Installing the Software
UniCharts EMR needs to be installed on just ONE computer within the practice. If you have a single desktop/laptop/tablet, you may install the EMR server on it and use it through the browser from that very same computer. On the other hand, if you have more than one computer and a working network, then you should install the program on your best machine and use browsers of other computers to login. As far as installing process is concerned, just follow these steps to complete the installation in minutes.
Note: If you are installing the program on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, 2008 or 2011, you must not install it to any of the protected directories such as Program Files or Windows folder. Just click Next button to accept the default installation location which is usually C:\EMR and the wizard will automatically create the required folder and install the program in it.
- Go to the folder where you have saved the Setup program downloaded from this page. Double click the Setup program icon to start installation.
- On the Welcome screen, click Next.
- Read the license agreement carefully. Click Yes if you agree to the terms and conditions therein, and continue installation. If you click No, installation will stop.
- In the Destination Location Dialog box, click Next to accept the default folder location for the program files and your future data. To choose another folder, click Browse, point to your preferred folder and click Open. If you are installing the program on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or 2008 operating system, please see the note below.
- Click Next to select other options and continue installation.
- When the installation is complete, click Finish to close the Setup.
Starting the Server
First step to begin with UniCharts EMR is to start the server. To do this, click windows Start button at the left side of windows desktop taskbar, go to the Programs option, locate UniCharts icon in the menu list and select the Start Server option there. If you had chosen to create a shortcut icon on the desktop screen at the time of installation, you may click on that icon instead. A slash screen would appear on your monitor for a few seconds before it is replaced by the full EMR screen as soon as the initialization is completed. If you are starting the server for the first time, the splash screen will be followed by an Initial Configuration screen shown below:
The above is a one-time process that needs to be completed when running the server for the first time. The above information will also be used to add a clinic and its respective super user to the system.
- The top section on the Initial Configuration screen is for product license key. If you have purchased the product then look for the license key in the confirmation e-mail you received from UniCharts EMR and enter it into the upper field. On the other hand, if you have not yet purchased the key and only want to try the program then just select the evaluation mode checkbox and move on. You can always enter the key later if you decide so.
- The second section is where you enter a password for the program administrator. This password will apply to both the server (the EMR application you have installed and are now starting) and the underlying database. It must be at least 8 characters long.
- The third section is for entering your clinic's name, its location and its timings. The clinic name may be up to 50 characters long. As for the timings, the first dropdown should be time at which first appointment of the day is booked at the clinic. If you start seeing patients at different times on different weekdays, select time of the day when you start earliest. The second dropdown should be the time at which you end last appointment of the day. If you end seeing patients at different times on different weekdays, then select time of that day when you end most late.
- The last section is for entering the super user's name and its login credentials. Note that the distinction between server administrator and super user depends on the clinic workflow and the same person may be both if needed. Furthermore, it is not necessary for the super user to be a provider and, as such, the office manager or any other trusted person may be the super user. However, as only the super user can customize the chart forms, add other normal users to the system, and have access to various important program settings, it would be easier if the main provider himself/herself assume the role of super user.
Also note that when you start the server for the first time, any firewall/s that may be running on your system will prompt you. You must allow Java™ to access the system, otherwise users from other computers on your network will not be able to log into the EMR. A prompt from Windows firewall on XP, for instance, will be similar to the screen shot below, and you need to click Unblock to grant permission.
Similarly you may receive prompts for mysqld or mysqladmin, the database components embedded with our program. You must also allow these components to run on your system and network. Please be aware that you may have more than one firewall installed, and in this case you will get a similar message from each. You need to grant permission in every case. If, by mistake, you failed to grant permission initially, you will have to go to the configuration area of your firewall and manually add these program components to the Firewall exceptions list and start the EMR again. When the server is successfully started, the following screen would appear.
This signifies that server is now running and ready to grant controlled access to users having valid ids and passwords. Note that anyone having access to the computer on which EMR server is installed can start it and that the administratorís password is not required to do this. This feature has been purposely added to facilitate clinical setups where staff members may need to start and login to the system prior to the arrival (or in the absence) of person with administrator level privilege. Apart from starting up, shutting down and updating the EMR server, no other administrative tasks could be performed without authentication.
Before you proceed to login as the user, we recommend you check for any software updates that may be available on our website. To check for updates, just visit Help menu on the EMR server as shown in the screenshot below.
Logging on as a User
Once the EMR server is running, users can either login from the same computer on which EMR server is installed or from a different computer if there is a network.
- To login from the same computer on which the EMR server is installed, you just need to click User option on the menu bar and select User Login as shown in the below image. This would launch a fresh browser window with the required URL pre-filled in the location bar and you will just have to select the username and enter the password that you specified at the time of defining "super user" on the Initial Configuration screen.
- On the other hand, if you have a simple peer-to-peer network and want to connect from another computer, then you need to open its Internet Explorer browser, type serverís URL in the browserís location bar and press Enter key. Assuming that firewall on the server computer does not block the access, the login page should appear in the browserís window of the networked computer and, once that happens, you will just need select the username and enter the password that you specified at the time of defining "super user" on the Initial Configuration screen to login. The URL you will need to enter into the browserís location bar is available at the bottom pane of the UniCharts server application, as shown below. Note that string after the slashes (mypc in the below example) will be the name of the computer on which you installed the program. If the name is something difficult to remember or type, then you should consider renaming the server computer.
- However, chances are that if you do have a local network then it would be a router-based setup instead of a simple peer-to-peer connection. If it is so, the tutorial Configuring a Router based Network outlines all the steps needed for configuring a router based network for EMR use. You may try configuring the network yourself using the tutorial if you want but we generally recommend our users to avail services of a local IT support for optimal configuration of their network.
Regardless of the computer from which you are connecting, a Pop-Up Blocking program may prevent the EMR to launch in a new window even after logging successfully. To resolve this issue, please identify and configure the program to always allow popup from pages delivered from your server. Also remember that there are often many Pop-Up Blocking software running simultaneously. It is likely that you did not knowingly install or activate them. And in new versions of Windows, popup blocking is directly integrated into Internet Explorer browser. Sometimes toolbars can be hidden from your view, but still block Pop-ups. To see all of the toolbars available on your computer click View > Toolbars on the Internet Explorerís menu bar.
Customizing the EMR
If you are the super user, it is your responsibility to manage users, adjust chart forms and reports according to your specialty, manage lists and menus, and customize other aspects of the system pertaining to your clinic. Most of these tasks are one-time procedures and if done properly can go a long way in improving efficiency and productivity of your clinic. An entire section is dedicated to customization related functions and is available only to the super user. Once logged in through a browser, the customization area can be reached by clicking its icon as demonstrated in the screenshot below.
Once in the customization area, you should first proceed to complete the clinic and super userís information sections. Note that a clinic and its super user are automatically added when the EMR server is started for the first time, using the information you provide on the Initial Configuration screen. However, that information is limited just to basics and does not cover other important details such as clinicís street address and phone numbers, and super userís professional IDs and daily appointment booking schedule etc. Therefore it is recommended that you first complete those sections and then proceed to other customization tasks.
Please see the article Completing Initial Configuration on where and how to do that.
After completing the initial configuration, you should proceed to reviewing the chart forms and customizing them according to your specialty needs. Note that you would be able to make further adjustments to the forms any number of times as you go, but any new changes would reflect in charts and encounters created after that adjustment. It is therefore a good idea to start using the system with chart forms that aggregately resemble your preferred clinical documentation workflow.
Please see the article Customizing Chart Forms for detailed discussion on a chart's structure and customization of its forms.
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.
Adjusting browser settings for Printing and Faxing
You may need to make some changes to Page Setup of your browser to print optimally. For this, go to File > Page Setup located in your browser's menu and set options and dropdowns as shown in the below screenshot, if not already so. It is recommended that you go through this process on every computer that may be used to send prints or faxes from the browser. Also be aware that if you are using the older IE6 or IE7 browser then there will be free-text fields for header and footer settings instead of the dropdowns shown in this screenshot. In this case you need to clear/delete any text from the Header field and enter &w&bPage &p of &P in the footer field.
To fax a document directly from the computer you need to have a fax program installed. If you donít have a fax program, you may use Microsoft Fax that is bundled with the operating system; you just need to run the fax wizard to install it. To install the Fax component under Windows XP, open Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel, click Add/Remove Windows Components, select the Fax Services check box and then follow the instructions on your screen. After installation of the program, the fax option will automatically become available on the print window of the browser. You will just have to select it instead of the regular printer and hit print button to send the fax. In addition to sending faxes, this program may also be used to receive faxes directly on the computer. The received faxes automatically get converted to digital form (tiff images) and as such you can file these to the corresponding charts directly, that is, without any need for receiving faxes on a fax machine and then scan them into the system. Please be aware that the faxing function may have a different name in operating systems other than XP. For example, it is called the Fax and Scan under Windows Vista and later operating systems. It can be reached by clicking "Start" button, selecting "All Programs," and then selecting "Windows Fax and Scan".
Adding a plug-in for viewing the TIFF documents
The PDF is the format of choice for most users. However, if you plan to upload/store scans and faxes in TIF format within the EMR system, you may need to install a TIF viewer for Internet Explorer browser so that when pulled, the image can be viewed within the EMR window. If you donít have such a program, you should still be able to view stored TIF images but externally in the Windows default TIF viewer and you may find this inconvenient. Many good and free programs are available such as AlternaTIFF by Medical Informatics Engineering. It is available free of cost at and takes just a few seconds to download and install. Please note that we have no association with this organization or the program and recommend it just because we have tested it with our system.
