EHR Ability - Overview

The EHR Ability is used to create and manage Electronic Health Record forms that can be utilized by providers and patients alike. Here, you can review filled out patient forms and create/edit templates to be used to generate new patient forms.

The benefit of using EHR forms is the interoperability that is built into the form. The MacPractice Suite will allow the office to use a form across several platforms - on the patient portal with online registration, the iPad using the Clipboard application for patients and the iEHR application for clinicians, and on the desktop using the EHR ability.

This article covers the interface of the EHR Ability, and how to manage patient forms. This article doesn't cover building EHR Templates, but you can read more about that topic in our Building Templates article.

Clinical Summary
The Clinical Summary node is the default view when entering the EHR Ability. After selecting a patient, the user will be presented with the Clinical Summary.  This page will display the entire history of the patient's account. MacPractice will group all related items into a colored bubble or box known as a clinical widget. Each item in the patient's summary has a link to the corresponding document or item within MacPractice. Simply click a blue link to be taken to that corresponding area.


The clinical summary also has a filter at the top of the screen. This filter allows the user to show only the relevant information during a time period. Use the popup box to select a predefined date, or enter in a customized time frame. 


This clinical summary also can be seen per Incident.

This view is fundamentally the same as present in the Clinical Ability (or Clinical Tab in the Patient Ability in older builds of MacPractice). You can read more about the Clinical Ability here.

The Incidents node allows you to view any specific incidents created on the patient's account. This view essentially filters down the information already present in the Clinical Summary to the specific details which only apply to the selected incident.


When needed, a new incident can easily be created within the EHR ability by selecting + Add New Incident. This incident will be present in other areas of MacPractice, such as in the Ledger.


The incident details will be shown at the top of the main window, where you can set the Incident Name, Date, and a Referral Source. You can also check the First Encounter checkbox if this is your first interaction with this patient.

The Incident can also be exported using direct messaging or uploaded to the patient portal if desired.


Creating Patient Forms

You can easily create patient forms by clicking the Green Plus in the sidebar with an Incident selected. A window will appear, prompting you to select an EHR Template to create a form from.


Pull Data

At the bottom of this prompt, there are two checkboxes which allow you to control what data is carried forward from previously filled out forms.

  • Allow Sections to Pull Data Forward: When checked, this option will place a blue header across each Form Section, as shown here:
    This prompt describes where the pull data is from, the user who created the form and the date it was last updated. If you want to use the previously entered form's data, you can click the Pull Data button to populate this field with that previous information.
  • Auto-Commit Pulled Data: If this checkbox and the "Allow Sections to Pull Data Forward" is checked, this will automatically pull data into the section's respective fields as if the Pull Data button had been pressed for each section.

Once the form has been selected, click the create button to use the patient's new form. 

Viewing and Editing Patient Forms

Selecting an EHR Form in an Incident in the sidebar will bring up the form's contents. On the left, a Table of Contents pane contains all of the sections that make up this new form, with a Go To button to the right of each listed Section, which you can click to quickly navigate to that section.


This Table of Contents can be expanded or minimized by clicking the Screen_Shot_2021-04-29_at_11-1.31.21_AM.png button in the top bar above the form.


In the center of this header, you can see a toggle and a lock icon. If the toggle is clicked, you can switch between the Narrative View, the current Form View, and Snapshots of previously saved copies of this form.


Unless the form is locked, the Form View will display in the main view of the EHR Ability. If the form is locked, the Narrative View of the completed form will display and you will be unable to make any changes.

Form View
The Form View allows the user to enter in data into each section that comprises the form. This data, when entered, will be formatted into a print-friendly form in the Narrative View, or an easily readable EHR Form on our iEHR app for iPads. For some Sections, you can add data by clicking into fields, or by clicking specific hyperlinks within the form itself.

You'll note that in the upper right hand corner of each section, there are either 1 or 2 additional buttons available.


The first button allows a user to pull data from other forms for this patient. The forms in question must have the same exact Section and data entered. When clicked, a prompt will appear allowing you to view other forms for this patient, and if there is data that can be pulled, you can select it and click the Pull Data button.


The Gear Icon, when clicked, contains a few additional options.


  • Include on Narrative Checkbox: This checkbox, if enabled, will include this Section on the Narrative View. This is checked by default, but if you wish to hide a particular Section from displaying on the form's narrative, uncheck this.
  • Add Annotation: When clicked, this button will allow you to add an annotation to the end of this Section that will appear on the Narrative and the Form View. This is useful if you want to elaborate further on a particular entry. The Annotation will be printed in blue, and will list the MacPractice User's name and the date which the Annotation was made. 
  • Clear Section: This button will clear any previously made entry in this Section, effectively resetting it. This is useful if a mistake was made in the original entry.

After editing any fields, you can save with the keyboard shortcut Command S or by using the edit menu's Save Record option, as shown in the below screenshot. Notice that every time that the EHR form is saved, a new snapshot is created. 


Narrative View
The Narrative View is the printer-friendly version of the EHR form. It displays the entered form data and will be what is viewable when the form is locked. Even if locked, you can still toggle through the narratives of previously saved Snapshots of the form.


You can also use the Search Field in the upper right to search for particular terms or words.

You can print off a copy of the form by pressing Command-P on your keyboard, or by navigating to the File Menu and selecting Print. You'll need to be on the Narrative View in order to print a form.From the resulting window, you can either select a printer and click Print, or you can use the PDF menu to save a PDF copy of the form.

Locking Forms

When a form is locked, users can no longer make any changes to the form, and you can only view the narrative of the completed form.  A user should only lock a form after the provider has completed and signed the form, and no further details need to be added to it.  

To lock a form, simply click the padlock icon in the bar at the top of the form to the right of the view toggle. You'll be prompted to confirm that you want to lock this form.


Once a form is locked, you'll see the header bar note that the form is locked, and the date, time and the user that locked the form.


If there is an error in the form after locking it, your best option is to create a new form from the same template, and pull the data forward from this copy. Once this is complete, you can then archive the incorrect form by clicking the red minus in the sidebar. 

Patient Portal and Assigning Forms

The Patient Portal node contains all EHR Templates that you have assigned. to the Patient via the Patient Portal. This feature requires that you have Online Registration and EHR Forms purchased on your license, in addition to having a Patient Portal set up. Visit this website to see if the appropriate abilities are active on the office serial number

You can learn more about sending Online EHR Forms in this linked article.


The Notes section contains the Notes Template node, which you can read about here.

Template Library and Shared Templates

The Shared Templates node is used to jumpstart the forms building process for the EHR ability. These forms have been created by the MacPractice EHR department, and are worth reviewing to see if they meet your needs. Forms can be installed and updated through this node.

When you select the Shared Templates node, you'll be presented with a list of available Shared Templates, and the date a template was most recently updated by the MacPractice EMR Staff. When a template is selected in the left column, a summary or preview will be displayed in the right column.

The Summary Tab contains a list of all the Sections that make up this particular form. If you scroll down, there'll also be an entry indicating whether the form is available for use in the Clipboard iPad app.

The Preview Tab allows you to get a glimpse at how the form is laid out. Sections that are a "codified section" won't be fully displayed here in the Preview, meaning that those sections are built to contain standardized information that interface with other areas of MacPractice.


At the bottom of the detail window the user will notice a button allowing the user to install, update, or uninstall the current form. 


If a template has already been installed, a green checkbox will be displayed on the form icon in the list of forms.



Building Templates are covered in this article here.

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