This article will show you how to manage the layout and behavior of the Patient Portal questionnaires page directly from the EHR.  This includes the ability to create sections/headings, add text blocks, customize the order of questionnaires, specify which questionnaires should be nudge/alert items, and set rules about who can view them.

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  • Click here to view a short video on using the Questionnaire Manager
  • Click here to view our July 2021 Livestream on this topic.


To manage how, what, when, and what patients see on the Questionnaires page in the portal, hover over the Pt Portal menu and click on Questionnaire Manager.

This will bring up the tool, the Questionnaire Manager, where you can:

  • Reorder your forms and questionnaires
  • Add and edit headings and text blocks for custom instructions and notes to patients
  • Set rules for when specific forms and questionnaires should show on the page. For example, if you want a certain questionnaire to only display for patients in a certain age range, for patients with an upcoming visit, with a specific tag on the chart, etc.

Questionnaire Manager View:

Patient Portal Questionnaires Page View:

Overview of Actions

There are a few different icons that you will see throughout the manager:

REMOVE an item from the Questionnaires page
  • Clicking this will move the corresponding questionnaire, text block, or header block so that it is no longer visible to patients. The removed questionnaires are kept in the "Unused Questionnaires" section (see next section of this article). 
  • For all other items (textblocks, headers, cloned questionnaires) this will remove them entirely from the page. To add back in the future, you would need to re-create them.
MOVE / RE-ORDER an item on the page
  • Click and hold this icon to drag-and-drop the item to a new location on the page.
RENAME or EDIT DISPLAY RULES for a questionnaire
  • This will launch a new window where you can change the display name and establish display rules for the questionnaire.
COPY / CLONE a questionnaire
  • When clicked, this will clone the questionnaire so that you can have it display in multiple places on the portal page. For example, if you have a questionnaire that you want to display in a "New Patients" section and in a "Returning Patients" section).
  • Note that you will only see this option next to the original version of a questionnaire. If you have already cloned a questionnaire, the cloned copy will NOT show this option but the original copy will (in case, for example, you want to clone it again for a third section of the page).

Adding and Recovering Forms/Questionnaires

If we've uploaded a new questionnaire for you, you're just starting to organize this page, or if you are recovering a previously removed a questionnaire that you want added back to the portal, those can be found by checking the box to "Show Unused Questionnaires" near the bottom of the manager:

Once you click that, it should expand to show any unused questionnaires that are available in your system, with newly created questionnaires displayed with a "New" flag next to its name (see below for example).

These display with a dashed background to indicate they are not in use or shown on the page. If you see a New! indicator, that means that the form was not in your system the last time you saved this page (for example, because you recently requested that a new form be added).  The newest forms can be found at the top of the list of unused questionnaires. To add these forms to the portal, simply click the green icon on the right. 

Recovering Previous Versions of the Page

If you update your questionnaires page and later decide you want to go back to how you previously had it set up, you can do so by opening the questionnaire manager archive:

This will open a new window with a list of previous versions of your page (with most recent at the top):

Clicking on "Preview Differences & Restore" will bring up a view for you to compare what that previous version of the page looked like, next to a preview of what the current page looks like, so you can confirm you want to revert to that version before saving.

Including Links in Textblocks

You can include a link to a different website or to a different page of the portal on your textblocks. To do this, enter the text that you want to make a clickable link, then highlight it and click on the link icon (indicated by top arrow in the image below) in the toolbar:

This will prompt you to enter the URL to redirect to. To link to any page outside of your patient portal (for example, if you want to link to a page on your website) you will want to include the full site URL (this should have "https://" at the beginning):

To link to other pages on the patient portal, you just need to include a shortened link. See below for those shortened options:

Patient Portal PageWhat to enter for the "Enter the URL of the link" prompt
My Supplements/supplements
My Medications/rxs
My Allergies/allergies
My Account Details/account_details
Invoices & Payment/billing

Display Rules and Nudge/Alerts for Questionnaires

When you click on the pencil icon next to any questionnaire, a new window will appear with options to rename the display name, set it as a nudge/alert questionnaire, and/or set display rules for it:

The nudge/alert option will flag the questionnaire (if it is not yet completed by the patient) with:

  • an exclamation mark on the portal menu, and
  • a larger red Start button beside the questionnaire on the Questionnaires page.

