FAQs: Consultations and procedure templates

This article covers frequently asked questions about creating and using procedure templates and consultations.

DEFINITIONS

Document the notes and charges for a patient’s visit in a consultation. Depending on the appointment type, you can use procedure templates to ensure notes are entered consistently and the correct products and services are applied to the record. All notes and invoices begin as a consultation.

Once you have completed entering your notes, you can lock the consultation from additional editing if you have the Edit Consultations permission.

There are five consultation statuses:

Status

Definition

Draft

Consultation that has been saved. Notes and products can be added and updated.

Completed

Consultation that only includes notes has been marked completed. Notes can be modified until they are locked by a user. Completed status doesn’t display in the patient Consultations tab.

Unpaid

Invoice/consultation has been marked as ready to be paid, but no payment has been recorded. Notes can be modified until they are locked by a user.

Partially paid

Invoice/consultation has been marked as ready to be paid, but invoice amount has not been paid in full. Notes can be modified until they are locked by a user.

Paid

Invoice/consultation has been marked as ready to be paid and invoice amount has been paid in full. Notes can be modified until they are locked by a user.

Unallocated credit

Prepayment has not been allocated or assigned to an invoice.

 

Note: Users can only modify unlocked consultation notes if they have permission to edit consultations.


Use procedure templates in consultations to ensure consistency when entering notes and products in your practice. Regular visit types can be configured as templates with notes, products, and diagnostics so they are automatically added to a consultation when selected. You can add multiple procedure templates to a consultation, and they can be edited as needed.

Note: If you used canned estimates, groups, or templates in your previous practice management software, you'll need to set up procedure templates to have similar functionality in Neo. You can also use procedure templates to bundle diagnostic products to create a custom panel.

To learn more, see Add a procedure template.

SETUP

Set up text shortcuts in the Notes Autocomplete field in Administration > Branch Settings. You can use these shortcuts only when entering notes on the consultation’s Note tab. For example, if n=Normal, type n and then press the Spacebar to insert “Normal.”

To learn more setting up text shortcuts in Notes Autocomplete, Configure branch settings.


Create procedure templates in Administration > Procedure Templates to ensure consistency when recording notes and products in consultations during patient visits. Procedure templates can include notes only, products only, or both.

To learn more, see Add a procedure template.


The formatting and editing tools are listed below. You can also use keyboard shortcuts.

Tool

Function

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Displays HTML Code

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Cut

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Copy

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Paste

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Paste as Plain Text

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Paste from Word

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Undo/Redo

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Insert/Remove Numbered List

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Insert/Remove Bulleted List

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Left, Center, or Right Justify

Forms_FAQ_-_Left_Right_Justify.png

Justify Left and Right

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Block Quote

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Link/Unlink

Forms_FAQ_-_Image.png

Image

Forms_FAQ_-_Table.png

Table

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Insert Horizontal Line

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Insert Special Character

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Bold

Forms_FAQ_-_Italic.png

Italic

Forms_FAQ_-_Strikethrough.png

Strikethrough

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Underline

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Copy Formatting

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Remove Format

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Paragraph Format

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Font Name

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Font Size

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Text Color

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Background Color

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Maximize

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Checkbox


For single spacing between lines, press Shift and Enter at the end of a row. If you’d like double-spacing, press Enter. Text that you allow to word wrap to the next line is automatically single-spaced.


Copy Formatting is a great tool to use when you have multiple font formats (bold, underline, font color etc.) you want to apply to additional text. Select the text whose format you want to copy, then click the Copy Formatting mceclip2.png button. Next select the text to apply the formatting to – that’s it!

To quickly resize a column width, click the vertical (column) border. Then:
  • Drag to the left to make the column narrower.
  • Drag to the right to make the column wider.

Note: Click and drag does not work to resize row heights.

To change other table properties, right-click in a table cell to access table options. You can insert and delete cells, rows, and columns, as well as split and merge cells. Select Cell Properties or Table Properties to adjust the width, height, justification, and border properties.

