Database Guide

The MacPractice interface is used to interact with the data stored in MySQL, the relational database application. Databases are composed of columns and rows, like a spreadsheet. Each item in a row represents a unit of information in the database, where a row typically represents an entire record. Relational databases also have the capability of tying these units of information together, which is essential to accurate reports and translating data across Abilities.

This document will explain why some information cannot be deleted from the database, and will help you understand how different records interact with each other.

Database Ties
Most interactions with MacPractice result in tying different records of information together.

When adding a new patient record, you type information, select items from menus, or choose records from lists. This group of information is tied within the database. Additionally, MacPractice keeps track of which user performed that action. Once items are tied together, they cannot be deleted until the ties are broken. For example, an insurance company that is currently associated to any patients or guarantors cannot be deleted, because that would cause errors in the patient's record.

In most cases, if you wish to delete an item, you can remove any current ties to any patients or other records. You can then remove the item from your database completely.

Database Integrity
In certain cases, records must be preserved for database integrity. User records cannot be deleted if that user is a provider and has a history of transactions. Since most transactions in the Ledger are associated to a provider, deleting that provider would cause issues with every transaction associated to him or her.

Providers can never be deleted from your database if that provider is tied to transactions in your database. If a user leaves your practice, you only need to make their record inactive or archive it. This ensures that you can still track that user's past actions in your reports.

Many other records cannot be deleted if they have a similar history, such as insurance companies with financial information like claims and payments. In the event that you no longer wish to view an insurance company or other similar record in your database, you can archive that record, which preserves that item in your database without removing it. Archived records can be retrieved if the information ever needs to be referenced. Archiving records allows you to keep your database from getting cluttered with records, while saving time when searching through unused items.

New information entered in MacPractice should be spelled properly and not duplicate any existing information. It can be difficult to clean up duplicate records if they are tied to multiple patient records and other items in your database. If having duplicated and misspelled items is a concern, it may be wise to restrict some users from creating new references by changing their user privileges.

Database Size
Most items in your database take up insignificant amounts of storage space. The majority of your data size will typically come from your financial transaction history in the ledger and with any attachments, images and PDF files in your database. You can easily remove outdated claim and statement PDF files by running a database utility, and you can also constrain the resolution of any newly attached photos or image attachments in the Preferences window by selecting Attachments in the sidebar. MacPractice does not recommend reducing the file size of any radiographs in the Imaging or Digital Radiography abilities, as image detail is clinically important. Additionally, you can backup your attachments file separately from your database if your backups do not fit on your current media.
Database Maintenance
The following database utilities may assist you in removing unwanted records in MacPractice:
  • Delete Closed Claim PDFs
  • Delete Statement PDFs
  • Delete Unused Account Alerts
  • Delete Unused Adjustment Types
  • Delete Unused Appointment Types
  • Delete Unused City State Zips
  • Delete Unused Employers
  • Delete Unused Financial Status
  • Delete Unused incident Name
  • Delete Unused NDC Medications
  • Delete Unused Patient Alerts
  • Delete Unused Referrals
The following database utilities may assist you in cleaning up seldom-used records in MacPractice:
  • Archive Encounter Forms
  • Archive Paid Incidents
  • Archive/Delete Unused Insurance Companies and Plans
  • Merge City State Zips
Please see the Database Utilities documentation for more information.
Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful