Custom Forms

Custom Forms is part of PPS Clinical Notes. You can design, create and use forms to collect information about your clients. All forms are accessed from the Consultation screen. Typical examples for use of forms are: Clinical notes records, clinical diagnosis and outcome forms, medical or case histories, test and measurement results, questionnaires, and many more.

PPS Custom Forms is either in "Registered" mode or "Unregistered" mode. If you have purchased the full version of PPS that includes clinical notes, then this is the "Registered" mode; you will be able to design new forms and make changes to existing forms. If you have not purchased the full version of PPS with clinical notes, then Custom Forms will not be registered and will be the evaluation version only. This means that you can complete 5 forms only as part of your clinical notes.

If you want to upgrade your PPS to the full clinical notes version, then please contact your PPS supplier

Custom Forms and Questions Overview

  1. The Custom Forms Maintenance screen is used to add new forms and change existing forms. You can add new questions and change existing questions within each form. The Custom Forms Maintenance screen is accessed from the PPS Tools Menu > Custom Forms Maintenance.


  2. The left-hand side of this screen shows your existing forms, listed in the categories they are filed in. Clicking on the + symbol or double clicking the category name will display the list of available forms within that category. The buttons at the bottom of this list enable you to add new forms, modify existing forms, and delete forms.
Note: If you select to delete a form, PPS first checks to make sure that the form can be deleted (you must have the correct authorisation to delete forms from your system administrator) and that no other users (on your network) are using the form. If a form has been completed and “signed off” for any client, the form cannot be deleted. If the form can be deleted and you confirm that you want to delete the form, then ALL RECORDS THAT YOU HAVE ADDED USING THIS FORM WILL ALSO BE DELETED - PERMANENTLY.

Modify Existing Custom Forms

The ‘Custom Form Set Up’ section of the screen is used to create new forms and make changes to existing forms - The custom form designer screen is accessed from the Custom Forms Maintenance screen. To Modify an existing form simply highlight the form in question and click on Modify. Otherwise click on New to create a form.


  1. Firstly you can use the ‘Form Category’ to organise your list of Custom Forms into different categories, depending upon the type of form it is. For example you can have one category for Treatments, one for Outcomes and so on. This enables means you have quick easy access to your forms, while setting them up and using them in the Consultation screen.
  2. ‘This Form is Active’ - This box needs to be ticked in order for the form to be available for use in the Consultation screen. You can leave this option un-ticked if you want to make further changes to your form later before making the form available for general use.


  3. Alongside the "Active" box is the Favourites box, which if ticked will appear instantly when completing a form instead of having to go into your All forms > category’s sections as shown above.
  4. The form heading is your main name for the form. This is how the form will be identified in the Form Maintenance list and is also used to identify the form when used in the Consultation screen. This name must be unique amongst your collection of forms within the each category.
  5. Short Heading - The form short heading is used to identify the form in the consultation screen, and must also be a unique name (among all forms in all categories).

Questions on the Form

The "grid" in the main portion of this screen, shows the list of questions, headings and subheadings that have been included on the form. The following options allow you to add, change or remove questions, headings and subheadings on the form. The area shown below can be found at the bottom of the forms ‘Modify Existing Custom Form’ screens.


  1. Add Heading - Use this button to add a main section heading to your form. Your form can include main headings and subheadings. When you select this button, you can type your heading directly into the grid.
  2. Add Sub Heading - Use this button to add a subheading to your form. Sub headings are a useful way of dividing your form into sections, for example: Diagnosis, Treatment, etc. This can make your form easier to read. Your form can include both main headings and subheadings. When you select this button, you can type your subheading directly into the grid.

    Headings and subheadings can have their own background colour, and use a larger font size than questions.
  3. Add Question - Use this button to add a new question to your form. Questions are always added to the bottom of the current list, and can be moved up and down the form as required. When adding a question you can select from your existing list of questions, or add a new one. When you click this button, select your question from the drop down list directly on the grid.

