How to Set Up, Import and Organize Attachments/Images

The Attachments and Images Abilities attach nonproprietary files such as .gif, .tiff, .bmp, .jpg, .png, and .pdf files to patient accounts. Images is a free standard MacPractice ability used to attach files to patient accounts.

Attachments is a purchased MacPractice ability that works similarly to Images, but also allows files to be imported automatically. The Attachments Ability is also able to attach proprietary file formats for easy storage and retrieval. MacPractice may not be able to display the information in these other formats from directly within MacPractice, however this feature will allow you to be able to store Attachments and link them to patient records.

With Attachments, you are also able to upload .mov and .mp4 files. 

New in later builds of Build 10, you can also upload Anatomage files with the extensions .amg, apj, and .inv to Attachments. For these to import automatically with an import folder, you'll need to have the purchased option for Anatomage. For any questions regarding this, contact our Sales Department.

This article provides an overview of how to navigate the Attachments Ability, how to import attachments and categorize them to easily sort them later, and how to set up an Import folder that can automatically import attachments placed in a particular folder.

Navigating Attachments

Attachments are added to a separate attachments database which can be backed up separately. However, attaching files does increase the size of the database and the size of media and time required to create database backups. Please see the Backup documentation for more information on developing an appropriate backup scheme.

Navigating in Attachments
Navigating in the Attachments ability is relatively simple. With no Patient selected, you are able to access all attachments tied to patients by navigating to Thumbnails or Patient Attachments in the Sidebar. If you have a specific attachment you are looking for, right above the Attachments sidebar there is a Search bar. 

Thumbnails: This node, when expanded by clicking on the triangle icon to the left of the node, will display a list of all patients with Attachments/Images associated with them. With a patient selected, thumbnails will appear in the window of all of their attachments. You can click once to select a thumbnail, or double click it to open the Attachment in Preview.

Patient Attachments: When expanded, this node will list all attachments organized by Patient. When you select a name, an image of the attachment will appear, along with all other information, including file name, Incident (if the attachment is linked to an Incident), Attachment Type, Description, Procedure Date and Attachment Status. There is also a button present that will allow you to associate the selected attachment to another patient. 

Locked Patient Attachment: Any attachment can be dragged to this node, which will lock down the Attachment so no changes can be made to any of the associated fields.

Attachments: In the sidebar, there is an Attachments node which contains Attachments that have NOT been associated to a particular Patient. Once associated, the Attachment will be visible in the Patient Attachments or Thumbnails node.

Patient Photos: This node contain images to be displayed alongside the Patient record. This photo can also be configured to appear in the Schedule blocks associated to this Patient by adjusting Appointment Display settings appropriately.

Attachment Types: This node allows you to create, delete, and organize different Attachment Types you can select from. You can set each Type as a separate node to assist in organization. For example, in the above screenshot you will see an Insurance Card node, which is an Attachment Type set to display in the node. All Attachments with this Type will be listed in this node. 

Attachment Status: This node allows you to create, delete, and organize your Attachment Statuses you can select from. You can also set Attachment Statuses as nodes to assist with organization.
Importing Attachments 

Drag and Drop: The easiest method to import Attachments is the Drag and Drop method. Simply drag and drop the Attachment you wish to import into the Attachments window. If you have a Patient selected, the attachment will associate immediate with that Patient. If there is no Patient selected, the Attachment will be placed in the Attachments node.

Browse: An alternative method is to use the Browse button present in the Attachment view (between File and Incident) to select a file that you wish to upload as an Attachment.
It is important to note that if you use either the Drag and Drop method or the Browse method with an Attachment already selected, you will be prompted whether you want to replace the existing record or not. You can choose to cancel, replace the existing record, or create a new record.

Import Folder: 
For many offices, they will have a workflow of scanning in images via a scanner of some kind, and will need to immediately import attachments into MacPractice. To streamline this process, we have the option of setting up an Import Folder, which will automatically upload any attachments placed in the folder directly into MacPractice.
To set up an Import folder, first navigate to the MacPractice Menu > Preferences > Attachments.
From here, you will first need to set an Import Path. This is the location where MacPractice will pull files from to import them as Attachments. It's important that this path be one that is exclusively used just for this purpose. It's also a good idea to set this path that your scanner is pointed at to save scanned images.
Once an Import Path is set, you can then check the 'Enable Import Folder' checkbox. Once this is enabled, all images that enter this folder are imported into MacPractice and then removed from the Import Folder.
There is an option at the bottom of Preferences > Attachments "Do Not Automatically Associate Imported Files to Patients". This option, if disabled, will associate any attachment imported to the currently selected patient. For some offices, this is perfect, as they are always scanning attachments for the immediate patient they have selected right now. Other offices may want to enable this option if they aren't always scanning in items for the immediate patient, or if they simply want a bit more manual control over how they handle their attachments. 


Anatomage Files
In Build 10, we've added the ability to upload Anatomage files to the Attachments ability to store them within your database. Specifically, you can now upload files with the extensions .amg, .api, and .inv. This is a purchased option within MacPractice.
Without the purchased option, you will not be able to utilize an auto-import folder to automatically pull these files into MacPractice and will have to rely on manually uploading these files into MacPractice.

Attachment Attributes
Attachment Attributes are used to organize and define attachments based on their Status, Type, Associated Patient, Description, Procedure Date, and Incident.

Associate to Order: This button allows you to associate an attachment to a new order or an existing order. Click the button and it will bring up a list of open orders. From there you can add a new order or select an existing one.

Patient: This indicates which patient the attachment is associated with. You can use the drop-down triangle icon to the left of the Patient field to select a patient to associate the attachment to. If you have associated an attachment to a patient in error, you can also use this selector to select another patient.
File name: The name of the file that was imported. This attribute cannot be changed.
Incident: This drop down menu allows you to associate an attachment to a specific Incident. This will cause the attachment to show up in the Clinical tab with that Incident selected, and is generally useful to further organize your data.
Attachment Type: This drop down allows you to select an Attachment Type to tie to this attachment. If the Attachment Type is set to display as a node in the sidebar (see Attachment Types) this will cause this attachment to be included in that node.
Description: This field is used to set a description of an attachment. This field is searchable, so if you type in the sidebar search for a term that a description uses, that attachment will appear in the search results.
Procedure Date: This field allows you to set a Procedure Date for a particular attachment.
Attachment Status: This drop down allows you to select an Attachment Status to tie to this attachment. If the Attachment Status is set to display as a node in the sidebar (see Attachment Statuses) this will cause this attachment to be included in that node.
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