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Adding instant variables to letter, message and encounter templates
Adding instant variables to letter, message and encounter templates
Updated over a week ago

To use instant variables, they must be added to a letter, message or encounter template. Instant variables appear as pink bubbles in a letter, message or encounter and work in the same way as macros, which allow you to preconfigure text to fill in when prompted. The selections you make populate in your letter, message or encounter.

For example, if you have a template named “Fever”, you can have a multiple select instant variable for Associated symptoms. When the provider clicks the variable they can choose from a preset list of symptoms (body aches, chills, cough etc.). For more information, see Using instant variables in messages, letters and encounters.

You can't report on instant variables through Analytics, but they can help streamline your workflow.

You must first create your letter, message or encounter template. See Creating letter templates, Creating message templates and Creating or editing encounter templates. Variables can be added anywhere in a letter or message template and in the History, Examination and Assessment sections of the encounter.


1. Click the area in your template where you want to add the variable.

2. Click Insert Variable.

3. Click Add Instant Variable, and the Add Instant Variable window opens.

4. Complete the following fields as required.

⚠️ Important: Do not click outside of the window while editing; the window will close and you will lose your work.



Label Name

The text that appears in the pink bubble. Type the name of your variable.


Select a variable type from the list.


Allows the user to type free text into a field.

Single Select

Allows the user to select one option from a list.

Multiple Select

Allows the user to select multiple options from a list.


Allows the user to select a date from a calendar.

Qnaire Variable Name

Similar to natural language but allows you to add the data from a Qnaire into different areas of the encounter using instant variables.

Sentence Prefix

Add text that you want to appear before the variable. For example, the text Red flags: can be added before the list of red flags.

💡 Tip: Add a space after the prefix so it's separated from your selections.

Sentence Suffix

Add text that you want to appear after the variable. For example, add a period at the end of a sentence.

💡 Tip: Add a space before the suffix so it's separated from your selections.


For Single Select and Multiple Select types, type the options you want to add to your list.

Each option must be on a new line.

Force lowercase

If selected, removes capitalization from the list items.

📌 Note: When the variable is at the beginning of a new paragraph or after an end mark (.), it remains capitalized even if Force lowercase is checked.

Automatic punctuation

For the multiple select type, ensure that your list has the correct punctuation.

5. Click Save.

💡 Tip: Ctrl {command} click to delete a variable.

To remove a variable from a template, you can click beside it and press Backspace {delete}, or hold Ctrl {command} on your keyboard and click the variable.

💡 Tip: You can format the text of Sentence Prefix, Sentence Suffix, or Preset/Format with basic HTML tags.

  • Bold <b> Your text here </b>

  • Paragraph <p>Your text here</p>

  • Line break <br>Your text here

  • Italics <em>Your text here</em>

  • Underline <u>Your text here</u>

  • List (add a bullet point with line break). For ordered lists, replace <ul> with the <ol> tag:


    <li>Your text here</li>

    <li>Your text here</li>


Updated May 25, 2023

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