See Reports, Forms, Letters and Documents for background. See Reference|Reports and Documents if you need to build reports and documents.

The system has the ability to store documents for patients, customers and suppliers.

Products and emails can also have documents attached - see here and here respectively.

First a word on 'document templates' - as described here, these control things like what the document contains, and how and where to print it. Each template has a 'type' and this defines how information is provided when the document itself is generated using the template.  Thus a 'Patient Form' is provided with information about the current patient, a 'Customer Form' is provided with information about the current customer, etc.

For patients, customers and suppliers, there are three types of documents as follows:

Attachments - these can be uploaded from any file that you have access to. They can be pdf files, word processing documents or spreadsheets, or plain text document - anything. They can also be image files - so you can keep a photo of each of your customers etc if you want. Note however, that for patients, there is a specific image facility to add images.

Forms - these are things that are based on document templates of type Patient Form, Customer Form, or Supplier Form depending on whether you are attaching the form to a patient, customer or supplier. As part of the process of creating the attached form, the template will be used to generate the form with the appropriate patient/customer/supplier details inserted, and this is stored. 

Letters - these are things that are normally based on document templates of type Patient Letter, Customer Letter, or Supplier Letter depending on whether you are attaching the letter to a patient, customer or supplier. As part of the process of creating the attached letter, the template will be used to generate the letter with the appropriate patient/customer/supplier details inserted, and this is stored. However, the template used is also stored. For both the generated letter and template, the system stores the actual word processing document and a pdf that can be used to print it.  Hence for letters, you can either print another copy of the letter, or download the word processing document and edit this to make changes to the letter.
However, you can also bypass the use of the document template, and upload any file just as you can with an attachment. The downside is that you are bypassing the template's ability to insert the customer's/patient's/supplier's details into the document. The upside is that anything you upload is classed as a letter - even if it is the scanned image of something that you typed up and signed, or even hand wrote.

Note that for all three types:

  • the document is stored in the database, ie the actual document is stored, not the name of the file in which the document may be found
  • except for forms, you can have multiple versions of the document  - these could be real 'versions' of the document, ie revisions 1, 2 and 3, or they could be say multiple x-rays taken at the same session which you wish to group together
  • since it the document is being stored, rather than a link to it, there is no problem in uploading what are in fact different documents from files of the same name - ie it does not matter if your scanned images are always scanned into a file scan001.jpg
  • each document record has the following fields:
    • the date and description
    • a printed flag indicating whether or not it has been printed
    • the status which can be In Progress, Completed, or Finalised.  In Progress implies that you are still working on it; Completed implies that you have finished - but the entry can still be edited; and Finalised means that it is really complete and can no longer be changed.
    • for patient documents, the clinician - note however, that there is no facility for 'signing' the document.

Patient documents also include Images and Investigations. Images work in exactly the same way as Attachments (and in fact you can happily add a text or pdf file as an 'image'). Images are simply there to allow you to logically separate them from other sorts of attachments.

Investigations are also like Attachments in the sense that any sort of file can be attached as the Investigation 'Report'. However, as discussed in Concepts|Investigations, there is built-in support for tracking the status of the investigation and automatically attaching the report files to the Investigation record.

Document Editing

OpenOffice and Microsoft Word documents stored in OpenVPMS can be edited. An External Edit button is provided to launch OpenOffice for the selected document in:

  • Customers - Documents
  • Patients - Medical Records
    • Summary
    • Problems
    • Documents
  • Suppliers - Documents
  • Administration - Templates


You can attach documents to a product. Here you are not attaching an attachment, form or letter, but instead a document template. When you use the product (ie call it up in an invoice) then the required document will be generated from the template and can be printed etc.  The obvious use is to attach a vaccination certificate to a vaccination product. Note that because what you have attached is the template (and not the actual certificate) the generated certificate can include the patient and product details.


You can attach two sorts of things to emails: files and documents. Files are any files that you can access on your workstation, documents are customer, patient and supplier documents stored for the current customer/patient/supplier.

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