    Here, you can either select an existing question from another form, or select the "Create a New Question" option to create a new one using the question designer screen. You can also filter your list of questions by category by first selecting the required category from the drop down list in the right hand column of the grid.

    The question list then only shows questions contained in that category.

    More details with regards to this are contained within the “Add a New Question” section below.
  4. Delete Line - Use this button to remove a heading, subheading or question from the form.
  5. Move Up / down - This button allows you to move your headings, subheadings and questions up or down the list to reorder them. You can use the normal left mouse button to move the item up or down one position, or use the right mouse button to move the selected item to the top/bottom of the form. This can be useful if you are adding a question to an existing form and you would like the question to be near the top of the form - simply add the question, use the right mouse button to move the question to the top of the form, then use the left mouse button to move the question down the form until the correct position is reached.
  6. Form Settings - This button displays the Form Settings screen which is used to control form colours, fonts, etc. for this form. See the Form Settings section of this help guide for more details.

Auto-Preview section

When you select an existing heading, subheading or question in the grid, the auto-preview section shows you what this will look like on the form.

  1. You can quickly check the layout and style of the question to make sure that you have selected the correct one by clicking on Form Preview.
  2. Comments - The comments section is your own notepad for comments on the form. The comments are not displayed anywhere else except on this screen.
  3. Save/Cancel buttons - The Save button will save your latest changes to the form. The Save As button will save another copy of the form - you will have to specify either a different form category or heading before you can use the Save As button.
    Note: This is useful if you wish to create a new form based upon an existing one. It can be quicker to make a few changes to an existing form rather than build a new one from scratch.

  4. The Cancel button will cancel any changes you have made and revert to the previously saved version of the form.

Custom Forms - Questions

The ‘Maintain your questions’ screen is used to create new questions and make changes to existing questions. This question designer screen is accessed from the ‘Custom Form Set Up’ Screen.



  1. Shown here, when adding a new question, the screen is initially displayed showing a blank area in the middle. This space is used for your settings that are specific to the type of question you want to set up - See ‘Question Types’ for more details later on in this guide.

  2. If you already have a question setup, that you wish to make a slight adjustment to – this can be done by simply using the Copy Question button.

  3. Category - You can divide your list of questions into different categories, defendant upon the type of question it is. This gives quick easy access to your questions from the Form Maintenance screen.

  4. Heading - This is the question heading that is used on the form - such as "what are the symptoms".

  5. Question Type - The question type determines how the answer will be entered. You can select from the following types:

    • Normal text
    • Numeric
    • Date
    • Multiple Choice List
    • Check Box
    • Radio Buttons
    • Free Text input
    • Answer headings
    • Body Chart
See Question Types for an overview of the various question types you can use.

Question Types


As you select each question type in the ‘Add a New Question’ screen, the middle portion of the screen changes to show the settings available for each question type. Each section will tell you the various settings for each question type.

When setting up a question, you have to specify what type of question/answer it is. Below is a description of each question type. For all question types you can select the question background colour (this is in addition to selecting an overall form background colour). This is useful for highlighting individual questions on your form.
You can specify input notes for each question. These appear at the bottom of the form and can be used as a useful prompt for the user during input.

You can also add your own comments to each question. These do not appear on the form.

Normal text



  1. Length - the maximum number of characters that can be entered, for example Neck Stretches is 14 characters (including the space).

  2. Input control - select from either None, or Force Upper Case, where your answer will automatically by uppercase regardless of how it was typed in.

  3. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then this question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  4. ‘No. of entries’ (up to 4). For example select 2 to record separate answers for "left" and "right".

  5. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" and "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up in columns on the screen.

  6. Prompt - you can optionally include prompts for each of your answers. This could be "Left" and "Right" or perhaps an indication of the "units" required in the answer, for example cm, or °. If you have several questions that all use the same prompts, you can insert an "Answer Headings" question (see below) which acts as column headings for the following questions.

  7. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.

Numeric



  1. Length / Decimals - the maximum number of digits that can be entered including decimals for example 1234.56 is length 7 (including the point) and decimals 2.

