Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Progress Notes in the Patient Chart

If you've ever had to look through a patient's progress notes in the Chart to try and find information about a specific procedure or find treatment during a certain time period, then you know what a daunting task this can be. And if a patient has had a lot of work done, that means you have that many more progress notes to look through.



You can sort the progress notes and change how the information is displayed to make it easier to find the information you need.
  • Sort progress notes by column. Click the column headings to arrange the information chronologically, numerically, or alphabetically (depending on the column you select). For example, if you are only looking for a certain procedure code posted during April of 2012, you can click the Date column to sort all progress notes by date or click the Code column to sort the progress notes by procedure code.
  • Use status buttons to narrow your search. Progress notes can be viewed by treatment status. To make it easier to look through the progress notes, turn on only the status button for the type of procedures you are looking for: treatment plan, completed, existing, conditions, exams, or referrals. For example, if you are only looking for completed procedures, select the Completed status button (you'll know it's selected by the orange background of the button) and make sure the other status buttons are turned off.
  • Viewing clinical notes. If what you are looking for would be found in the clinical notes for a procedure, you can either switch to the Clinical Notes tab or view the clinical notes within the progress notes by clicking the Clinical Notes button. When you view clinical notes within the progress notes, you can sort them by column to make finding what you want a little easier.
  • Painting progress notes. You can have the paint colors you have assigned in the Graphic Chart correspond to the color of your progress notes, which may help you locate them more quickly.  For example, if your treatment-planned procedures paint in red on the Chart, your treatment-planned progress notes can also appear in red. To coordinate your progress note color with your paint colors, from the Chart menu, select Setup > Chart Display Setup. In the Chart Display Setup dialog box, check Use Paint Colors for Progress Notes. Then click OK
Try out some of these sorting features in the Progress Notes panel. Many of them can be combined for a more in-depth sorting experience (combine the sorting of columns with the selection of certain status buttons, for example). And if you need to undo all your column sorting and start all over from scratch, you can click the Default Sort button, which sets procedure notes back to a chronological order with the oldest notes at the top of the list.

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