The display rules option allows you to show/hide the questionnaire according to a specific set of rules you define. In the above example, the questionnaire will display for any patient.

Use the "Visible to Everyone" drop-down to set rules that will make it display only for certain patients based on the parameters you set. 

Example 1 - "AND" Rules - Display if patient meets all requirements

You can set these rules so that a questionnaire displays if the patient meets multiple requirements, for example:

In this example, the questionnaire will display for anyone who has an appointment coming up in the next 30 days as long as they haven't completed it in the past year. Once they complete the questionnaire, it will be hidden again. If they had completed it in the last 30 days for a different appointment, it will stay hidden. Given the rules shown above, the patient will see the questionnaire if 365 days have elapsed since they had last completed this, and if they have an upcoming appointment in the next 30 days. 

Example 2 - "OR" Rules - Display if patient meets at least one of multiple requirements

You can also set these rules so that a questionnaire displays if the patient meets at least one of multiple requirements. For example:

In this example, the questionnaire will only display if they haven't completed it in the past year OR if they have the specified tag (see here for more information about Tags). This means that if John Doe had completed the questionnaire yesterday but I want him to re-submit it again today, I can just add that tag to his chart and it should appear again in his portal. 

Example 3 - Multiple ways to get the same result

You can get pretty creative in setting up your rules and sometimes there is more than one way to get the same result; it just depends on what makes the most sense to you. For example, you could set a questionnaire to display for only pediatric patients in either of the below ways:

Visible to any patient between 0-17 years old: 

Visible to any patient who is NOT between 18-150 years old:

Neither of the above approaches is "better" or more correct, so just go with whatever makes the most logical sense to you!

Example 4 - Common rules

Here are two common rules that you might want to use for your practice:

1) Set a rule based upon patient's upcoming appointments

The below rules will share this form with any patient who has a "New Patient" appointment scheduled with any provider in the next 60 days:

Note: If you sometimes have patients who need to fill out their forms after the start time of their appointment, you'll want to set an additional rule so that the form will also be available after their appointment: 

2) Have forms disappear forever once a patient has submitted it

If you have a form that you'll only need a patient to ever fill out once, you can set a rule based upon "Date of Last Completion":

This way once a patient submits it, they will no longer match this rule and the form will no longer be shared with them. You could also set it to whatever time interval you'd like, such as 365 days if you have a yearly form. You add this as an AND rule to other rules if you would like a form to disappear after they submit it, regardless if they still match the first rule:

One note on this: If the patient needs to fill a form out again (ie. submitted an incorrect or incomplete form) and you don't want to change the rules so that one patient can see that form again then here is what you need to do:

1. Go to the patient portal queue and UNARCHIVE their original request (directions on that here)

2. Once it's back in the patient portal queue then click the RED X to remove it from the queue

3. The patient should have access to a new form in the patient portal again without needing to redo your rules

3) Share a form based on tag

Setting a rule based on a tag allows you to assign forms to only specific patients, rather than your general patient population.

First, create the tag.

Go to Admin > Manage > Tags
If there are multiple forms you would like to do this for, go ahead and create those now as well.


Give the tag the same name as the form you will be assigning it to, and select Forms from the Category dropdown, then save.

Navigate to the Questionnaire Manager and click the pencil/edit icon to the right of the title of the form.
Under Display Rules select Visible to patients who meet at least one of the following conditions from the dropdown 

Click Add Condition and chose Tag from the dropdown 

Under Is tagged with... select the tag you just created. Save. 

To apply the tag to your patient, go to the patient chart and click the tag icon that appears in the top right corner when you hover over the Patient Information block. Select the tag you created, and save.

View your Questionnaires on the Portal

In the Questionnaire Manager you can click the link to "View the questionnaires page as John Doe would see it" (see image below). This is how you can view your questionnaires page on the portal. If you want to view all of your questionnaires on the portal, and you are setting display rules for some or all of the questionnaires, you will want to set John Doe to match the criteria (IE tag him with any tags you are using).

If you are setting up your questionnaires for the very first time, we recommend having the portal open as John Doe on another tab. This way, you can make edits in the Questionnaire Manager, and quickly see what a patient would see. This helps catch mistakes and confirm that the changes you've made are working as intended.

This article was originally published on April 22nd, 2021, and most recently edited on April 4th, 2022.

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