In the simplest of terms, Patient Flags are just high tech sticky notes. They provide a quick and easy way to add easily accessible information to a patient's chart. Additionally they can provide some more detailed information for the provider that the patient does not have access to.
Patient flags underwent a major redesign in Summit version 5.01. Information about the new patient flag features can be found at the end of this article.
To access and create patient flags, navigate to System Management > Patient Flags. This will open the Patient Flags screen.
The Patient flags screen lets you create, modify, and delete flags that can be used for patients. In the example below, you can see that each patient flag has both a name and a description. The flag name will appear when used on the patient's chart, but additional information about that flag can be saved in the description where the patient can't see it. This can be used to give the provider a discrete note without the patient being aware of it.
To create a new patient flag, select New Flag, enter a name for the flag, provide a description for the flag (if desired), and click the green New button. To delete or modify a flag, simply select the desired flag and make any changes you want and click the yellow Update button or the red Delete button to remove the flag entirely.
Patient flags are assigned inside the patient's chart. In the example above, the flag can be seen on the far right of the patient header. To edit a patient's flags, click on the flag itself and a dropdown menu will appear. Here you can select one or more flags to assign to the patient and change the color of the flag. Below are two examples showing the process of setting flags and changing the color of the flag. The example below is from the same patient, but the flags and color have been changed.
If you need to see the description of a patient flag while in a chart, you can do so by navigating to User Menu > Windows > Immunotherapy Summary. The immunotherapy summary window shows the name and description for each flag assigned to the patient as well some addition information about the patient's history.
Patient flags update in Summit version 5.01
With the release of Summit version 5.01, additional functions have been added to patient flags. While the overall purpose of the flags is the same, new features have improved the clarity and each of use for patient flags. Most of the information about patient flags already covered in this article is the same and this section will only cover the changes to patient flag functionality, though there are some additional cosmetic differences in some of the pictures above.
The patient flag screen now contains a dropdown option for type for each patient flag. This option allows for patient flags to be grouped both when selecting a flag in a patient's chart and on the actual sticky note in the chart. When you update to version 5.01 all existing flags are retained and have a default type of <none>. Creating a new flag type is as easy as selecting the <edit list> option, choosing a name for the type, and clicking save. While this does require a bit of initial setup, once the flag types have been created, they can be set with a single click.
Note: The names and number of flag types are completely customizable based on your needs and preferences. Each situation is different, but in general it is recommended to set flag types to broader categories rather than extremely specific ones to make them easier to assign in a patient's chart and easier to read on the sticky note.
As you can see in the example above, patient flags are now grouped by type on the sticky note. This allows a user to focus on the flags that are applicable to them without having to sift through flags that may have nothing to do with their workflow, but are important to someone else. Clicking on the sticky note allows you to edit the content and color of the sticky note as before, but the menu for setting flags looks a bit different.
In the edit patient flags window, each flag is broken down by type with a checkbox option to assign the flag to the patient. At the bottom of the window, color options are available to change the appearance of the sticky note. Once the appropriate flags and color have been selected, click Save to apply any changes made to the sticky note. This is fairly similar to the previous way of assigning flags, aside from the grouping by type, but selecting choices in a popup window rather than in a dropdown makes it a bit easier to navigate. As before, only the name of the flag is shown on the patient's chart, but the description can be found by navigating to User Menu > Windows > Immunotherapy Summary while the patient's chart is open.
That's it! You are now able to create and assign flags to a patient's chart. For further help, please refer to our other knowledge base articles or contact Xtract support via support ticket or telephone.