Yes! Checkboxes can be added to new or existing procedure templates that are used in consultations. Click in the template where you want to add the checkbox. Then click the Checkbox mceclip3.png button.
Checkboxes can also be added into tables as needed.
Tip:
  • Add a space before and /or after a checkbox to add padding around the checkbox.
  • Checkboxes already added to a template can be copied and pasted.
  • Checkboxes can be selected (checked) as a default in a form, if desired. For example, set up a SOAP template with all “Normal” checkboxes selected to save users time when entering their exam findings:

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Products on the consultation are dependent on the order in which they are added and cannot be rearranged on the consultation; however, the products can be rearranged when the procedure template is created or modified. To reorder the products on the procedure template Lines tab, click the arrow icon at the end of a row and drag the item to order you want.

For more information, see Add a procedure template.

USING CONSULTATIONS

Consultation notes can be modified if the user has permission to edit consultations and the notes have not been locked by a user. Products can be updated on draft consultations at any time. Products entered on consultations that are ready to be paid can also be updated though dates cannot be backdated.

To learn more, see Update a consultation and Lock consultation notes and track edit history.


Consultations can be reprinted or emailed from the patient Consultations tab at any time.

To learn more, see Reprint or email an invoice or consultation.

Consultations can be emailed to clients by clicking the drop-down arrow and selecting Print Invoice or Print Invoice (No Prices) to preview the invoice or Print Notes to preview the visit notes. After making your selection, the form will opensin a new tab. Click the send email link at the top of the page to send the email.

To learn more, see Reprint or email an invoice or consultation.


After navigating to the patient's Consultations tab, press CTRL+F, and then enter the word you need to search for in the patient's record. Use the arrows to find other occurrences of the word in the patient record.

Note: Consultations for the last 365 days automatically display in a patient’s Consultations tab. Click Load All Patient History at the bottom of the page to see more.


You can view consultations on more than one device. To help reduce data loss, you will receive notifications when you:

  • view or save a consultation where more than one user is accessing the consultation at the same time.
  • attempt to save a consultation where the notes have been locked by another user.

NOTE: 

  • If a user is only working in the product section, the consultation notes will not be updated when they save the consultation.
  • Any new consultation product lines should save without overwriting another user's changes.
  • If two users are updating an existing consultation product line at the same time, changes from the last user to click Save will be reflected.
Scenario Notification

Two users viewing

  • After opening existing consultation
  • After initial save
concurrent_edit_notification_one_user.png

More than two users viewing     

  • After opening existing consultation
  • After initial save
concurrent_edit_notification_multiple_user.png

Two or more users viewing

  • After each subsequent save
  • Click Cancel to return to the consultation.
  • Click Yes, continue to save your changes.

Note: We recommend you confirm any changes made by the other user(s) before clicking this button to reduce data loss.

concurrent_edit_overwrite_warning.png

Two or more users viewing

  • One user clicks Lock Notes
  • Another user clicks Save

Note: If you receive this warning you can view your changes on the consultation Note Activity tab.

 


Weights typed in a consultation will not be recorded in the patient’s Weights tab. If you’d like to display the current weight in the Weights tab and in the consultation, the weight will need to be entered in both locations.

To learn more, see Enter patient weight.


We recommend adding a section in your procedure templates for your staff to record declined services.


Consultation notes can be locked by any user with the Edit Consultations permission by clicking the Lock Notes button under the bottom-left of the Note section . Notes should be locked only after the notes have been completed.

Note: Users with the Unlock Notes permission can unlock consultation notes. If you do not have permission to unlock consultation notes, please talk with your practice administrator.

To learn more, see Lock consultation notes and track edit history and Add and manage users.


Yes, you can add images saved on your computer, laptop, or other device to consultations and procedure templates. To add an image or picture that’s been saved to your computer, laptop, or other device, click the Image image_button.png button. Then click the Upload tab and the Choose File button to locate the image you want to insert. Wait for the image URL to be created in the Image Info tab before clicking OK.

Note: Images will be saved to Neo’s secure file storage; so they will always be available in Neo.

