Setting up PC’s in Treatment Areas


Capable 21C can support different modes of operation to support offices that choose to operate PC’s in their treatment areas and/or waiting areas. These different modes are intended to allow the operator of each PC to readily access the functionality that they require without being encumbered by the functionality that they do not require. This knowledgebase article provides instructions, guidelines and suggestions on how best to implement these features.

Underlying challenge

There are significant benefits in having a PC in a treatment area. Visit Notes can be entered directly. Historical information including images, digital diagnostic information and previous notes can be accessed immediately.

However, the risk with operating a PC in a treatment area is protecting patient/client privacy. If the practitioner is not always present, it is possible that a patient/client may attempt to use the PC to glean information about their own file and/or others. The trade off between security and functionality is that the tightest security interferes with ease of use.


Once an office commits to installing PC equipment in treatment areas, the following factors should be considered in the installation of those PC’s.

  1. The PC hardware should be chosen carefully to be resilient to bumps and knocks.
  2. The PC hardware should be non-intrusive to the treatment area’s main function.
  3. The PC hardware should facilitate the activities that the operator will perform. For example, if the PC will be used mostly to view images, a good quality monitor or LCD is essential. If the PC will be used mostly for data entry, touch screen may be of benefit.
  4. The PC hardware should be positioned such that it is readily accessible to the practitioner.
  5. If the practitioner intends to share information on-screen with patients/clients, the PC hardware should be positioned such that a patient can readily see it.
  6. The PC hardware should be positioned such that it is not overtly inviting the patient/client to explore its functions while the practitioner is away from the treatment area.

Once the PC hardware has been installed, networked, and configured to allow the normal operation of Capable 21C, the following factors should be reviewed:

  1. When new features are released, Capable Software sets the default security privileges for those features to deny access. Even operators with Total Access may not be able to access the new Mode Menu or the ‘Setup Office Areas’ option. To grant access to these menu options, go to Setup|Setup Operators, double click on the operator who is to be granted access, go to the password tab and ensure that ‘Total Access’ is selected. Click Apply and then Close. Now, click the ‘Select a different Operator’ button on the Things To Do window and re-select the desired operator.
  2. Capable 21C should be configured to reflect the office areas where patients/clients may be located. See below for more detail.
  3. Each Capable 21C installation should be configured to match one of the defined areas. See below for more information.
  4. Appropriate operators should be configured within Capable 21C to match the staff that will be using it. It is most important to establish appropriate security settings for those staff. Front desk staff should have access to features that relate to handling appointments and invoices. Treatment area staff should have access to features that relate to taking and viewing notes and images. Most importantly, treatment area staff are those that will be likely to be logged into the PC’s that will be exposed to unattended patients/clients. Treatment area staff should have their security privileges trimmed back to the bare minimum they require. See below for more details.
  5. The Capable 21C security system should be turned on. See below for more details.
  6. Capable 21C on the PC’s in the treatment areas should be configured to display the appointment book, the treatment area window, or both, as appropriate. See below for detailed instructions.
  7. Operators should be trained; not only in the use of Capable 21C, but also in the implications of them leaving a PC unattended when a patient/client is nearby.

The office should also review its backup strategy to ensure that client/patient files are protected against accidental or malicious loss. A single backup media that is re-used every day is inadequate, as the office may not realize that information has been lost until several days after the event. Having several backups that are rotated appropriately is a much safer arrangement.

Detailed Information

The Capable 21C treatment area window appears as follows:

The window is resizable, and can be located anywhere on the Capable 21C window. If Capable 21C is in ‘Appointment Book’ mode, the treatment area window will not be visible. If Capable 21C is in ‘Treatment Area’ mode, the treatment area window will be visible, but the appointment book window will not. If Capable 21C is in ‘Appt Book + Treatment Area’ mode, both windows will be visible. These modes are accessible from the Mode menu. See below for specific details and advice about using this option.

A single left click on any patient/client box on the treatment area window will open Visit Notes for that person. A right click (or clicking on the > button) will produce a menu of options including opening Visit Notes, or moving the person into another area.

If the security settings for the operator have been configured appropriately, it may not be possible to move people in and out of all areas. In addition, the ‘Patient/Client Info’ button may not be enabled. In addition, the Visit Notes may not be accessible for patients/clients that are not in the same area as the PC. See below for more information about appropriate security settings.


Note that in the sample provided above, no photos are visible for the patients/clients. To attach photos, go to the Visit Notes window, navigate to the images tab, and click the button to add images. Capable 21C only supports photos in the JPG and BMP format. The photo for a patient must have Photo.JPG or Photo.BMP as its filename. Use the file browser to locate and select the file that contains the photo. The patient/client’s photo should now appear automatically whenever the patient/client appears on the treatment area window.