  2. Minimum / Maximum value - You can optionally select a range of input, for example you can restrict the answer to a range between 1 and 10.

  3. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then this question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  4. No of entries - up to 4. For example select 2 to record separate answers for "left" and "right".

  5. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" and "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up in columns on the screen.

  6. Prompt - you can optionally include prompts for each of your answers. This could be "Left" and "Right" or perhaps an indication of the "units" required in the answer, for example cm, or °. If you have several questions that all use the same prompts, you can insert an "Answer Headings" question (see below) which acts as column headings for the following questions.

  7. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.

Date


  1. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then this question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  2. No of entries - up to 4. For example select 2 to record separate answers for "Start" and "End".

  3. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "Start" and "End" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up in columns on the screen.

  4. Prompt - you can optionally include prompts for each of your answers. This could be "Start" and "End". If you have several questions that all use the same prompts, you can insert an "Answer Headings" question (see below) which acts as column headings for the following questions.

  5. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.

Multiple choice lists


  1. Length - the maximum number of characters that can be entered, this will typically be the length of the longest answer in your list of answers.

  2. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then this question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  3. Allow other answers - tick this box if you want to either pick an answer from the list OR type in your own answer. Leaving this box un-ticked means you can only select from the answers in the list.

  4. No of entries - up to 4. For example select 2 to record separate answers for "left" and "right".

  5. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" and "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up in columns on the screen.

  6. Prompt - you can optionally include prompts for each of your answers. This could be "Left" and "Right" or perhaps an indication of the "units" required in the answer, for example cm, or °. If you have several questions that all use the same prompts, you can insert an "Answer Headings" question (see below) which acts as column headings for the following questions.

  7. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.

  8. Multiple Choice Answers - You can either type in your list of answers here, or use the "Copy" button to copy a set of answers from another question. To type in your answers, press the "Add" button. A small input box will appear at the bottom of the list for you to type in your first answer. Press Enter when you have typed in your answer and it will appear in the list. Use the "Modify" or "Delete" options to change your answers as required. You can use the A-Z option to automatically sort your list into alphabetical order. Or you can click and drag an item in the list to move its position.
Check Box



  1. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then at least one check box must be ticked. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  2. No of entries - up to 8. For example select 2 to record separate answers for "left" and "right".

  3. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" and "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up nicely in columns on the screen.

  4. Prompt - you can optionally include prompts for each of your answers. This could be "Left" and "Right". If you have several questions that all use the same prompts, you can insert an "Answer Headings" question (see below) which acts as column headings for the following questions.

  5. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.

Radio Button


  1. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then one answer option must be selected. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  2. No of entries - up to 8. For example select 2 to allow selection of "left" or "right".

  3. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" or "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up in columns on the screen.

  4. Prompt - you can optionally include prompts for each of your answers. This could be "Left" and "Right". If you have several questions that all use the same prompts, you can insert an "Answer Headings" question (see below) which acts as column headings for the following questions.

  5. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.
Free text input


  1. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then this question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  2. No of rows - minimum 3 maximum 25. This determines how many line of input appear on the screen. If more line is used while entering this answer, then the text within the box itself will scroll.

  3. Formatting - if you select this box, text can be formatted (change of font, bold, colour etc.).

  4. Toolbar - You can select to show a toolbar below the text typing area. The toolbar has text formatting options (if selected) and date/time stamps that can be used during input.

Answer Headings


  1. No of entries - up to 4. For example select 2 to show headings "left" and "right".

  2. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" and "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the headings and answers line up in columns on the screen.

  3. Heading - Enter the Headings. This could be "Left" and "Right" for example.

  4. Include question heading - If this box is ticked, the name of this question (the Heading) will be displayed in the left column of the screen alongside all other question headings. Leave un-ticked and the actual answer/column headings only will be displayed.



  1. Body Chart Image File - Select the image file that will be used for the body chart. This can be one of the following supported image file types: BMP, JPG, TIF, DIB, CUR, ICO, ANI and GIF. You can either type in the name of the file or press the ... button to select the file. If the image file is too large, PPS will offer to resize the image to a more suitable size. Your image files must be saved in a folder that is under the main PPS database folder on your system. The folder is called “Standard Charts”. If you select an image file from outside this folder, PPS will copy the file into this folder for you.

