Filling out forms - best option ?

Discussion in 'Setup & Installation' started by Jason, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. Jason

    Jason Developer / Handyman Staff Member

    I've never been able to get Acroforms or PDF Forms to work.

    What's the easiest way to fill out forms ?
  2. Jerry

    Jerry Administrator Staff Member

    We did have Acroforms working pretty well a few years ago, but it has a lot of moving parts and is prone to breaking. Many EMR's (I think most EMR's actually) rely on simply scanning manually filled out paper forms into the EMR for storage. There are numerous commercial and open source PDF form completion and storage tools, but the idea with synapse Acroforms was to have synapse autofill as many of the form's data fields as possible with patient data. You could use the builtin PDF form function in synapse to design the form, but that's pretty time-consuming (I think). For many years I found Omniform to be really fast at scanning a form graphic, autodesigning, and then editing PDF acroforms. ScanSoft-Nuance quit supporting it years ago, but I still use the last version (5.0) because I've tried various versions of the successor OmniPage (which is a derivative of Omniform) and did not like it as well. KoFax owns OmniPage now, but I'm not sure what they have improved. There is a competitor called FormDocs (https://www.formdocs.com/omniform-replacement.htm) which claims to be great for medical offices. Paperport Pro's FormTyper is a really distant 3rd. It does work to fill out form graphics but is way too slow in production mode in my experience.
    Jason likes this.
  3. Jason

    Jason Developer / Handyman Staff Member

    I really want autofill.

    @Graham - what's the most reliable option ?
  4. Jerry

    Jerry Administrator Staff Member

    Well, there are several options that don't break easily, most PDF based. The most reliable I think is just to scan manually filled out forms, or print/save/scan PDF filled forms (Acroforms or PDF/A). But sooo tedious....
    I've jotted down several factors that have to be considered as to which form app you choose.
    Do your forms need to be:
    1. Unalterable for legal purposes
    2. Encrypted
    3. Self-contained with fonts and graphic elements so no templates or helper files are required
    4. Stored locally, cloud, or both
    5. Big file size is OK
    6. Able to be "wet signed" or just digital signature file is OK
    7. User can post comments and other edits that can be printed
    Jason likes this.
  5. Jason

    Jason Developer / Handyman Staff Member

    Do your forms need to be:
    1. Unalterable for legal purposes (not a deal breaker)
    2. Encrypted (no)
    3. Self-contained with fonts and graphic elements so no templates or helper files are required (no)
    4. Stored locally, cloud, or both (either is fine, or I could just scan)
    5. Big file size is OK (ideally no, i'd like to be able to email them)
    6. Able to be "wet signed" or just digital signature file is OK (doesnt matter)
    7. User can post comments and other edits that can be printed (not really, not sure what you mean here)

    Needs:
    Simple stuff really.
    Put patient demographics data on a xray / ultrasound form
    Put patient demographics data on a consult request form.
    Put patient demographics data on other forms.

    Once the PDF was populated with the demographic data, I could just print to pdf or scan it.
  6. Jerry

    Jerry Administrator Staff Member

    Got it. You just want to complete a requisition or similar type of form, fill out as much info as possible with patient data from synapse, print it to pdf/hard copy, manually sign it or add other manual comments if needed, and scan it back to the patient's synapse results, Paperport folder, or other storage folder you might use.

    The way we have or at least had Acroforms working in synapse is pretty much exactly what you're describing. Do you need this to work on a hosted website or just on an in-house LAN server?
  7. Jason

    Jason Developer / Handyman Staff Member

    In house.
  8. Graham

    Graham Developer Staff Member

    I don't have an issue with using PDF forms.
    I'm sure I described the method somewhere once before.
    It takes some minutes to setup the form and then you can use it forever afterwards
    Amen.

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