Merge duplicate patients

We just released a feature we have been very keen to have in Cliniko.  It's the ability to merge duplicate patients.  Here's a quick video showing how it works:

We have taken quite a while to get this released as we wanted to make sure we got the usability just right on it.  Merging patients should be fast, and very easy to do.  We think we achieved that.

How it works

Finding duplicate patients

Rather than you needing to search for duplicate patients, we do this for you.  You can go to any patient and click the new "Merge" button and we will show a list of possible duplicates for you to merge.  We show other patient files that meet any of these criteria:

  • The same date of birth and email address
  • The same date of birth and mobile number
  • The same email address and first name
  • The same mobile number and first name
  • The same first and last name
We think this will find most duplicates.  As always, we love to iterate and improve on features after we have launched them.  If you find that our "finding duplicates" is not finding all duplicates for you, just let us know the situation and we'll look to enhance this.
Merging the patients
We do the following to merge the patients:
  • Move all appointments from the patients to be merged to the originating patient
  • Move all treatment notes from the patients to be merged to the originating patient
  • Move all medical alerts from the patients to be merged to the originating patient
  • Move all invoices from the patients to be merged to the originating patient
  • Move all payments from the patients to be merged to the originating patient
  • Move all file attachments from the patients to be merged to the originating patient
  • Move all phone numbers from the patients to be merged to the originating patient (we won't duplicate existing numbers)
  • Copy all patient record information from the patients to be merged to the originating patient unless information already exists in that field (the originating patient wins any conflict)
  • Append any notes stored in the notes field to the notes of the originating patient
Lastly we delete the patients that have had all their information merged into the originating patient.
Please let us know what you think, we'd love to get your feedback on how we have handled merging patients and let us know if there is any way we can further improve it for you.
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    Sali Davis

    Thanks for this it is a great feature

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    Amanda Fiedler

    This is fantastic!! Great work. Thanks for listening to our needs and acting upon it. Love it!

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    Richard Baggott la Velle

    Quite a lot of the time when I am doing this no matches appear when Cliniko searches for me - is there a way to override and point Cliniko to the record you wish to merge?

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    Joel Friedlaender

    There's no override, but let me know what search would have worked and I'll improve the search to work for your scenarios.

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    Richard Baggott la Velle

    I have a few practitioners who are horrible at spelling and if the patient's name doesnt come up when they are adding an appointment they simply add them as a new patient assuming that their record is not yet in cliniko (we are still adding patient records even 1+ year on) - clearly there is a train issue here...

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    Richard Baggott la Velle

    Might be useful to add a search bar to the box that comes up returning no results so that the user can then manually select a record with which the current record should be merged.

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    Simple, thanks. Nice music to learn by!

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    Didier Suchet

    When trying to merge two patients (a unmarried couple with different family name)with same mobile number, the system doesn't recognize it and doesn't offer me to merge the 2 patients. What should I do?


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    Will there be (or is there already) an option to search for duplicated entries (a report?) rather than going into each patient individually?  We have 1125 patients (current and archived) and having to go into each one separately to check for duplicates - as I have had a couple of instances come up recently and want to do a check that I have got all duplicates sorted - will be a horrifically long task.  

    It would also be useful if this function/report could check mobile numbers and/or email addresses to overcome the issue of miss-spelt names.  You could then go into the individual records to run the 'merge patients' function but it would be incredibly useful to have an overall list to start from.

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    Bart Lewis

    @Patricia, you could do a patients data export (on Settings -> Data Exports) and use excel to find the duplicates. Might be a little easier!

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    Hi - I a client's records - but 2 things happened. I got an error telling me I could not merge the clients. However what happened was it merged the clients data - but didn't remove the duplicate record. Also when I tried to change the record with the merged data in it - it would not save the changes.  I then reversed the merge (ie went into the client record with no data in it - and merged the other client record). Thankfully I could then edit and save changes to the second record.

    However I have a duplicate record and not sure what to do with it?

    Any suggestions

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    Bart Lewis

    Hi Nicola! I am sorry to hear about the problem with the merge! I have a feeling there may have been a bad email address in one of the records you tried to merge. If you check both records you will probably find that is the case. However since everything is merged now it is just a matter of dealing with the duplicate record.

    I would recommend deleting it. You need to be an administrator or power receptionist on the account to delete the record, if you go into the patient record and click "Archive" in the upper right hand corner then click "delete" after the archive process. If the record will not archive then the bad email is definitely the problem. Fixing that should sort it.


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