  2. Allow selection of another image. This can be ticked to allow an alternative image to be used when the form is used. This could allow for a client-specific image to be selected when filling out the form - a digital image for example.

  3. Annotation Settings - you can select the default font, size and colour and style - these can be changed while using the form.

  4. Lines and Shapes - for boxes, crosses, circles and free drawing on the chart, you can select the pen width (in pixels) and colour. This can be changed while using the form.

  5. The image thumbnail shows a small preview of the image file you have selected.

  6. Background colour - You can specify a background colour for a question which is different from the background colour selected for the main form. This is useful to draw attention to important questions on the form. Click the box to display the colour selection pop-up. Click on a colour from the list, or select "More Colours" to select from a full range of available colours.

Mouse Click Scale


  1. Lowest Value - Enter the lowest value of clicks in here.

  2. Highest Value – Enter the highest value of clicks in here.

  3. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then this question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  4. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer

Existing PPS Lookup Table



  1. PPS Table – Choose the existing look up table that you use as a question in your custom form. The list of these tables can be found in the General System Options menu from the PPS Tools menu.

  2. Mandatory - if this box is ticked, then at least one question must be answered. An Asterisk (*) appears alongside the heading on the form to visually indicate questions that must be answered.

  3. Spacing of entries - Fixed - the number of answers (except where the number of entries is 1) is spaced evenly across the screen. Proportional - the answers appear one after the other - depending upon the length of each prompt entry. Where several questions all have a "left" and "right" answer, fixed spacing is normally used so the answers line up nicely in columns on the screen.

  4. Notes - If this box is ticked, you can also enter free text notes alongside your main answer.

Auto-Preview section



  1. As you are setting up your question, the auto-preview section shows you approximately what the question will look like on the form.
Input Notes & Comments



  1. The input notes are used during actual input of records to the form. As the user selects each question, the input notes are displayed in a highlighted bar along the bottom of the form.

  2. Comments are for your own benefit and do not appear on the form that this question is used on. As you move around the screen to set up each part of your question, help text is displayed in an area at the bottom of the screen (above the Save/Cancel buttons).

Save, Save As & Cancel



  1. If you are setting up a new question, use the Save button to save your question. If you are changing an existing question in order to create a new one, then use the Save As button to save another copy of the question. The new question can only be saved once you have changed either the Category or the Heading for the question.

Form Settings


The form settings screen is used to specify various settings that will apply to the form you are currently designing. This screen is accessed using the Form Settings button on the ‘Custom Form Setup’ screen.



  1. This is the area where you can change the colours and font styles/sizes of your actual form. The ‘Example’ Area shows how your sections of the form will look currently and after you have made any changes.

Sending and Loading a Form (Sync Users)


Moving forms is a manual process if you have 2 or more sites that Sync. This is stop possible conflicts over multiple sync sites.
Important

PLEASE NOTE: When moving a form from one system to another, please ensure that you have previously created a brand new template and do not edit an existing one that may already be on the PC you’re moving this too, and that the questions for this form are also created and not existing questions that you have edited which may be different on the 2nd machine.

To load or save a form, use the buttons shown below from the Custom Forms and Questions screen.


  1. To send a form from one PPS system to another, you simply need to highlight the form in question you wish to send on the main screen, and then click on the Send Form button. This will bring up the following screen.



  2. You now need to confirm it has selected the correct form, and then click on the ... button on the bottom right of the screen to decide where you want to save this file. Once selected, click on Send to move the .zip form to that location.

  3. You will then be required to load your form into the second system. Once you have your .zip file on the 2nd computer, go to your Tools menu > Custom Forms and Questions and then click on Load.


  4. You will need to select your form by pressing the ... button and selecting the location of where it was saved onto your PC. Once selected, you will simply need to confirm this is the correct form and then click on Load.
 

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