Setting up the office areas

Whilst it may be tempting to configure Capable 21C with every discreet area in an office, this may make it harder to manage the movement of patients/clients. Some thought should be given to the areas before they are configured. The following list is suggested:

  • Reception (representing people who have just arrived, or about to leave)
  • Hot Chairs (representing people who are waiting just outside the treatment areas)
  • Treatment Area (one only for open plan, or Treatment Room 1, 2, 3, etc for closed plan offices)
  • Video Room
  • Examination Room
  • Consultation Room
  • X-Ray Room
  • The area properties window looks like this:

    To configure the areas, go to Setup|Setup Office Areas. Use the ‘New Area’ button to create a new area. Each area should be configured with a name, a colour, a maximum number of patients/clients and a preferred number of patients/clients. At this stage, the maximum number of patients/clients and preferred number of patients/clients are not used by Capable 21C. Future releases that incorporate more detailed workflow features will use these settings.

    Configuring Capable 21C to match the area where the PC is installed

    To configure each installation of Capable 21C to match the area where the PC is installed, go to Setup|Settings, and navigate to the ‘General’ tab. The Setup|Settings window looks like this:

    Choose the appropriate area from the drop down list.

    Setting security privileges for staff

    To enter the details and security privileges for each staff member, go to Setup|Setup Operators. Double click an operator’s name to alter their privileges, or click the ‘New Staff’ button to enter a new staff member. The staff member properties window looks like the image displayed on the left:

    To set the security privileges, go to the password tab.


    The password tab looks like the image displayed on the right:

    Each operator should have a password that they keep secret and do not share with anyone. Passwords are case sensitive. The following major access levels are predefined within Capable 21C, but can be customized to suit the office’s needs:

    1. Total Access. This is unfettered access to Capable 21C. It is designed for the office owner, or office manager.
    2. Senior Access. This grants access to most features. Only the Management Menu and Setup Menu are denied from senior staff.
    3. Minimal Access. Access is limited. Staff cannot alter receipts, and may not be able to alter the price of services on receipts. This is intended for new or inexperienced reception staff.
    4. Treatment Area Access. Access is severely limited. The only feature accessible is the Visit Notes, and only within the area of the same PC (so for example, the PC in treatment room 1 will not be able to access Visit Notes for a person in treatment room 2).
    5. Custom. See below for custom access.

    Custom access allows specific menu options to be granted or denied to each operator. The customized access window looks like this:

    Each option on each menu can be granted or denied. If a tick is showing, the menu option is granted to that operator. The key options that affect the treatment area PC’s are as follows:

    1. In the Appt Book Menu, there is an option called ‘Patient’. Granting access to this option allows the operator to use the Patient/Client Info button on the treatment area window. It also allows the operator to access the Visit Notes for patients/clients who are in a different treatment area to their PC. Granting this privilege introduces a level of risk that a patient/client in one treatment area may be able to view or alter the visit notes for another patient/client.
    2. In the Mode Menu, there are options that allow the operator to switch the PC out of treatment area mode. Granting this privilege introduces a level of risk that a patient/client could switch the PC back into normal ‘Appointment Book’ mode and then manipulate the office’s appointment book.

    Turning on the Capable 21C security system

    To enable Capable 21C’s security system, go to Setup|Settings, and navigate to the ‘General’ tab. The General tab appears as follows:

    To enable the security system, tick the box labeled ‘Password Security Enabled’. Note that once the security system is enabled, the Log In and Log Out buttons will appear on the Things To Do window. Operators will need to Log In to Capable 21C before they may be selected as the current operator. It is also advised that staff Log Out of Capable 21C when they finish for the day to reduce the risk of their privileges being used inappropriately by other staff (or patients/clients).

    In all cases, if the security system is enabled, an operator can click the ‘Select a different operator’ button and walk away from the PC. Once the ‘Select a different operator’ button has clicked, no functions will be accessible until a new operator has been selected and their password correctly keyed. If someone attempts to cancel from that window, the system will deny access to all functions (except selecting a new operator).

    Switching a PC into treatment area mode

    To switch a PC into treatment area mode, go to the Mode menu, and select the appropriate option. Each PC will remember which mode it was last using, and Capable 21C will restart in that mode if it is closed and re-opened.

    Note that the usual operators of the treatment area PC’s should not have the privileges to select the options in the Mode Menu. They will not be able to put their PC’s in treatment area mode. It will be necessary for another operator (with greater privileges) to select themselves as the current operator of those PC’s temporarily, switch the PC’s into treatment area mode, and then select the usual operator.

    This knowledge resource is designed for use on a Windows (tm) XP system operating at a screen resolution of 1024x768 or better. Windows Media Player must be installed for this training resource to operate correctly.

    Copyright 2008 Capable Software Pty Ltd

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