EMR & EDR - Ability Overview

This article covers the functionality inherent in the EMR & EDR Ability in MacPractice, which is used to design, utilize, and manage electronic patient forms. This article will focus on the specifics of the interface and what each area does. If you're interested in how to build templates, please check out our Building Templates article here.

If you prefer a series of videos, you can refer to our EMR and EDR series here.

Adding EMR/EDR to the Toolbar

Once the EMR/EDR Ability has been added to your MacPractice license, you'll simply need to navigate to MacPractice Preferences located in the MacPractice Menu. Click "Abilities" in the Sidebar of the Preferences window, and in that section, click the Fetch License button.

To add the EMR/EDR icon to the MacPractice Toolbar, Control-click the MacPractice Toolbar, choose the Customize Toolbar item, and drag the EMR or EDR icon to a location on the Toolbar.

EMR/EDR Preferences

You can access EMR and EDR Preferences from the MacPractice Menu > Preferences > EDR or EMR:


This Preference category is split into three tabs. You can read more about EMR/EDR Preferences here.


The main recommendation we have is to ensure "Ask Me What To Do For Each Section" option is selected in the Data Tab's "When a new form is created" preference. This will allow you to decide when creating a new patient form what information you would like to pull for each section, giving you more granular control over how you handle each generated patient form. 

Layout of the EMR/EDR Ability

The EMR/EDR Ability will appear slightly different depending on what node you have selected.


You'll primarily work in the EMR/EDR Main View in the center of the EMR Ability. This will displayed the item you have selected in the Sidebar and will appear slightly differently depending on what you have selected. The Navigation Pane, for example, will only be available when a Template or a Patient Form is selected.


The Sidebar allows you to navigate through the EMR/EDR Ability.


The EMR/EDR Sidebar contains the following nodes:

  • Form Sections: This node contains Form Sections, which are blocks of assembled Form Elements. When combined, Form Sections together make up a full Form Template. You can add and remove these by using the Green Plus and Red Minus. You cannot remove any Form Section that are default and already included.
  • General Category: A default Form Category that can be used for any purpose.
  • Downloads Category: This category contains forms which have been imported or downloaded from the Shared Forms node. If none have been downloaded, this Category won't be present.
  • Patient Forms: This node contains all Patient Forms which have been generated. If a patient is selected, the results will narrow to just that patient.
  • Locked Patient Forms: This node contains any patient forms that have been locked from further editing. Patient Forms that have been completed should be moved here to prevent further changes.
  • Note Templates: This node will show any Note Templates you have defined here or in the Notes Ability.
  • Shared Forms: The Shared Forms node contains downloadable Form Templates for a wide variety of practices. If you're looking for solid examples of pre-built forms, this is the place to look. 
  • EMR Form Category: This node allows you to create new EMR Form Category nodes in the Sidebar to aid with organizing your Form Templates. 

The sidebar will also include any categories that have been added to the EMR Form Category node, described below in Form Categories. These categories can be clearly identified by the pink/light purple folder color as shown in the above screenshot.

Menu Bar


The EMR/EDR Menu title contains the following items:

  • Import EMR/EDR Forms: When selected, a file selection window will appear, allowing you to select an .ETPL file that was exported using the Export Forms option described below. Any form templates present will be imported. You'll see a confirmation prompt indicating that the import is complete if successful.
  • Export EMR/EDR Forms: When selected, this option will open a window that will let you choose form templates to export. You can choose to export all, some, or a single form by checking and unchecking them. Once you have selected the forms you intend to export, click the Export button. You'll then be prompted to save the exported forms into a single file as a .ETPL file.
  • Send Form to Kiosk Machine: Allows users to send a selected Patient Form to the Kiosk for the patient to fill out. 
  • Show Layout Rectangles: Shows a red border around each element (as pictured above) when in a Form Section. 
  • Toggle Narrative/Form: Toggles the form between Narrative and Form views
  • Toggle Palette: This option brings up the Forms Palette, which is used to edit and examine Form Sections, Form Templates, or Patient Forms. Click the link to learn more.
  • Print Patient Forms: This option will either be listed as "Print (Patient Name)'s Patient Forms", or "Print Multiple Patient Forms", depending on if you have a patient selected or not. This will open a window where you can search for and select which forms you'd like to print.
    If a patient is selected, this window will only display forms for that patient. 
  • Print Narrative: Prints the Narrative View of a form.
  • Upload Form to Shared Forms: sends a copy of the selected form to MacPractice to share with other offices.

