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Progress Note Template (DIY)

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29 comments

  • Lisa Hardebeck

    Hi Esmeralda - I really appreciate when clinicians share resources...no sense in reinventing the wheel. ;-)  So, I've attached a link to the annotated DAP note I like to use for session notes. I'm not very techie so hopefully this works and you'll be able to see/copy the form for yourself if you like it.

    Best,

    Lisa

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  • Esmeralda G. Cardenas, MA, LPC

    Thank you! I don't see the attachment anywhere, I'm not sure how this works yet. I truly appreciate your willingness to share. I can send you my email address if that would work best (esmeralda@pillarsoflifecounseling.com)

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  • Gillian

    Hi Lisa! It looks like your attachment got dropped. It would be great if you could upload it again for the benefit of everyone on this forum! :)

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  • Dmitri Dosamantes

    I have created a simple PN with check off boxes for what diagnosis I treat that particular session. Nothing special but for someone who does not know how to do a check box, here ya go!

    Hmmm, how do I attach a SP template?

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  • Gillian

    Dmitri, you can upload a screenshot of the template as an image :)

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  • Colleen T. Wong

    I have about a week left on my SP trial.  I've tried several EHR online platforms and I like SP, but the notes are preventing me from committing.  I've always done my notes during session, but I'm not willing to type during session so I'm still writing and retyping. Better note templates would definitely help.  Has anyone else found a  way around this?

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  • Gillian

    Hi Colleen, I'm glad you like SimplePractice so far! Many clinicians choose to use SimplePractice on a tablet (like an iPad, for example) and use a stylus (Apple Pencils are popular in our community), along with a handwriting-to-text conversion app, to write notes in session. Alternatively, you can use our mobile app to take a picture of your handwritten notes, then upload them as an attachment to the note. Or, even better, you can use our Note and Form Template Builder to create the note templates that work the best for you!

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  • Lola Jordeth

    Gillian, could you walk me through what is involved in entering notes via iPad and stylus? Do I need a Professional Plan to do so? Thanks!

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  • Gillian

    Hi Lola! To enter notes with an iPad and stylus, you do not need the Professional plan. However, you would need to use an outside handwriting-to-text conversion app. Most of our customers write their notes in the app using a stylus, and then copy and paste the resulting text into SimplePractice. I'd recommend doing some research to find a handwriting-to-text conversion app that works best for you and is HIPAA compliant.

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  • Lola Jordeth

    Thanks so much, Gillian!

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  • Michelle Massi

    Gillian do you know if there is a way to share a template with another therapist who uses SP?  There is a colleague of mine who treats clients with OCD (just like me) and we would like to share our templates so we don't have to both make them.  Is this even possible?

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  • Gillian

    Hi Michelle! Currently, the best way to share a template is to recreate the template in your account, or post the template on the Note And Form Template Exchange. Our team reviews the templates on the Exchange and adds them to the Template Library if they would be useful to a large number of our customers. 

    There is a post on the Ideas and Suggestions board for making templates sharable - here's where that is, if you'd like to support that idea!

    https://support.simplepractice.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360019046371-allow-Notes-and-Forms-Templates-to-be-shared-with-other-users

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  • Michelle Massi

    Gillian - I don’t understand how if I recreate it on my account it will share with a friend?  It’s not something I want to share with the large population or only share if SP seems it useful enough to most. I am looking for something to share easily with colleagues. Thanks 

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  • Stacy Kucharczk

    Hi Gillian-I have created two templates in “notes and forms” that I want to use for the visit—but I can’t figure out how to get them pulled into the client’s chart. When I use the drop down menu it doesn’t show the forms I created. 

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  • Gillian

    Hi Michelle! Your friend will need to recreate the form in their account. Currently, Note and Form Templates are not sharable. 

     

    Stacy, are the Note and Form Templates you've created marked as "For Progress Notes" in the drop-down menu next to the template name while you're viewing it? Make sure that it's listed as a Progress Note template to find the templates you've created. If you're still having trouble, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team using the red Help button in your account - that way, we can log into your account directly and see exactly what's going on.

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  • Christopher J. Koniarczyk

    Hi Gillian,

    I have recently bought an Ipad Pro & an apple pencil.  I prefer to write my notes because it helps me with my conceptualization and thought organization. I am having difficulty figuring out how to EASILY get my written/drawn notes into Simple Practice.

    Also, my handwriting is bad enough that the handwriting-to-text features don't work great.  My notes also have arrows that I've drawn, underlines, etc also.  So it would be ideal to just have the actual drawn/written note in my clients file.

    I've seen that you wrote about about this issue but I'm still a bit confused.  You wrote that "Most of our customers write their notes in the app using a stylus, and then copy and paste the resulting text into SimplePractice." Would this only work if I was using the handwriting-to-text features of an existing app?

    You also mentioned a process where Simple Practice users "can use our mobile app to take a picture of your handwritten notes, then upload them as an attachment to the note. Or, even better, you can use our Note and Form Template Builder to create the note templates that work the best for you!".  When I tried this technique, I had trouble because I didn't see a place to ADD NOTE in the app.  I can add a note on the website.  Am I doing something wrong?

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  • Gillian

    Hi Christopher, yes, you would only be able to write your notes in the app using a stylus and then copy/paste the resulting text to SimplePractice if you're using an existing app's handwriting-to-text feature. 

