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Using data variables in messages, letters and encounters
Using data variables in messages, letters and encounters
Updated over a week ago

Data variables are added to letter, message or encounter templates (refer to Creating letter templates, Creating message templates and Creating or editing encounter templates). They are then applied to your letter, message or encounter when you apply the template (refer to Creating letters from the patient chart, Using message templates and Using encounter templates).

Data variables automatically prepopulate your letter, message or encounter when you apply your template. They are linked with data from the patient chart, or information on a location or a provider. The available data variables are:

  • Patient data. For example, you could bring in the patient's age or smoking status.

  • Chart data. For example, you could bring in all of the patient’s surgical history or a list of their medications.

  • Appointment. For example, you could bring in the appointment date.

  • Pronouns make it easier to have pre-configured sentences with correct grammar, for example, I saw “him”.

  • Contacts. For example, you could address your letter to the recipient and include their address.

⚠️ Important: If there is no data available in the patient chart, i.e. the field you are getting data from is not filled, you see a blue bubble. Otherwise the data populates with a dotted line underneath.

Patient and chart variables are similar; patient data variables are linked with a specific data point and chart variables are linked with an entire chart section. For example, a patient data variable can be linked to the field Number of Cigarettes Per Day in the patient’s Social History, and only pull in the number of cigarettes, while a chart variable can be linked to Social History and pull in the entire social history.

Patient data variables

📌 Note: For encounters, when you add or edit information in the patient data variable, it is also updated in the linked patient data field in the patient's chart once the encounter note is signed.

Any patient data variables that do not contain information are deleted automatically when you sign the encounter. They are also removed when you send, print or generate a PDF.

Follow the steps below to edit or add information to a patient data variable.


  1. Click the underlined text, or the blue bubble, and a new window appears showing the patient data.

  2. Add any missing data or edit as needed.

  3. Click Save, and the newly added data appears in the letter, message or encounter.

Chart data variables

The chart variables listed below pull from the patient chart. For more information, refer to Variables for use in letter, message and encounter templates.

  • Lab Result

  • Allergies

  • Medication List

  • Goals of Care

  • Surgical History

  • Social History

  • Medications Table

  • Injections

  • Medical History

  • Family History

  • Risk Factors

You can delete but you cannot edit these variables in the letter, message or encounter note. To edit them, you must add the information as you normally would in the patient chart. You must then reapply the encounter template to see the changes you made. It is best to ensure that all the required information is added before you open the letter, message or encounter.

Chart variables without data show in the finished letter, message or encounter and indicate that there is no information. For example, if the template includes the Medication List variable but the patient has no medications, then No medications will appear in the letter, message or encounter note. You can delete this if required.

Additional data variables

In addition to patient and chart variables, the data variables below can be used to pull in supplementary information.



Appointment Practitioner, Appointment Start Time and Appointment Date

Auto populate if the encounter is linked with an appointment. For letters and messages, you must manually link the appointment. To change or add the linked appointment:

  1. Click the variable, and the Latest Appointments window opens.

  2. Select an appointment from the list.

  3. The details for that appointment are added to your encounter.


Pull from the patient’s Gender, or Sex if no gender is specified. You can click on a pronoun to change it. Pronouns are used to create preconfigured sentences. For example, a template with the sentence “I saw Him/Her/Them/Sir/Zim.” will appear as “I saw him.” when the patient's gender is male. For more information, refer to Patient preferred pronouns.

Facility and Contact

Are only available for letters. You must add the Recipient before applying your template. The recipient’s details are applied to any facility or contact variables, for example Contact Full Name, Contact Full Address, Facility Fax Number. If you do not add the Recipient before applying the template, you can click the blue variable and enter free text but you cannot search from your contact list.

Updated September 21, 2023

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