You can use Alternate Plan Options to formally "prescribe" your own custom recommendations, lifestyle rxs, etc., as well as things like supplements and IV infusions, in the plan block of an encounter note. There are two distinct types of Alternate Plan Options:
- One is used to share simply a block of text (instructions, patient education, etc.) with the patient. Recommendations and lifestyle rxs fall into this category. The text may be the entirety of what you are sharing with the patient, or may, for example, include links to external resources or refer patients to handouts that you have shared with them in the Labs and Documents tab of their Patient Portal.
- The other is to prescribe Alternate Plan Options that are associated with instructions to the patient as well as pre-configured, editable/customizable dosing information. This category includes supplements (which have dosing profiles) and IV infusions (which have ingredient formulations).
Alternate Plan Options are organized by category, and any categories that you have in your database will be shown to you when you hover over the plus icon in the Plan block of an open encounter note. Select a category to bring up a search bar to search for and prescribe an item of that type from your database. You may edit the dosing information or instructions to the patient before you add it to the Plan.
To Add a New Alternate Plan Item to your Database
Go to Admin --> Manage... --> Alternate Plan Item. When the Alternate Plan Item list pops up, click the green "+Add New Alternate Plan Item" button. A new Add New Alternate Plan Option pop up will appear.
Alternate Plan Name (free text field, required) - the name of the item (e.g., "Vitamin D", "Elimination Diet", "Meditation", etc.). This is the name the patient will see when the item is prescribed and the name you will use to search for the item when you want to prescribe it.
Action Type (drop down menu) - this is the classification of the action item you're adding. This can be a supplement, a lifestyle rx, or another category you have created. If you have not yet created the category for your desired action type, choose ALL TYPES from the drop down menu, and type in the name of the category you are creating. This will be saved for future use, appearing in the drop down menu when you add a new plan option in the future. Special types:
- "Supplement" is the type that should be used when adding vitamins or nutritional supplements to your database for the first time. The system is set up to associate items of this type with a dosing profile, so that you can specify dosing information and instructions when you are prescribing the supplement.
- "IV Infusion" is another special type of Alternate Plan Item. Any entry of type "IV Infusion" will be associated with a formulation/ingredients list.
Code/ID # (free text field, rarely used) - the formal product code, if applicable.
Nickname (free text field) - other names for your alternate plan item that you might want to use when searching for the item. These nicknames will be searchable in MD HQ in addition to the formal name of the plan item. Separate multiple nicknames with commas.
Description (text area) - description of the alternate plan item. This is the information that is shared with the patient when you "prescribe" the Alternate Plan Item. You are given the option to edit this information before you add it to the Plan for a particular patient. So, you might enter default/generic text here that you modify when prescribing it for a particular patient.
Supplements and IV Infusions are special types of Alternate Plan Items that have dosing profiles associated with them, rather than just the text Description. You will be given the option to create the default dosing profile when you first add a new Supplement or IV Infusion OR, above the Alternate Plan Name when you click on an item in your database to edit it OR you can check a box at the bottom of the dosing window when prescribing an item to save those settings as a new default dosing profile. By default, the Instructions in the dosing profile will pull from the Description, unless you save different text in the Instructions.
Adding an Alternate Plan Category
To add a new category for an Alternate plan item, go through the same steps as above for adding a new Alternate Plan Item. In the Action Type drop down menu, choose "ALL TYPES" from the bottom of the menu. That turns the drop down menu into a text field. Add the new category type in the text field and finish creating the Alternate Plan Item entry. Once you complete the entry, the category will be listed in the Action Type drop down menu the next time you add a new plan item.