To learn more, see Add an image to a form, procedure template, or consultation.

You can also attach images as files to a consultation after the consultation is saved. The files can be viewed from the consultation and patient Files tab. To learn more, see Add and manage files.


If you need to print or email more than one consultation, you can print a history.

You can also print or email a client’s unpaid invoices. For more information, see Send statements.


Depending on what displays on the consultation product line, you can follow one of these two options to delete a product from a draft consultation:

  • Click the trash can button trash_button.png.
  • Click the menu button menu_blue.png and then click Remove.

Note: For information on deleting products from an unpaid consultation, see Update a consultation.


The consultation line item date should be edited to ensure the patient record accurately reflects when a service was performed, or when a product was sold, prescribed, or administered. Examples:

  • Correcting consultations on a later date.
  • If your practice enters consultations on a later date. For example, high volume vaccine clinics or large animal veterinarians.

The vaccine Date Given is the consultation product line date.

The vaccine Due Date is calculated using the consultation product line date.

The vaccine Tag Exp. is calculated using the consultation product line date plus the selected tag duration.

The selected consultation product line date displays as the Vaccine Given Date on the Rabies Vaccines and Tags report.


The Fill Date for a new prescription is the consultation product line date.

The Fill Date for a prescription refill is the consultation product line date of the refill.

The fill date (consultation product line) of the original prescription will display in the Rx ID dropdown in the Prescribe /Refill modal.


The reminder due date is generated from the consultation product line date when the invoice is closed (marked ready to be paid).

If a closed invoice is reopened and the consultation product line date is updated, the reminder due date for that product will automatically be updated when the invoice is closed again.

Note:

  • If a closed invoice is reopened and the product is changed on a consultation line without deleting the product:
    • a reminder will be created for the new product.
    • the existing reminder will not be deleted unless it's part of the special action on the newly entered product.
  • If the quantity, price, or label notes are changed on the consultation product line, the reminder dates will not be updated.

Patient reminders are not updated on the Reminders tab until the invoice has been closed (marked ready to be paid).


To edit the consultation product line date, you must select the date from the calendar date picker.

TROUBLESHOOTING

When viewing the Consultations tab, select All Details from the dropdown next to the Print button to display consultation pricing again.


When viewing a patient consultation, click Show Prices  to unhide the Price column.

Click Hide Prices  if you want to hide the Price column again.


There is a one minute lag time before a consultation is released from the other user. If the other user moves away from the consultation, the lag time should be reduced.


If you receive a notification another user has made updates to a consultation, you can view their changes by clicking the Note Activity tab when viewing the consultation.  If desired, click View Changes on the desired event row to compare the current version of the consultation note to the previous version.

To learn more, see Lock consultation notes and track edit history


If you receive a notification that your changes to a consultation were not saved, you can locate unsaved notes by clicking the Notes Activity tab when viewing the consultation notes. Then click View Changes on the desired event row.

Review the current consultation note version to the previous version. You can select and copy any unsaved text and paste to the consultation.

To learn more, see Lock consultation notes and track edit history


To review who entered a product on a consultation, navigate to the patient's Consultations tab. The staff member who entered the product displays under Staff in the Product/Service area of the consultation.

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To review who created a consultation, navigate to the patient’s Consultations tab. Search for and open the consultation. The staff who created the consultation displays under the date at the top of the consultation.

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Users with the Edit Consultations permission selected can edit consultations.

To learn more, see Add and manage users.


When you create or update a consultation, the date can be changed. If the consultation date is different than the date the consultation was created, a create date will display below the consultation date.


While duplicate patients can be merged, you cannot transfer a consultation from one patient to another patient. The consultation entered on the incorrect patient can be deleted and reentered on the correct patient.


You can designate a user as a provider in Administration > User Management.

To learn more, see Add and manage users.


You must have the Edit Consultations permission in order to edit unlocked consultation notes.

Locked consultation notes cannot be edited.

