Patients Ability - Sidebar Overview

Within the Patient Ability you will fine the Patient Sidebar on the left side of the MacPractice window. Within the sidebar you will find your list of your patients as well as the Find tool and Default record.


Patient Labels

In the Label drop down there are 7 different colored labels that you can use to classify patients. Many offices use this as a quick indicator for insurance type, collection status, emergency cases, etc. The label names can be updated to fit your needs within Preferences > Labels.

To assign a label to a patient, select their name within the sidebar, then simply select the label color within the drop down menu.


Patient Search Bar

There are a few methods for finding patient's within MacPractice, including the Patient Selector and Find function. In addition to those options a user can do a quick search of a Patient's Name or Account Number by using the Search Bar.

Simply select the Patient, Archive, or New Patient Node in the sidebar and enter the information. Then click enter/return on your keyboard to start the search. The selected node will expand with the results of the search.

For more information on searching/navigating the Patient Sidebar, visit our tutorial HERE


Default Record

When creating a new patient or account, the information listed in the Default record in the Patients sidebar will be added to the new record.
The most common defaults are:

  • Phone Numbers: You may wish to set the labels for each phone field; by default they are all set to Home but many office record this information in a specific order such as Mobile, Work, then Home.
  • Provider, Office, Fee Schedule: Select the provider, office, and fee schedule that will pull to the New Charge window by default. If you have multiple providers, offices, or fee schedules, you may wish to leave these set to None to prevent new patients from being associated to the incorrect provider. You may also choose to turn on a preference to use the Account provider instead. In MacPractice DDS, there will also be a Preferred Hygienist field. This is for reference only, and is not used in charges or scheduling.
  • Relationship to Primary/Secondary: This sets the default relationship between the person listed in the Patient tab and the person listed in the Primary tab. For most offices, this will be set to Self. Pediatric offices may wish to set this to Child. This relationship setting is based on relationship types allowed by Insurance Companies, as it will be the relationship within a claim generated for this patient.
    Note: These relationship defaults will not apply when creating a new patient via the schedule; when a patient is created by that method, the relationship to Primary/Secondary will always be set to Self.
  • Signature on File/Release of Info: In the Primary/Secondary tabs, MacPractice suggests setting "Signature on File" and "Release of Info" to be checked by default under the Primary and Secondary tabs. However, this does not apply for all offices.

Most fields can be set in the Default record. There are a few exceptions, including: Last Name, First Name, Middle, Prefix, Suffix, Maiden Name, Nickname, Social Security, Birth Date, Birth Time, and the New Patient Date. In addition to those fields, the Ledger and Orders tabs cannot be set in the Default record.


When you select the Find node in the sidebar, you can enter your search criteria in the detail area to the right. Entering information in one of these fields will only search that specific field and will ignore all other fields. Enter your search criteria then press the return key on the keyboard. As you can see, typing John in the first name field on the patient's tab here will only pull up patients with a first name of John and no one else

Using the Find node, you can also combine your search criteria or search by other identifiers than the name or account number. For example, you can search by birthdate, address, phone number, and social security number if you enter it then you can combine these with your name search or any other criteria/ There may be many John Smiths in your database, so you can search by the last name smith and the birthdate to find the right patient.


Patients Node

The Patient Node contains a list of all active patients in the database. The total number of patient records will display in the bottom center of the window.

Double click on a patient’s name to show only that person and anyone in the same account. This will also display the patient name on the top of the toolbar for easy reference when moving through abilities. To reset the contents of the sidebar, click the refresh button at the top of the screen.

For easy searching, show New Patients (patients without charges) and Archived Patients in the sidebar by setting up these Preferences.


Adding a New Patient

Create a new patient (as opposed to a new account) when the party that will be financially responsible for the patient is already in the database. Select an existing member of the account in the sidebar, then click the plus button. An alert with three options: "Cancel", "New Account", "New Patient" appears; to add a new patient to the existing account, click the "New Patient" button. 

After selecting New Patient, a new entry will appear in the sidebar. The patient's address and last name will populate based on the address of other patients on the account. Enter the patient's first name (and other any necessary information), then save changes by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Save Record, or using the Command-S keyboard shortcut.

The new patient will appear in the sidebar with the same account number as the previously selected patient, except the new patient will have a different last number (for example, 1234-2).

Adding a New Account

To create a new account in the Patient ability, click the green plus sign in the upper left corner of the MacPractice sidebar. If no patient is selected, a prompt will appear to create a New Account. Click "New Account" to continue. A New Account item will appear in the sidebar. The Last Name and First Name fields are marked in red, indicating they are required information.

After the name has been entered, save changes by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Save Record. An alert will appear, asking if the patient is the same as the Primary. If the New Account patient is the Primary (Guarantor) in the account, click "Yes". If the New Account patient is not the Primary in the account, click "No" to be taken to the Primary tab and enter the Primary information.

Save the information after making changes. The New Account item in the sidebar will update with the patient's name, and the new patient record will be selected.

Archiving and Deleting Patients

If you wish to remove a patient from your Patients list, you can archive or delete them. Archived and deleted patients can always be retrieved at a later date.

To archive a patient, select their name in the sidebar, then click the red minus button in the upper left corner of the MacPractice window. Depending on the state of the selected account, MacPractice may or may not allow the patient to be archived/Deleted.

For a bit more information, take a look at our solutions article, HERE.

Archived Node

This node will display a list of patients that have been archived. If you do not see this in your sidebar, you can turn it on by going to Preferences > Patient > Misc. tab


New Patient Node

The New Patients node displays patients who have no transactions within their ledger. If you do not see this in your sidebar, you can turn it on by going to Preferences > Patient > Misc. tab


Forms Node

The Forms node lets users generate things like postcards and address labels on the fly for patients. You'd can do this by dragging and dropping a single patient, or all of your patients within the Patient, Archived, or New Patient node onto a from listed in the node. 

All forms within this node will display forms that were activated in the References.

For more information, visit our solution article, HERE.


Note Templates Node

The Note Templates node works similarly to the Forms field, however these templates were created within the Notes ability. You can drag and drop a single patient or group of patients onto a note, and print out the note for the patient. 

More information can be found HERE



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