Every minute counts when you’re balancing patient care with the administrative details that keep a healthcare practice running smoothly. This makes finding efficiencies in every area of the business essential if you want to get (and stay) ahead.
Power Diary is custom-built with the needs of healthcare practitioners in mind, and it’s designed to help you free up time to focus on what’s important. You can automate tasks that used to be performed manually, and keep tabs on how the practice is performing with just a few clicks. Key to getting everything up and running is the Templates feature – you can use it for creating clinical notes, designing forms and communicating with patients.
This article is based on the Power Talks webinar: How to Save Time with Power Diary Templates and walks through using different template types to streamline your operations. Let’s get right into it…
How To Set Up & Customise Note Templates
Note templates serve the admin team as well as clinicians. Admin staff use admin notes to track complex billing arrangements, the feedback they get on phone calls, and more, while clinicians typically use clinical notes during sessions with patients to record things like symptom information, treatment plans or medical history.
It’s possible to control access to clinical notes so that only clinicians can access a patient’s health records. Moreover, you can build various functionalities into note templates. For example, you can add images, body charts to annotate, multiple-choice questions, and checklists.
1. Create Clinical Notes
- In Power Diary’s calendar view, click on an appointment to view more details on the right.
- Next to the blue heading “Appointment Details” on the right, click on the note icon.
- If you’ve seen the patient before, you’ll see previous notes reflecting on the screen.
- Select the blue button “+ Create New” near the top middle of the screen.
- A grey heading, “Create New”, will appear below this button. Select one of the patient’s upcoming appointments from a dropdown menu to associate the note with it.
- Next, select the desired template from a dropdown menu directly below that.
- Now, you’ll see a clean template where you can complete all the data you need in the prepared fields.
If it’s not the patient’s first appointment and you want to refer back to previous notes while writing the new note, there are two blue buttons for a single or two-column view in the top right corner of the screen. Select the two-column view to see your current note alongside previous notes. Select the single-column view to switch back to a full-screen view of your current note. You can also collapse or expand notes so that only their title and date are visible, making reviewing previous notes more convenient.
As a health practitioner, you have the option of either viewing only clinical notes or viewing both clinical notes and admin notes. To view both, toggle the “Show Admin Notes” switch near the top middle of the screen.
2. Create Admin Notes
- From the left menu, below the heading “People”, select “Clients”.
- Now search for the patient’s name to draw up their profile, or use the main search bar at the top of the Power Diary screen.
- At the bottom of the patient menu (next to the left menu), expand the “Admin” section at the bottom.
- Select “Admin Notes”. Here you can view admin notes or create a new admin note.
- For a new admin note, select the blue button “Create New” near the top middle of the screen and select the desired admin note template from the drop-down menu.
3. Duplicate a Clinical Note
A patient’s session may be similar to your previous session with them. Then it’s convenient to duplicate a previous clinical note and make changes.
- While in a patient’s profile, navigate to the “Records” section and select “Notes” for a list of all the patient’s clinical notes. Each note heading is grey in colour.
- To the right of each grey strip are three icons: select “Copy to new” on the far right to duplicate a note.
- Adjust the note as needed, save it, and there you go!
4. Create a New Note Template
If there’s a special note you use often, create a template for it!
There are two ways to do this: import a template from the extensive template library or create a note template from scratch.
Import a Note Template
- On the left menu, navigate to “Tools” and then “Note Templates” for a list of all existing note templates.
- To import a note from the template library, select the blue button “Import From Library” near the top right corner of the screen. This will draw up a huge list of premade templates, and you can search for a template by profession (e.g. “physiotherapist”) in the search bar near the top right of the screen.
- Once you’ve found the right template, select it for a preview of the template. Now select “Save to My Account” at the bottom right of the pop-up. This will take you back to the “Note Templates” screen.
- To edit the template that you’ve added to your profile, select it. Now you’ll see the “Template Design” screen (this status reflects on the blue button with “View” options near the top right of the screen).
- Now, you can customise and re-order all template fields. You’ll see a menu at the bottom of the template to add different sections you might need.
- Once the template is done, toggle to the “Data Entry Mode” screen with the “View” options button to see what the template will look like when you use it in practice.
Note that you can choose whether the template should be a clinical note or an admin note with the blue “type” button near the top right of the screen.
Create a Note Template From Scratch
If the template library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can select the blue button “+ New Note Template” near the top left of the Note Templates screen. This will draw up a completely blank template that you can name and customise as you wish.
Once you’ve created the template, select “Save Template” near the bottom right of the screen, and you’re good to go. Remember, however, to select whether the template should be a clinical or admin note, as described in the previous section.
You can share your note templates with colleagues who also use Power Diary! If you think they will benefit from a template you created, you can export it, send it to them, and they will be able to upload it to their Power Diary account via the Import From File button.