    For your workflow, I'd suggest doing the following: 

    1. Write/draw your note outside of SimplePractice

    2. Log in to SimplePractice's full web version on your phone or tablet (not the app)

    3. Navigate to the note that you'd like to attach a photo to

    4. Tap "Attach New Document" 

    5. Select "Take Photo or Video" 

    6. Snap a picture of your written/drawn note and upload it to the note

     

    Let me know how that goes for you. 

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  • Margaret Wheelhouse

    I tried this and ran into two problems.  

    1.  Even though my iphone camera works fine, when I tried to use "take a photo" after tapping "attach new document" the camera was black and wouldn't take a photo. 

    2.  I did not see an "attach new document" feature under psychotherapy notes, only progress notes.  

    Can you provide any information that might help me here?  Thanks!

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  • Margaret Wheelhouse

    Also I have another question:  Would there be a chance that taking this photo in the phone might go to the cloud or otherwise be noncompliant with HIPAA?

     

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  • Gillian

    Hi Margaret, it sounds like SimplePractice doesn't have permission to use your iPhone's camera. You can check on your iPhone under Settings > SimplePractice > Camera > Make sure that the toggle is green. You cannot attach documents to psychotherapy notes, only progress notes. Our app is designed not to save the photo to your camera roll or store the photo in the cloud; as a best practice, we always recommend checking with the regulatory bodies in your state regarding HIPAA compliance of the technology you use and your unique phone setup. 

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  • Margaret Wheelhouse

    Thanks for clarifying!  Two more questions:

    1.  I use it on the phone, over the web, not the app.  Does that make a difference?

    2.  Any chance a feature will be added allowing the attachment for psychotherapy notes?  Or is there another way I can easily electronically file my hand written psychotherapy notes?

     

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  • Gillian

    Margaret, happy to help. It won't make a difference between using the mobile or web version of SimplePractice - neither will save images to your camera roll. While we don't currently have plans to add a feature that will allow you to add attachments to psychotherapy notes, one thing you could do is upload an image of the handwritten psychotherapy notes to the Stored Documents section of the client's chart. However, it won't be associated with a date of service if you do this. 

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  • Margaret Wheelhouse

    That's helpful, thanks.  I went to the Settings, then Simple Practice, but there is no camera listed under the access allowances, and I have a new iphone 8, so it should be there.  Is there another way to access it?  I went to the Camera setting and didn't see anything for Simple Practice under it.  

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  • Gillian

    Margaret, because you're using your phone's browser to access SimplePractice, you'll want to visit Settings > [Browser] (Safari, Chrome, etc.) and allow camera access for the browser. 

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  • Margaret Wheelhouse

    That did it.  Thanks!!  Now I don't even need an ipad, I can just hand write my notes again and upload them.  

     

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  • Jill Cain

    Gillian, I've been looking through these comments because I've been trying to figure out how to upload my old handwritten notes in the SP portal under some current clients.  When I attach the document to the note and make a note in the progress note section to say something like "see attached note", the attachment doesn't print when I go to print the note. Or should I be taking a photo of the note?  Then, when you export the records, will the attachments print along with them?

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  • Jill Cain

    Gillian, I hope you'll be able to see my above question.  I know the OP was from a long time ago.  I also don't see an option to "take a photo" in the "attachment section".  Please advise!  Thank you!

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  • Kim Engel-Hughes, MA, NCC, LPC

    Hi, all.  I am reading this as I have just purchased an iPad and pencil to take notes during session.  I do a lot of EMDR (so of course take "written" notes during that) but also take handwritten notes during non-EMDR sessions.  I bought the iPad and pencil on the recommendation of others in the Simple Practice FaceBook group because they use it to take notes during sessions as an alternative to paper, and I like it - although it's been a week.  My problem is the same as stated above- I don't want my handwriting converted to text.  It's terrible and I do genograms, charts, etc. that don't convert well.  Someone recommended an app that works great in that I can write directly into Simple Practice, but it tries to convert my handwriting into text- and it's a nightmare.  I've tried to cut and paste various things into my SP Progress Note but nothing else works.  I'd really like my handwritten note to be in my Psychotherapy Note section, but for now I'm just making it an attachment.  

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  • Ruth

    Hi All,

    Since Gillian's last comments, we've introduced a feature enhancement that allows you to attach documents to Progress Notes. The best way to add handwritten notes to your Progress Notes for clients is by adding them as attachments.

    Jill, you're correct, when you print the Progress Note the attachment doesn't get printed as well; however, you'll be able to click on the attachment from the Progress Note to print it out separately. You can add an attachment through the Mobile App, or your browser.

    If you add the attachment on your mobile app, you'll be given the option to take a picture and use it as an attachment. 

    Here is how you'd add a photo attachment to a Progress Note:

     

    Next, select the "Take Photo" option, pictured here: 

     

    From your web browser version, click on the Appointment to add a Progress Note, scroll down past the Progress Note and before the Psychotherapy Note to find the Add New Document button: 

    If you're using an iPad and have the ability to write notes on your iPad, or mobile device, you could download the SimplePractice app and attach screenshots of these notes to the appointment's Progress Note. 

    Here is more on notes in SimplePractice: How to use progress and psychotherapy notes

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