Over time it is possible that duplicate patient entries may be found in the Front Desk system. This can occur if a patient identifies themselves as ‘new’ without realising they have attended previously.
The Merge Patients utility can be used to resolve duplicate patients. This allows users to move certain data between two patient files, including:
Please note the aim of the utility is not to copy all patient data and some user intervention is required. Standing data, such as the patient’s Name, Address, Phone Numbers and Medicare Number may still need to be updated manually. This is necessary because these fields may contain conflicting data, and only the user can identify which is the latest and most accurate information to use.
The merge patient utility can be downloaded here.
Step 1 – Open the utility
After reading the warning, click OK to continue.
Step 2 – Select patients
There are two patient search fields in the utility – Move From and Move To.
Click Search on the Move From field to select the patient you are moving data FROM.
This is the file you no longer wish to use and intend to archive later.
The Search on Patient window will appear, which functions the same way as within Front Desk.
As we are actively searching for duplicate patients, you will need to identify the correct ‘FROM’ and ‘TO’ files through their differences. For example, the patient files below have different Default Practitioners.
If needed, scroll right to the Client ID column which will always hold a unique identifier for each patient.
With the correct ‘Move From’ patient highlighted, click OK.
The utility will update with your selection, but also summarise the Data to be moved.
Next, click Search on the Move To field to select the patient file you are moving data TO.
This is the file you intend to keep active.
Click OK to finalise your selections.
Step 3 – Merge
Verify your patient selections and the Data to be moved, then click Merge to continue.
The Account Merging dialog will appear.
This allows you to match Billing Accounts between files, which determines where transaction data is moved.
For most users this will only show the default Primary account, but others will be listed if they exist.
Users can either merge to an existing account, or add a new account to the destination file.
With your selections made click OK.
Step 4 – Final confirmation
A final confirmation window will appear before merging.
As warned the process of merging patient data cannot be reversed.
Click Yes to proceed.
Step 5 – Managing additional information
As previously mentioned, this utility does not move all patient data. It does save significant time in merging patients, but some standing data may still need to be updated manually. The following information could potentially conflict with existing data and cannot be merged automatically:
We recommend users compare the two patient files manually and confirm the latest information is entered in these fields.
Step 6 – Archiving
The final step is to archive the ‘empty’ patient file, which is no longer going to be used. This is the patient selected to ‘Move From’ in Step 2.
Open the unwanted patient copy and enable the Archive option, then close and save the file.
We DO NOT recommend deleting patient files. Archiving is always best-practice, as it is reversible and ensures any remaining information is maintained.
By default, the archived patient will now be hidden in the Search on Patient window.
Enable the Show Archived Patients option to view archived patients.
Congratulations, you have successfully used the Merge Patients utility.
For further assistance please open a support case on our website: https://smartsoft.com.au/support