In the event you have two charts for the same patient, you can use the Patient Merge Tool to combine data from both into a single chart.
Step 1. Before you can merge duplicate patient charts you must make sure the following data is the same in both charts:
- first Name,
- last Name, and
- date of Birth
If these details match, note the IDs on both charts. To find this number, open the patient's chart and look for the ID listed on the patient's profile photo, to the left of the patient's age and date of birth, as shown below:
Step 2. With both chart IDs at hand, go to Admin >> Merge Patient Charts to open this window:
If one of the patient charts has more up-to-date or detailed basic information (i.e. address/insurance/phone number), we recommend using this the primary ID. The next step will give you options to select which information to keep but will default to the primary ("Patient ID 1") so this would save you some extra clicking. Aside from that, the choice of primary and secondary charts does not matter.
Step 3. In the window shown in step 2, enter the two IDs and click the "NEXT" button to open the following window:
If any field has a mismatch in the two charts, this window lets you confirm which value to keep and which to disregard. For instance, in the example shown above, the email on file for chart #8 is different from that on chart #16. Based on the selection, we are indicating that the email on chart #8 should be considered the primary email. Bear in mind that you may need to confirm these details with the patient.
In general, there are three scenarios that you will run into in this selection window.
- Both charts have the same value for a given field. This will require no intervention from the user, so the selection buttons will be disabled
- Both charts have different values for a given field, like the primary email field in the example image earlier. In this case, you will have the option of selecting the correct information. But the system will default to the value on the primary chart without any user input.
- One chart has a value for a given field, and the other does not. In the example image earlier, the "EMAIL 2" field is an instance of this scenario. In these situations, the system will pick the only value available by default, but you may opt to keep the field empty.
Step 5. After reviewing these details, click the "NEXT" button at the bottom of the window. This will ask you to confirm again that you are ready to merge. Once you confirm and merge:
- the selected information in step 4 will be updated in the primary patient chart;
- the non-primary patient chart will be archived and will no longer appear in patient searches or reports;
- all documents, encounter notes, charges, medications, etc. will be transferred from the archived chart into the primary chart;
- the merged patient chart will open in a new window
NOTE: You will not be able to reverse a merge once it is completed, however you can recover the deleted chart using the Archive Tool. If you decide to unarchive the duplicate chart then it will be added back to your system. However it will appear as empty since all data is now associated with the primary chart.
This article was first published on January 10th, 2018, and most recently edited on June 10th 2021.
Additional Keywords: duplicate patient, combine charts, combine patient charts, two charts, 2 charts