What happens if I remove an item from my encounter based template that exists on my Intelligent Intake questionnaire?


It is important to be aware that the Intelligent Intake questionnaires that contain questions that map to encounter based templates like ROS, HPI, Exams, etc... have two components:  The actual template in the EMR that the data maps to and the template that the patient fills out on the intake.  The patient fills out the intake template and that information is then translated into the encounter based template that the practice uses in the EMR.

It is perfectly acceptable to remove an item from the Intake while still leaving that item in the template found in the EMR.  As a matter of fact, this is relatively comment.  Usually patients have a far limited set of questions that they can see as part of intake compared to what the practice would have available on the EMR.

The issue arises when a practice decides to remove an element from the encounter based template that also exists on the intake. Precautions must be taken to ensure this is done correctly to keep the two in sync.


Removing items from an encounter based template is often times acceptable and is far safer than removing items from a History template.  However, it is not always the best strategy. We recommend disabling the field on the template and removing the field on the Intake template. Our team of template designers can take care of this for you - simply log a ticket here: Log a Support Ticket.

Dig Deeper

Because encounter based templates are used over and over, several iterations of that template exist at any given time.  Each time a patient comes into the practice, you are likely completing a new encounter (i.e. a new ROS).  If an item is removed from an encounter based template, the next time you open a brand new version of that template, the control will be gone as you would expect - no issue there. The problem arises when you attempt to access past versions of the template.  If  you open a template where a control was used and data was saved, that will now appear as 'Uncategorized' data as seen below.  The same problem happens when you attempt to copy a prior template to today's visit.  Again, uncategorized data will be produced because the data exists, but has nowhere to go on the screen.

A disabled item on a template still exists on the template, the data is still retained, but it can no loner be used.  An example is provided below.

Once the template item has been disabled, that item can then safely be removed from the Intake template.  

When the item is removed from the Intake template setup, the next time the intake questionnaire is accessed, that item is removed.