Preferences - Attachments

The Attachments preference controls two Abilities in MacPractice: Images, which is a free ability that comes with MacPractice, and Attachments, which is a purchased ability. Both Abilities handle associating image files with patient records. This article covers the functionality of these Preferences.
What's the difference between Images and Attachments?
Images allows for the selection of image sizes under the Maximum Image Size pop-up menus as well as the option to display only new images. Images will only allow you to upload non-proprietary formats of image files, such as .gif, .tiff, .bmp, .jpg, .png, and .pdf files.
If your office purchases the advanced Attachments ability, you can set the maximum size of imported images, configure automatic importing, and it will allow you to upload any file, not just the non-proprietary files listed above.
  • Display Images Newer Than ___ Days Old: When this preference is checked, it will cause MacPractice to only load and display images added in Attachments/Images within the selected period of days when no patient is selected. 
    This is helpful if you have a large database with many old attachments that you do not need to see on a regular basis. This will also impact the Advanced View in the Schedule's Appointment Window. If at any point you need to view older attachments, you can either turn this preference off, or you can select the patient to see their specific attachments.
  • Maximum Image Size options for Patient Photo and Patient Attachments allows you to choose the resolution you would prefer to have saved in the database. Choosing a lower resolution such as 200 x 150 will make the image size smaller and save room in the database, but will negatively affect the quality of the image. Choosing a higher resolution, such as 800 x 600 will make the image size and database size larger. Choosing (None) will not change the size or resolution of imported images. This preference will not apply to PDF files, or multi-page TIFF files. 
Importing Options
  • Enable import folder: This checkbox, when enabled, will cause any files placed in a selected folder to be automatically imported into MacPractice's Attachments Ability. If a patient is selected, any files placed in the Import Folder will be imported into the Attachments Ability and associated with the currently selected patient.
    If no patient is selected, any imported files will be saved under the Attachments node and can be associated to a patient later using the Associate to Patient button if needed. 
    NOTE: You must have the Attachments ability enabled on your license to use the Auto-Import function. Most scanners have the option to save the scanned documents to a selected folder. You will want to set the Import Files Folder to match the folder the scanner is going to drop the files in when it scans a document.
  • Switch to new record on import: Uncheck this to prevent MacPractice from switching from your current view to display images as they are uploaded.
  • Beep when import is completed: If checked, MacPractice will make a beeping sound when an import has been completed.
  • Do not automatically associate imported files to patients: When checked, MacPractice will import files to the Attachments node, rather than the Patient Attachments node, regardless of whether the One/Many icon is set to One or Many.
  • The Delay Between Pollings pop-up button determines how frequently MacPractice checks to see if a file is in the folder and how long MacPractice waits to see if the file changed.

    For example, if you set this menu to "10 seconds", MacPractice will check to see if there is a new file every 10 seconds. Once a file is detected, MacPractice will check every 10 seconds to see if the file has grown. If it has not, the file will be imported. If the file size has changed, MacPractice will check back in another 10 seconds. This feature is useful when scanning in multi-page PDFs, as it prevents MacPractice from importing the file before all pages have been scanned.

    However, this feature can cause issues if your scanner does not assign unique names to each file. If your scanner uses the same name for all documents it creates (such as scan.pdf), it may be advisable to keep your import folder open in Finder, and ensure MacPractice has cleared the previous file before starting your next scan.
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