Using a template can be an efficient way to enter information into an encounter. An encounter template may do some or all of the following:

  • Pre-populate default text and options for answers to questions in the history, examination, and assessment sections of the encounter, making it easy to add information that is relevant to the presenting issue

  • Pull information into the encounter from various parts of your CHR account and the patient's chart

  • Add Diagnostic codes, Billing items, Prescriptions, Forms, and initial or follow-up Qnaires to the encounter, where relevant

Most information that comprises a template can be edited or removed prior to signing the encounter. Any instant variables or patient data variables you skip are deleted automatically as part of the signing process.

If you routinely do a type of encounter for which a template is not available, you can create your own templates.


1. Start or access an encounter from your schedule, from the Visits dashboard, or from the patient's chart. See Starting an encounter.

A Select Template window appears.

📌 Note: This window will not appear if you previously selected the Do not open this dialog by default checkbox, or if you start the encounter from an appointment and the presenting issue had a linked encounter template. To open the Select Template window in this case, click Template in the top right corner of the encounter.

2. On the left side of the window, under Templates, choose a template from the list, or click Search Templates to search for and select an encounter template.

The right panel of the window shows a preview of the selected template.

3. Click Apply this template. The template populates the encounter with patient data variables (blue bubbles), instant variables (pink bubbles) and any text that was added to the template.

4. Click an instant variable (pink bubble) to open a window that may have options to perform the following actions:

  • enter text in the search field

  • select items from a list

  • enter text in a text box

  • click an acknowledgement

As you select or enter content, you can see it being added to the encounter in the background.

When you are finished with the window, close it by clicking somewhere else on the screen.

📌 Note: If you don't complete an instant variable, it disappears when you sign the encounter.

5. Patient data is pulled into the encounter when you apply the template. It appears with a dotted line underneath. You can double-click the underlined text to make changes, if necessary.

💡 Tip: Patient data variables (blue bubbles) only appear if the data isn't available in the chart. You can click a bubble to open a window, enter data in the fields, then click Save to close the window. If you don't complete a patient data variable, it disappears when you sign the encounter.

6. Text fields pull data into the encounter from other portions of the chart.

Review this data that was pulled in automatically and edit or delete it as necessary.

💡 Tip: To apply another template to the same encounter, select Template as shown below.

The Select Template window reopens. Choose another template and click Apply this template. The Select Template window closes. New patient data variables, instant variables, and text fields appear below those from the previously applied template. You can work with these elements the same as you did for the previous template.

To update other areas of the encounter, see the following topics:

Updated May 26, 2022

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