Pilot Test: Create and Manage Patient Form Letters in PCC EHR

Beginning in Fall 2021, your practice can optionally pilot test a tool in PCC EHR that makes it possible for you to create and manage your own patient form letters.

With the new Forms Configuration tool, you can create patient form letters that include variable fields for auto-inserting patient, account, and practice information. The form letters you create during the pilot test will not be available to generate in PCC EHR until a time of your choosing in a future PCC release.

You should consider participating in the pilot test if you want early access to the tools for making your own patient form letters in PCC EHR, and if you are interested in giving feedback that will help PCC improve those tools.

Create Form Letters in PCC EHR

As a Forms Configuration pilot tester, you can create your own form letters in PCC EHR for eventual generation from the PCC EHR Forms component.

Create a Basic Text Form

In order to create patient form letters in PCC EHR, your Client Advocate must enable the Forms Configuration tool for your practice. Once the tool is enabled, you can start making form letters.

Open Forms Configuration

Click on “Forms” in the Configuration menu in PCC EHR to open the Forms Configuration tool.

Access Forms Configuration by Permission Only: Users can only access the Forms Configuration tool if they have permission to do so. You can grant users forms configuration access in the User Administration tool in PCC EHR.

Add a New Form

In Forms Configuration, click the “Add” button to create a new form.

A blank form template opens in the window.

Give the Form a Name

Create a name for your form. In a future PCC release, this will be the name that users see in the Forms component in PCC EHR.

Pick a Unique Name: The form name must be unique. You cannot save a new form if it has the same name as another form in the Forms Configuration tool.

Compose Text

Compose the text of your form in the blank document template.

The document template represents a standard 8.5 x 11-inch page with 1-inch margins.

Automatic Page Breaks: When the content of your form exceeds the amount of space available on the page, the extra text automatically flows onto a new page.

Customize the Style of the Text

Use the style options in the toolbar at the top of the window to customize the font, size, weight, color, and alignment of your text, or to insert a bulleted or numbered list.

Save Your Work

Click the “Save” button to save your new form.

A “Last Saved” timestamp appears beneath your form in the editor window. The timestamp updates each time you save your form.

Close Your Form

When you have finished working, click “Save + Exit” to save and close the form.

You can also click the “Back” button if you wish to discard your changes instead of saving them.


When you close a form, you return to the main screen of the Forms Configuration tool.

Work with Variables

You can include fields on your forms for auto-inserting patient, account, and practice information. These fields are called variables.

You can use variables to create generic form templates that will auto-complete with relevant details when you generate them for patients. You will be able to generate your new form letters for patients in a future PCC release.

Get to Know the List of Variables

Edit a form in the Forms Configuration tool and locate the Variables pane to the right of the document canvas.

Review the list of variable names and descriptions to learn which kinds of information you can auto-insert onto forms.

In PCC 9.1, you can auto-insert:

  • patients’ demographics, insurance policy details, last vaccination date, and allergies
  • patients’ billing and home account addresses, demographics, and contact information
  • patients’ next appointment details
  • patients’ primary care provider details
  • your practice’s physical and Web address, contact information, and tax ID
  • today’s date

More variables will be added in future PCC releases.

Search the Variable List: You can search for specific terms within the Variables pane. As you type a search term, the list narrows to include just the variables with names or descriptions that match your search.

Variables Use Your Practice’s Naming Conventions: The variables available to you in the Forms Configuration tool reflect your practice’s unique names for phone numbers and custom demographics fields. For example, if your practice has a custom field for emergency contact information in patient demographics, you will see a corresponding variable for that custom field in the Forms Configuration tool.

Find a Variable to Insert

To insert a variable onto your form, first select it in the Variables pane.

Place Your Cursor Where You Want to Insert the Variable

Position your cursor in the body of the form where you want to insert the selected variable.

Insert the Variable

With your cursor in position, double-click the selected variable to insert it, or click the “Insert” button at the bottom of the Variables pane.


The variable appears on your form where the cursor was positioned.

Configure the Variable Options

Click on the variable in the body of your form to view and configure its options. Once selected, the variable’s options appear in the Variables pane.

Some variables have formatting options. For example, you can choose how to format dates.