Importing patient demographics
If you have demographic and insurance information of your current patients in an Excel file, or if your PMS/bookkeeping software can export it as a CSV file, you may import that data before starting to use the EMR. An easy to use import utility is bundled with the system that would allow you to map UniCharts fields with the columns of your data file and import hundreds or even thousands of patients within minutes. Just visit Help > About on the EMR server and select "Import Demographics" option to invoke the import utility. Once it opens, the welcome screen will provide you detailed instructions on how to map the fields and proceed with the import.
Changing chart indexing mode and/or adding more clinics
Even though users will mostly be logging into the EMR as a clinical users, there are a few tasks that can only be performed by logging into the EMR Server program. To login into the EMR server, click Administrator in the menu bar as shown in the below screenshot, select Administrator Login and type the "admin password" that you specified at the time of installing the software.
Once inside the server's administration area, you will find 5 tabs each of which is dedicated to a specific group of tasks or activities. Out of these 5 tabs, only the first Clinics/Rooms and the second Backup/Export tabs are relevant to you at this initial stage. The Clinics/Rooms tab is where you can change the chart indexing mode to SSN and also set your default state/province under Locale Settings section. The same Clinics/Rooms tab also allows you to add more clinics and their respective super users to the system. Note that in case of a single-specialty practice only one clinic needs to be added and, as mentioned above, that is automatically done for you when the EMR server is started for the first time. However, if you are a multi-specialty practice and each specialty would be using a different encounter form, then you may want to add additional clinics and their respective super users, each clinic corresponding to a specialty. These super users, in turn, would be responsible for adding their normal users and customizing various aspects of their clinic/specialty. Just keep in mind that all of these clinics would be managing their own separate workflows, except sharing demographics sections of the stored charts and linked together with the intra-office messaging. Finally, on the Clinics/Rooms tab you may also add rooms that may be present within the medical facility. If added, these rooms would become available to super users to choose from. If chosen, these rooms will become available in the patient scheduling area of the EMR at the time of booking an appointment.
The second tab titled Backup/Export on the EMR server is where you do backups of the database. And needless to say, you should make database backups regularly. However, we also recommend using our Entire System Backup utility to make a complete system backup at least once a week on an external USB/Flash drive. This function is different from a database backup in which case only database files are copied. It copies the entire EMR system onto the USB drive or any other removable disc for that matter. In case of any emergency, such as a hard drive crash or virus attack that may render your existing computer/network unusable for sometime, the USB drive can be plugged into any operational computer and the full fledged EMR can be started immediately. To start it you will just have to insert the external drive into the computer and go to the folder UniCharts in the backup on external drive. There you will find, among other files and folders, a colored icon resembling the UniCharts logo and also having the name UniCharts. Double clicking that icon (or right-clicking and selecting "Run as Administrator" option on newer operating systems such as Windows 7/8) will start the EMR directly from the USB drive. When started, you may do everything you used to do on a regular installed version. After the problem in the main server or network is resolved, you may reinstall the program if needed and then replace the root folder called UniCharts on the installed EMR with the folder of the same name in the EMR that resides on the external drive. This will update the database of the installed version and any data that you may have entered during the period in which regular setup was down, be it a few hours or a few weeks, will become available. It will not be a bad idea to test this functionality beforehand. Just be sure that only one instance of the EMR is running on a computer at any one time.
You can easily make a full system backup by visiting Backup/Export tab on the EMR server.
Use the Help!
Finally, you may use the embedded Help for any assistance that may be needed during the course of normal use of the EMR system. It can be reached by clicking the small help icon on the top right of the screen. It is context sensitive and will provide brief overview and instructions about the screen on which you may be at that time. For instance, if you are on scheduling screen it will present the topics related to patient scheduling and appointments. Similarly, if you are viewing a chart it will show you topics about chart components and forms, as shown below.
CMS Meaningful Use
This page and all its linked articles apply to both standard and certified version of our EMR system. However, there are some additional features that are exclusive to the stimulus certified version of the system and, if you have installed the EMR in evaluation mode, these additional features will not become available unless you enter the certified version's key into the system. Therefore, if you plan to go for the certified version after completing evaluation in order to participate in the government stimulus program, please review the article CMS Meaningful Use Features thoroughly to see what these features are and how they are used to achieve compliance for the stimulus funds.
How to uninstall the program?
If you later want to uninstall the EMR, you may use the Uninstall utility that is bundled with the program. Just click Start->Programs, point to the program's group, find and click Uninstall to remove it from your system. Alternatively, select Start->Settings->Control Panel. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add/Remove Programs icon, select from the list of programs available to uninstall and click Remove.