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Workflow Optimizations / Setting Up Stencils
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Setting Up Stencils

Humans have been using stencils since our ancestors used the shape of their hands to create cave art thousands of years ago. More recently, stencils have been used to easily replicate designs by using a reusable template.

Stencils in the Ava EMR similarly utilize this concept of efficiency and re-usability to streamline the process of entering data into notes and letters.

Creating a stencil allows a note or letter to be pre-filled with information you specify.

This is useful if you find yourself creating a lot of notes and letters with the same information, and will save you the effort of writing out the same thing repeatedly.

This tutorial will take you through the steps involved in creating a stencil, including navigation, setting up your stencil, and applying your stencil.

What is the Difference Between a Stencil and a Macro?

A stencil automatically pre-fills select or multiple fields of either a letter or a note, and can be selected at the start of the creation process. In contrast, a macro is a small snippet of information which can be automatically pasted by typing a certain command into a field.

Learn more about macros.

1. Hover over My Account and click on Stencils in the drop-down menu

In the top left you will find two buttons, My Stencils and New Stencil.

2. Click the New Stencil button in the top left.

3. Here you will have the option to create either a note stencil or letter stencil.

One is used in note templates and the other when writing letters from the letter section of the patient chart.

Ava dashboard opened to stencils page with arrows pointing at important elements.

Creating a Stencil

1. You should find several fill-able fields when you select the new note or letter stencil option. 

2. Give the stencil a name in the Stencil Name field.

This will help you identify and differentiate between stencils when applying them.

3. This step only applies if you selected the note stencil option. Under Note Template you will be able to select a template from the drop down menu.

For example, you may select a SOAP note template to create a stencil that will automatically fill SOAP notes when selected.

Ava EMR also allows you to create your own custom note templates.

4. If you want this stencil to be available for use by other members of your clinic, you can select your clinic from the drop down under Share With Clinic.

5. Now you are ready to enter whatever information you want to populate your note or letter with in the fill-able fields.

You can use aliases in your stencil to automatically pre-populate variable information into your note or letter.

For example, to enter a patient’s first and last name without having to manually enter them, you could write “The patient’s name is %^p_first_name^% %^p_last_name^%”.

An alias cheat sheet can be found on the left side of the Stencils page. To learn more about aliases click here.

6. You can click the green Save Stencil button at the bottom of the page once you are satisfied with your stencil.

7. The stencil should now appear under the My Stencils section.

You can edit your stencil at any time by clicking the pencil icon, or delete it by clicking the red garbage bin icon.

Applying a Stencil

Note Stencil

1. Navigate to the patient chart. Here you will see a category called Clinical Notes.

Click the plus icon to start creating a new note. This will give you the option to select either a note template or a stencil.

2. Choose which stencil you would like to use from the drop down menu or the Most Commonly Used section, and then click Select Stencil.

Note: clicking the Select Template button will load an unfilled template. Clicking the Select Stencil button will load a template filled with the information specified by your stencil.

3. Your stencil will now appear, and you will be able to make any necessary edits and additions. 

4. Once you are finished you can hit Save to save the note or Complete to save and lock the note.

Letter Stencil

1. Navigate to the patient chart. Here you will see a category called Letters.

Click the plus icon to start creating a new letter

2. From the drop-down menu under Select Stencil choose your stencil.

The default will be a blank letter, so you will have to select the stencil you would like to use.

3. Once you have selected your stencil click the New button.

A pop-up window will appear with your stencil, where you will be able to make any necessary edits and additions.

4. When you are done click either Save, Save + Fax, or Save + Print before exiting out of the window.

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