Form Categories

Form Templates can be placed into Category nodes by dragging the template to any Form Category node within the sidebar.

You can control how many Category nodes are present by selecting the EDR Form Category node. To create a new Form Category node, select the EMR/EDR Form Category node then click the plus sign to create a new record. Rename the record and assign a Form Category Order number. Form Category nodes will appear in the sidebar in the numerical order within the Form Category Order box.

Form Table View and the Clinical Ledger

The lower table at the bottom of the EMR / EDR Ability will display different depending on whether a Form Section is selected, or a Patient form is selected.

With a Form Section selected:

When a Form Section is selected, this table will display all patients who have this form section included on a patient form connected to them, as well as columns summarizing the data entered.


With a Patient Form Selected:

When a Patient Form is selected, this view can either be the Form Table View or the Clinical Ledger. You can toggle between the two by Control-Clicking or Right-clicking on the table. If you want to adjust the default, you can adjust the Default View by navigating to EMR/EDR Preferences in the MacPractice Menu > Preferences > EMR or EDR, and checking the Others Tab as shown below, specifically the "Default View Below Form" selector.

Form Table View

By default, the Form Table View is visible, which will display a record of this patient's responses when filling out this particular patient form. You can note the responses in the subsequent columns.

Clinical Ledger

The EMR/EDR ability's Clinical Ledger is a view of ledger entries and selected information from the View Options area.

  • The Incident pane displays all active and archived incidents and the information that has been associated to the incident for the patient.
  • The View Options menu sets the information that will display in the Clinical Ledger pane. This information is separate from the Ledger > View Options and will not affect the Ledger's display.
  • The detail pane displays basic information about an item.


In Preferences, you can adjust the behavior when you double click an item in the Clinical Ledger's detail pane. If you check MacPractice Menu > Preferences > EMR or EDR > Others Tab, you can adjust the "When double clicking on an item in the Clinical ledger" selector. This will either allow you to be taken directly to that item in the same MacPractice window, or you can open a new MacPractice window.


Navigation Pane

A list of the individual Form Sections within the Template can be found in the Navigation Menu within the right side of the MacPractice window. Click any form section in the Navigation Menu to find that form section on the template.

The Sections listed in the Navigation Pane will appear different depending on what settings are checked in the Form Section Palette for that section.

If "Show Title" is unchecked, the header for the section will not appear on the form, and the Section Name will be grayed out in the Navigation Pane.

If "Show Title" is checked, the header will appear, and the Section Name will appear in black.

"Show Title" will also impact the appearance of the checkboxes in the Navigation Pane. These checkboxes indicate whether the Section is included in the Navigation Pane when interacting with a patient form. This is the same option as "Include in Navigation" on the Form Section Palette. If "Show Title" is checked, this checkbox will appear in blue. If unchecked, the checkbox will appear in black.

Narrative View

The EMR/EDR Narrative of a form displays a text layout of the form suitable for printing for a patient or another provider. The Narrative View of a form can be customized to an office's needs.

To switch to and from the Narrative and Form Views, you can navigate to the EMR/EDR menu and select Toggle Narrative/Form. Alternately, you can press the Command and Backslash keys on your keyboard to flip the form between Narrative and Form view.

You can print the Narrative view of a form by navigating to the File Menu and selecting Print, or by pressing the Command and P keys on your keyboard.

