-up will prompt you to create a backup before proceeding. You can create one here if you’d like. If you’ve already done so, hit Cancel. Next hit Continue. See how quickly that was done? MacPractice is now telling me that I have archived 47 old incidents. It did all that work for me instead of me having to go into each individual patient account and archive them all individually. This is how Database Utilities can be a huge time saver for your office.
Delete and Delete Unused:
- for clean-up
- Delete Transparency Blocks
- Delete Unused Account Alerts/Appointment Types
Next, a couple for EMR:
- for a doctor who has not been locking EMR forms and wishes to start doing so for security can use the Lock EMR Forms Before Date
Move Patient to Another Account:
- arguably the most used utility, this allows you to combine and separate patient accounts
Set eClaims Template
Set Zero Balance Claims to Paid Closed
Update Accepts Assignment/Carrier Always Pays Provider
- Release of Info and Sig on File are also good along these lines
Update Patient Insurance
- for consolidating insurance company references
Update Patient Provider
- provider is leaving the practice and patients need to be moved over
Those are some of the most popular Database Utilities. As you can see, these can be VERY useful time-savers and there are many others in the list. Please remember that the two most important things about a Database Utility are logging out on the clients and creating a backup.
End of Year Tasks that you may want to consider:
Most offices do some clean up and updating at the end of year. This often includes
- Archiving Paid Incidents to keep ledgers streamlined
- Deleting Unused Transparency blocks to clean up the schedule
- Locking EMR Forms prior to a date so that they can't be edited
- If you are consolidating or cleaning up insurance references, use Update Patient Insurance
- If you've had staff changes, you may also use Update Patient Provider."
Last, some offices use the Set Zero Balance Claims to Paid/Closed. This is something we advise using only with extreme caution. This will close all claims that have no remaining balance, regardless of the reason.
For assistance with any utilities, please feel free to reach out to the MacPractice Technical Support Team.