Customizing Your UniCharts  
Assuming you have newly installed the EMR server, you should start customizations by reviewing the default locale settings and making adjustments if needed. The locale settings allow the user to set chart indexing mode and also define the country and state within the system. And even though you can change these settings any time down the road, we recommend that you think about and settle on this aspect early on. Note that EMR server contains many more configuration settings and utilities but they are not relevant at this point. Just add a clinic along with its administrative user, adjust the locale settings as needed, and then forget about the EMR server for now. Please see the article Locale Settings for more.

Past the EMR server, now login as clinic's administrator and move on to reviewing and customizing the chart forms. Although this part may initially call for your time, it will hugely simplify the charting process during actual patient visits later on. By structuring the chart forms yourself and populating lists/menus with medical terms and phrases in your own verbiage, you will instinctively know what to find, where to find and how to find it. This approach has proven to be fastest and least taxing on a physician's mind while documenting patient encounters in a loaded environment. Please see the article Customizing Chart Forms for more.

Next, you need to build the favorite lists of diagnosis codes, procedure codes and medications. This involves selecting items of interest from the master lists and, if an item is not present in a master list, adding it manually to the corresponding favorite list. But whatever the entry mode, we recommend you add only those entries to the favorite lists that are relevant to your specialty. This will not only keep the lists short and easier to search, but may also result in higher performance of the system even if used over slower networks. Please see the article Building Favorite Lists for more.

It would be helpful if you also get to know the document management workflow of the EMR software from the start. As it is, you can attach any number of digital documents to a patient's chart and retrieve them whenever needed. The system supports a number of file formats including PDF, BMP, GIF and JPG, with PDF being the format of choice for most users. Once documents are converted into any of these digital formats and saved on the hard drive, they can easily be imported and filed to the chart they belong. You can even define your own folders to keep documents and also flag the documents for tracking purposes. Please see the article Document Management Workflow for more.

You are all set to start using the EMR system once you have customized chart forms, populated favorite lists and become familiar with its document management workflow. However, if you are not a cash-only practice then you may need to export charge capture and related information out of the system for billing purposes on a regular basis. This is accomplished in billing section of the program where, depending on your settings in the customization area, you may export billing information out of the EMR system with just a few clicks of mouse. Please see the article Understanding Billing Workflow for more.

The above articles outline the basics of customization and clinical documentation workflow that applies to both standard and certified version of the EMR system. However, there are some additional customization steps that you will have to undertake if it is the certified version and you want to participate in the government stimulus program. In that case, please see the article CMS Meaningful Use Features for setting up the system for meaningful use and qualifying for stimulus funds.

Questions regarding other aspects may also arise as you play with the system, regardless if it is the standard or certified version that you have installed. In that case, we recommend trying the built-in Help feature of the system. Just note that the help is context-sensitive and provides instructions about the screen on which you may be at that time. Please see the article Using Help Option for more.

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