Other variables require you to make a decision before they can work. These variables turn orange as soon as you insert them onto your form, letting you know there is an action for you to take.

Click on the variable in the body of your form, then select one of the options from the orange-highlighted drop down list within the Variables pane.


Once you take the required action, the orange highlight goes away and the name of the variable on your form updates to reflect your choice.

The way you configure each variable determines what kind of information it auto-inserts onto your form upon generation and the manner in which the information is formatted.

Coming Soon: Edit the Font Style of Variables: In a future PCC Release, you will be able to edit the font style of variables to match the surrounding text.

Work with Saved Forms

You can edit, delete, and clone saved forms on the main screen of the Forms Configuration tool. To work with a saved form, select it, then click the button for the action you want to take.

Edit

The “Edit” button allows you to make changes to a saved form. You can also double-click a form to open it for editing.

Clone

The “Clone” button makes a copy of a saved form and allows you to make changes to the copy. When you save a cloned form, the original form remains intact and the cloned version gets added to the Forms Configuration tool with the changes you implemented.

Delete

The “Delete” button allows you to permanently remove a form from the Forms Configuration tool.

Delete by Permission Only: Users can delete forms by permission only. You can set up user permissions in the User Administration tool in PCC EHR.

Work with PDFs

With help from PCC Support, you can upload PDF forms into the Forms Configuration tool.

You might need to do this if your state or local school district requires that you complete a particular form for patients at the beginning of a new school year.

PDF forms appear in Forms Configuration with an icon.

You can rename them without intervention from PCC Support.

Users with the right permissions can also delete PDFs from the Forms Configuration tool.

In a future PCC release, you will be able to view the contents of PDFs in the Forms Configuration tool, control which PDFs are visible in the Forms component in PCC EHR, and decide where PDFs appear in the Forms component list order.

Pilot Test the Forms Configuration Tool

In PCC 9.1 you can volunteer to pilot test a new tool in PCC EHR that you can use to create and edit your own patient form letters. You should consider becoming a pilot tester if you want to gain early access to making your own patient form letters in PCC EHR and to provide feedback that will inform the future development of the Forms Configuration tool.

Pilot testers will also get a head start migrating their existing patient form letters in the new tool.

Enable Forms Configuration

There are a few steps that you and your Client Advocate need to take in order for you to get started with the Forms Configuration tool.

Tell Your Client Advocate That You Want to Be a Pilot Tester

Talk to your PCC Client Advocate if you are interested in pilot testing the new Forms Configuration tool. Your Client Advocate will take several steps to launch the pilot test at your practice.

Your Client Advocate Schedules a Call to Review Pilot Test Information

Your Client Advocate schedules a call with you to share information about how the pilot test works and what you can expect to be able to do in the Forms Configuration tool in PCC 9.1.

Your Client Advocate Enables Forms Configuration

After the information session, your Client Advocate enables the Forms Configuration tool in PCC EHR and notifies you that the pilot test is live. Once the pilot test is live, a “Forms” option appears in the Configuration menu in PCC EHR.

Your Practice Configures User Permissions

Decide who should be allowed to access the Forms Configuration tool. Then, assign the correct permissions to those users.

In the User Administration tool in PCC EHR, click on the Roles tab and add the Forms permission to relevant user roles, or create a new role just for Forms Configuration access.

Permission to delete forms is controlled separately.

If you decide to create a new role, assign it to the relevant users.

User Administrators Have Forms Access by Default: Users at your practice who have access to User Administration in PCC EHR will automatically be given access to Forms Configuration when the tool is enabled. You can revoke this access in the User Administration tool.

Optionally, Your Client Advocate Migrates Existing Forms into Forms Configuration (Highly Recommended)

Once Forms Configuration is live, you have the option to migrate some or all of your existing forms from the PCC EHR Forms component into the new tool. Your Client Advocate must complete this step on your behalf.


You are not required to migrate existing forms in order to use the Forms Configuration tool. However, if you decide that you would like to move some or all of your existing forms into the new tool, it is highly recommended that your Client Advocate do so as soon as Forms Configuration is enabled.

Migrated forms remain linked to the chart note protocols where they are currently configured for one-click generation.

