How to Set Up and Use Prescriptions (Rx)

The Rx Ability is used to create, manage, print, and refill prescriptions, and to enter current medications for patients. 

While ePrescribe is accessed from the Rx Ability, utilizing ePrescribe is a distinctly different process. If you are seeking more information on how to use ePrescribe, we encourage you to refer to the ePrescribe article as this article will be focused exclusively on using the Rx Ability to create and print paper prescriptions.

The Rx Guide contains the following topics:

Setting up Rx
There are a few steps you will need to take before using Rx.

Selecting a Medications Coding Database
First, you'll need to determine what Medications Coding System you'll want to set. This determines what list of medications will be accessible when you are in the Rx Ability. This option can be found in the MacPractice Menu > Preferences > Coding. You can select from FDB, RxNorm, and Custom.


FDB: Stands for First Data Bank. If your office has purchased ePrescribe, you will have this option available and will need to set this, as our ePrescribe system is designed to work with the FDB list.
RxNorm: RxNorm Codes are a common standard identifier for prescriptions. If you do not have ePrescribe, this is a solid option that contains most common medications.
Custom: If you have a need to add custom medications, this option will pull the Medications added in References > Medications (Custom).

In short, if you have ePrescribe, select FDB. If not, select RxNorm. And if you need to use Custom Medications, you can select Custom.

Setting a Default Rx Form
Next, you'll need to select a default Rx Form that will be pre-set when you create a new Prescription for a Patient. This will eliminate the need to select the desired form every time you prescribe a medication. 


The drop down in Preferences > Forms for RX Form will display all "Active" Prescription Forms in References > Forms. If you don't see a form that you are looking for, you may need to activate it.
To activate a Form, simply navigate to References > Forms and select the form you wish to activate. The "Form Active" checkbox is to the right of the Form Version field, visible in the screenshot below. 
You can also preview the layout of the form by clicking on the "View" button.


The standard forms for Prescriptions are:

  • Prescription
  • Prescription [4 per sheet]
  • Prescription [Half Page]
  • Prescription [Narcotic]

Each of these forms are essentially the same, just formatted differently. It is important to note that the 4 per sheet and Half Page can print multiple prescriptions for one patient, but not for multiple patients. We'll address this later in the Create a Prescription section.

(4.4 and earlier) Adding Medications via Medications Manager
Prior to build 6.1 of MacPractice, the software did not contain a database of Medications in the same way. References contained the FDB database for ePrescribe, and also contained a Medications (NDC) folder that was used for offices without ePrescribe.
In order to populate the NDC Medication Reference folder, offices running 4.4 and earlier can use the Medications Manager, accessible from the Managers ability.
Using Medications Manager, you can add only the medications your office uses or all of the codes available, but this could have an impact on performance.
For more information on how to utilize Medications Manager, we highly encourage you to utilize our old help resources on Entering Medications.

Using Rx
This section will break down the elements of the Rx Ability and guide you through the workflow.

Rx Sidebar
The Rx Sidebar contains three folders for all of your patient prescriptions, separated into status categories. A fourth folder provides access to the ePrescribe module, which is addressed in the ePrescribe article.
If no patient is selected, each of these categories will display all medications that belong in that category for all patients in the database.
If a patient is selected, only that patient's medications will be displayed in each category.
You can also move medications from category to category by dragging and dropping them into the desired category.


  • Pending Meds: You will only see this category if you have ePrescribe. This category contains medications that have been ordered in ePrescribe but haven't yet been transmitted, printed, or cleared out. 
  • Active Med List: This category contains all medications that the patient is currently taking. 
  • Inactive Meds: This category contains any medications that the patient used to take but is not currently taking right now. 
  • ePrescribe: Grants access to the ePrescribe ability.

Create a Prescription
To create a Prescription, you will first select the Patient you wish to prescribe a medication for, then click the Green Plus in the sidebar.
If this is a prescription you are writing for the patient right now, you'll choose Active Meds.
If you're simply adding history for the patient, you can add this under Inactive Meds. You can use the Non-Printed Notes field to indicate who wrote the initial prescription.


Not all fields in Rx for a prescription are required. You will need to fill out the following required fields, which highlight in Red when entering information.

  • Medication: This is a field that will allow you to search all medications from the database indicated by your Coding Database in Preferences > Coding
  • Route: This field allows you to select the method of taking the medication by a drop down menu. 
  • Incident: All prescriptions fall under a particular Incident in the patient's Clinical Summary. This defaults to the most recently used Incident.
  • Provider: This field indicates the Provider that prescribed the medication.
  • Office: This field indicates the Office where the prescription was written.
  • Form: This field allows you to select the prescription form that will be used. This is automatically set to the Default Rx Form that you have set in Form Preferences.

You can learn about the other fields in the Prescription Fields article.
Once you have filled out the required fields and any other fields, you can save the record by pressing Command-S. You can also print off the Prescription by clicking the "Print Rx" button in the lower right.
If you have several prescriptions you need to write and want to print them all in one batch, you can use the "Add to Queue" and "Print Queue[x]" buttons. The Print Queue button will indicate how many items are in the queue by the value in the [ ]'s.
If you are using the "Half Page" or "4 per page" Prescription forms, it is important to note that these forms will only print multiple prescriptions on the same page if the patient is the same.

Reprint or Renew a Prescription
You can Reprint or Renew a Prescription by simply clicking the "Print Rx" button again. This will prompt you whether you wish to Reprint or Renew the prescription.


Reprinting a Prescription will print a duplicate of the selected prescription. This will not add a new line to the patient's clinical record.
Renewing a Prescription will duplicate the information of the selected prescription and it will create a new prescription in the sidebar. It will also add a new line in the patient's clinical record.

Track a Prescription
Once prescriptions have been added to a patient's record, you will be able to track them using a variety of tools.
First, all prescriptions for a patient will appear in the Patient's Clinical Ledger, accessible from the Patients Ability > Ledger tab. You can view these by enabling Rx in the View Options drop down menu, under Clinical Ledger.
Prescriptions are also viewable for a patient in the Clinical Summary under the Clinical Tab of the Patients Ability.
There are also two reports that can track prescriptions.
The Patients by Medication report, found in the Reports Ability under the Clinical category, will list all patients with medications. You can filter by specific medications, and this report can be organized either by Medication or by Patient.
Prescriptions will also be listed in the Patient Clinical report, also under the Clinical category of the Reports Ability.


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