  • If you have the Unlock Notes permission, click the Unlock Notes button, edit the notes, and then click the Lock Notes
  • If you do not have permission to unlock consultation notes and either need permission or need a note to be unlocked, please talk with your practice administrator.

locked_vs_unlocked.jpg


Only users with the Edit Consultations permission can lock consultation notes. If you can edit consultations but still cannot lock a consultation note, make sure the consultation is saved.

Note: If you do not have permission to edit consultations, please contact your practice administrator.


The date for the first consultation product line added to a consultation will default to the consultation date.

When new products are entered, the consultation product line date will default to the last selected date. The date will be repeated for each subsequent product line until the user:

  • chooses another date; or
  • saves the consultation.

After the consultation is saved, the consultation product line date will default to “today” (current date) when new products are added


The consultation product line date automatically populates to “today” (current date) each time Save is clicked on the consultation.

The first consultation product line entered on an unsaved consultation will default to the consultation date.

When new products are entered, the consultation product line date will default to the last selected date. The date will be repeated for each subsequent product line until the user:

  • chooses another date; or
  • saves the consultation.

The Edit Consultations permission is required in order to edit the consultation product line date on saved draft consultations.

If you do not have permission to edit consultations, please talk with your practice administrator.


The consultation product line timestamp will display as 12:00AM when the consultation product line date is backdated.

Note: This is similar to previous behavior, where the timestamp displayed as 12:00AM when the consultation date was backdated.

If the consultation product line date is not edited, the timestamp displays your practice’s local time when the product line was added to the consultation.


The date on the consultation product line will be blank until either:

  • a product has been search for and selected; or
  • you tab from the Product field after manually entering a product.

Note: This is similar to the Provider field.


The following reports have been updated to return the consultation product line dates selected on the consultation:

  • Filtered by: Product line date; Output date: Product line date
    • Patient Mailing Lists
    • Dispensed Products in date range (no grouping)
  • Filtered by: Consultation date; Output date: Product line date
    • Sales and Cost of Sales by Staff
    • Sales and Cost of Sales by Veterinarian
  • Filter by: Product line date; No output date
    • Dispensed Products in date range (Grouped by Product)
    • Revenue and Sales, Average Transaction Fee grouped by Veterinary Staff
    • Sales by Product Class
    • Sales of Products, Product Classes grouped by Provider
    • Total Practice Revenue grouped by Branch

Note: The Inventory Audit report still uses the date the product was entered or updated, in case the practice manager needs to investigate the reported activity with staff working during the time the changes were made.


The _dispensing_label_ template for current customers uses the [today] form variable and was not updated with this feature release.

For practices that backdate prescriptions, a new form variable is available: [rx.fill_date]

As needed, a practice’s _dispensing_label_ template can be updated with the [rx.fill_date] form variable in place of the [today] form variable.


You can view a patient's master problem list from the patient Problems tab.

To learn more, see View a patient's problem history.


Click the menu button  on the problem row to view the consultation where the problem was entered.

To learn more, see View a patient's problem history


The Insert Page Break button is not available from procedure templates, estimates, consultations, or refunds because we don’t know how many procedure templates a user may add to an individual estimate or consultation.

The Checkbox button is not available from estimates, consultations, refunds, or forms preview because most users would not add a checkbox at the time they are entering notes or printing, emailing, etc.

The Source button was removed from estimates, consultations, refunds, and forms preview because most users would not edit the template source code when entering notes or printing, emailing, etc.


Checkboxes do not work in Internet Explorer. We recommend that you use Google Chrome for IDEXX Neo; but you can also use Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari.


Each checkbox must be selected or deselected individually.


The Insert Page Break button is not available from procedure templates, estimates, consultations, or refunds because we don’t know how many procedure templates a user may add to an individual estimate or consultation.


The Insert Page Break button is not available from procedure templates, estimates, consultations, or refunds because we don’t know how many procedure templates a user may add to an individual estimate or consultation.


Font family and size cannot be applied to blank table cells; so any text entered into blank table cells in a consultation will automatically adopt the default font under Administration > Company Settings.

Font family and size can still be updated on a consultation, as needed.