After Migration, Configure Your Forms: After your Client Advocate migrates your existing forms into the Forms Configuration tool, you must configure them for use. The steps you need to take depend on whether the migrated forms started out as text forms or PDF documents. Learn how to configure your migrated forms in the Configure Migrated Forms section.

What If I Decide to Migrate Later?: If you decide to migrate your existing forms later, be aware that it could overwrite new forms that were created in the Forms Configuration tool in the interim. This would occur in cases where your new forms share a background ID with the forms that you are migrating.

Your Practice Starts Making Patient Form Letters!

With the Forms Configuration tool enabled, your migration plan in place, and user permissions squared away, you can start making patient form letters!

First, try creating a test form from scratch. You can delete this form later if needed.

Once you get a feel for the tool, you can start creating realistic patient form letters.

Configure Migrated Forms Before Creating New Letters From Scratch: If your Client Advocate migrated your existing forms, you should configure those for use before making new letters from scratch. See the section Configure Migrated Forms to learn how.

Configure Migrated Forms

If your Client Advocate migrated some or all of your existing forms into the Forms Configuration tool, you need to take some steps to configure them for use. The configuration steps depend on whether the migrated forms started out as text forms or PDF documents. In a future PCC release, you will be able to generate your migrated forms for patients.

Review Your Migrated Forms

Migrated forms appear in Forms Configuration with the same titles as you are used to seeing in the Forms component in PCC EHR and are indicated as having last been saved by the PCC user on your system. Those with a PDF icon are PDF documents. Those that do not have an icon are text forms.

Your next steps depend on whether the migrated forms are text forms or PDF documents.

Start Recreating the Contents of Migrated Text Forms

Text forms undergo a conversion when your Client Advocate migrates them into Forms Configuration. They retain their titles but not their contents. This is so that you can recreate them using the new text editor within the Forms Configuration tool.

Double-click on the title of a migrated text form to open it for editing.


Use the embedded text editor to recreate the form’s contents within the blank document template. If you have a version of the form saved on your computer or in the cloud, you can copy and paste that text into the Forms Configuration text editor.

The Forms Configuration tool is still under construction, so you might have to wait for a future PCC release before you can make your migrated text forms look and work just the way you want. You can see what has yet to be added to the Forms Configuration tool in the What to Look Forward To section. Tell your Client Advocate if you think you will need something that is not mentioned in the list.

Optionally Review and Edit the Titles of Migrated PDF Forms

PDF documents retain their titles and contents when your Client Advocate migrates them into Forms Configuration. You can edit their titles within the Forms Configuration tool, but you cannot view or edit their contents.


If you want to make changes to the contents of PDF forms in the Forms Configuration tool, you must contact PCC Support.

If Necessary, Re-Migrate Forms

Your Client Advocate can re-migrate forms into the Forms Configuration tool at any time. You might want to do this if you significantly updated a PDF form since first migrating your forms into the Forms Configuration tool.

When you re-migrate a form, the newly migrated version overwrites the existing entry in the Forms Configuration tool and any changes you might have made to it.

If you have questions about the Forms Configuration tool, the forms migration process, or the pilot test, contact your PCC Client Advocate.

What to Look Forward To

In upcoming PCC releases, you will be able to:

  • Preview your form letters as you build them to see what they will look like when you generate them for patients
  • Generate your form letters for patients in PCC EHR
  • Include images on forms
  • Auto-insert provider signatures
  • Auto-insert details from patient encounters, such as vitals
  • Auto-insert complete address blocks
  • Auto-insert patients’ siblings
  • Create questions for users to answer while generating a form, and auto-insert their answers
  • Set custom margins and page sizes
  • Check spelling
  • Recreate your letterhead in Forms Configuration
  • Control which forms appear in the Forms component and in what order

…and more! Pilot tester feedback will steer the future development of the Forms Configuration tool in PCC EHR.

Tell PCC What You Think

If you decide to become a pilot tester, tell your PCC Client Advocate what you like about the Forms Configuration tool and what would make it more useful for your practice.

Your feedback will guide the development of the Forms Configuration tool in PCC EHR.

  • Last modified: September 27, 2021