To export your note template, navigate to Tools > Note Templates, in the Actions column, click on the gear icon and select Export. This will download this note template into a .txt file that you can share.
5. Edit, Clone, Export, & Delete a Note Template
When viewing your list of note templates in the “Note Templates” screen, you’ll see a column labelled “Actions” to the right and a drop-down menu with a gear icon next to each template. Use this menu to edit, clone, export, or delete notes.
Cloning a template is useful if you want a few templates that only differ slightly. Exporting a template is useful when you’ve got different Power Diary accounts (for instance, if you’ve got different accounts for practices in different locations) and you want to upload finished templates into other accounts without creating them from scratch.
How To Set Up & Customise Form Templates
As with note templates, you can create both admin and clinical online forms. You’ll send these forms to patients via email or SMS to collect and store patient information securely and update client profile info automatically. You can record new intake data, medical history, referral info, patient contact info, treatment consent, and more. Forms also allow patients to upload documents.
Using Power Diary’s forms to collect data means patients no longer have to provide their details in the reception area. They can do it before they even arrive at the practice. Moreover, the admin team doesn’t have to spend time capturing manually recorded data onto an electronic system. Because clinicians can access patient data much earlier before the start of a session, there is room for preparation before appointments.
1. Design a Form
- On the left menu, expand the Tools section, then select “Form Designer”.
- The view you’ll see now is similar to the note templates view and functions similarly. The only real notable difference is that you can add more and different fields to these forms than with note templates.
2. Complete a Form
The system generates forms when sent to a patient by email or SMS. However, sometimes you may need to help a patient complete their form. For this, navigate to the patient’s profile, select “Forms” under the heading “Records”, and simply create a new form by selecting the desired template from the drop-down menu that appears.
This will create a draft form. At the top of the draft, you will see buttons to copy the link of this form to send to the client’s email or phone or to open the link in a different tab.
If you’re using a tablet, the option to open the link in a different tab is useful as the client can then complete the form before their appointment, or during their session. To ensure data safety, you should log out of Power Diary, but the form in the new tab will still work.
3. View a Completed Form
- In the calendar view, select an appointment to view more appointment details on the right.
- Select the drop-down arrow next to the patient’s name near the top right of the screen and select “Forms” under the heading “Records”. This will draw a list of the forms that the patient has completed.
- For a log of all activity related to a specific form (for instance, to see the date a patient was notified of a form to complete, when the patient submitted it, or when someone updated it, and so on), select “View Log” at the bottom right of any form in the list.
- Admin team members can view admin forms by navigating to a patient’s profile and selecting “Admin Forms” under “Admin”.
How To Set Up & Customise Communication Template
Communication templates are available for SMS, emails and letters. They’re used to send automated reminders or appointment confirmations to patients, create and send online form links, bulk send essential information, initiate two-way SMS chats, acknowledge referrals, and more. For the record, all outgoing communication, such as emails, is saved to patients’ profiles. Any SMS replies from clients will also be saved in their profile. If you want to add a personal touch to communication, merge fields can do the job.
1. Create a New Communications Template
- Select “Tools” on the left menu, then “Communication”, and finally “Templates” to view a list of existing templates.
- Select the blue button “+ New Template” near the top middle of the screen, then select the communication type (SMS/email/letter) and populate all fields as desired.
- To add a form link to your message:
- Select Tools on the left menu and open the Form Designer in a new browser tab for a list of your form templates.
- Select the desired form, then select the blue button “Get Message Merge Field” toward the top right of the screen.
- On the pop-up that appears, select the blue text “Copy Merge Field”.
- Go back to the tab with your communication template and paste the form link where you want it.
2. Contact a Patient Manually
- In the calendar view, double-click on a patient’s appointment to open their profile.
- On the client profile menu, expand the Communication section; now you’ll see the options “New SMS”, “New Email”, and “New Letter”.
- When you choose any of these options, you must select an appointment if the message is appointment-related and contains appointment merge fields. You’ll also be allowed to customise the message before you send it.
Note that there are many merge fields for templates that can help you personalise communication and automate the population of a patient’s data for both manual and bulk communications. Using merge fields will save you a ton of time!
3. Conduct a 2-Way SMS Chat With a Patient
- In the calendar view, select the chat bubble on the blue ribbon near the top right of the screen to open up a chat panel.
- Select the patient’s name you want to communicate with.
- Select an SMS template or just type a message and send it.
- The patient’s responses will reflect in the chat panel and will also be saved in Client Profile > Communication > Activity for your records.
Ready to Get Started Yourself?
You’ll never look back once you start using templates! Both your patients and your practice team will thank you for making their lives much easier, and you’ll reinforce the professional image of your practice at the same time.
If you’d like some help getting started with Power Diary templates, we have a whole section in our comprehensive Knowledge Base. Alternatively, our friendly support team at [email protected] would love to help you streamline your processes with session note templates, custom form templates and communication templates that you can use over and over again.