You can read more about Narratives in our Building Templates article. There is a section of the article that goes more into depth about Narratives specifically.

Generating a Patient Form from a Template

Templates that have been downloaded from Shared Forms, imported, or created within the EMR/EDR ability can be used to generate Patient Forms.

To generate a form for a patient, select the template you wish to generate, then click the Green Plus. If a patient is not selected, you'll be prompted to select one.

Forms that have been generated for a patient will appear in the Patient Forms node with any of the resulting pulled data. You can then navigate through the form using the Navigation Pane and the Main View to complete the Form. With some Form Elements like the Drawing View, you may need to utilize the Forms Palette to complete the section.

Locking and Unlocking Patient Forms

Once a patient form has been filled out to completion, it is common practice to lock patient forms to ensure no changes can be made to them. There are several ways to lock a form, and once locked, they will be present in the Locked Patient Forms node.

You can identify if a form is locked by the notification bar at the top of a locked patient form.

You can lock a patient form by:
  1. Click and Drag the patient form in the sidebar to Patient Forms to Locked Patient Forms. No Prompt will occur.
  2. Use the Palette and select the Lock Form button. You will receive a prompt when locking the patient form.
  3. Use the Menu Bar > Text > Move EMR/EDR Form to Locked. You will receive a prompt when locking the patient form.
  4. Use commands on your keyboard with Control + Command + L. You will receive a prompt when locking the patient form. 


In the future, if an edit needs to be made to a locked form, you can click the Unlock button on the top right of the form. A duplicate will be made and the original will be archived. 

Printing Forms

You can print a selected Patient Form by pressing Command-P, or by navigating to the File Menu and selecting Print. If you are on the Narrative side of a Patient Form, the Narrative will print, which is typically recommended as the graphical elements of forms are not designed to be printed. You can toggle between the Narrative and the Form View by pressing Command-Backslash (\) or by selecting Toggle Narrative in the EMR/EDR Menu.

Printing Multiple Forms

In the EMR/EDR Menu, there is an option that allows you to Print Multiple Forms for a patient.

If you have a patient selected, the EMR/EDR Menu will have an option that says Print (PATIENT'S NAME) Patient Forms. If no patient is selected, this option will instead state "Print Multiple Patient Forms".

From here, a new window will open that allows for a date filter. With the date filter you can set a beginning and end time to search for specific forms within the time frame. If a patient was selected, you will only be able to see results for that specific patient.


The Filter By Form dropdown allows you to see only the selected form that was used in your specific date range.

If you choose the Select All box, you will be able to select every form that is listed. If you want to print every form for the patient, you can leave the Start and End Dates blank, and then Select All.

You are also able to select if you want to print the form side or the narrative side with the buttons at the bottom of the window.

Deleting Forms, Form Sections, and Templates

Deleting or Archiving a Patient Form

You can delete or archive a Patient Form by selecting the Patient Form in the sidebar and clicking the Red Minus button. You'll be prompted whether you want to delete or archive the form.


Deleting a Form Section

You can delete an unused Form Section by selecting the Form Section and clicking the Red Minus button in the sidebar. You can only delete Form Sections that are not being used in any patient forms.

To remove a Form Section from a form, simply click it from within the Main View of the form. With the section selected, press the delete key on the keyboard and click the Remove button on the resulting window.

Deleting a Template

To delete a Template, select the Form Template in the sidebar and click the Red Minus button. If the form has been used for a patient, it cannot be deleted. However, you will be prompted whether you'd like to delete or archive a Template. An archived form will remain within the database but will not appear in the EMR/EDR sidebar. We strongly recommend archiving any Template that has used previously.


If the form has not been used for a patient, you'll instead be prompted whether you'd like to delete the accompanying Form Sections as well. Please note that Form Sections that are being used in other forms will not be deleted if you choose Delete All.

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