Custom patient fields

Hi, I’ve just got OpenEMR 6.0.0 up and running (through XAMPP for the time being). I’m in the process of evaluating whether this platform suits our needs. Our needs are primarily centralised storage and retrieval of patient details, and appointment scheduling; if we have more useful features, great.

I have with me a sample patient file, and I’m trying to enter all the details on the new patient page. In the process, I’ve hit two issues:

  • I have a lot of patient details with me, most of which don’t have a corresponding field in OpenEMR.
  • There are a lot of fields in the new patient tab, which I can’t leave empty, and therefore can’t proceed to the next step, to see if there’s a way to input custom data.

To address the second issue first, is it possible to proceed to the “next step” of the new patient flow without having to fill out every single field that exists? Let me also ask if there are other steps to the flow, or whether this is the only step to add a new patient. :slight_smile:

Now the first issue; is there a way to “add” custom fields installation-wide, with various input types like text fields, dropdowns, radio-buttons, checkboxes, etc.? As a corollary, can I also remove the fields that we don’t require? I saw this topic, where the has been mentioned:

If this is indeed possible, it’d be perfect. The wiki page OpenEMR Features also mentions “fully customisable” under Patient Demographics. But how this can be done isn’t mentioned. I’ve skimmed through the User Manuals section of the Wiki, and couldn’t find any docs for my purpose. I’d be very glad if someone can confirm whether this is possible, and also link to the appropriate documentation.

EDIT: Just finished watching a video tutorial on adding a new patient. Although it doesn’t mention much about custom fields, it was mentioned that only 4 fields were mandatory. I was trying to go to the next step of the new patient flow, and in the process, left the last name empty. Apologies for assuming that all fields were mandatory.

Hallooo…? Anybody there? :slight_smile:


  1. You can add whatever fields you want in any of the current groups or to groups you create. Whatever you set as id will be database column.
  2. For each field, you will set the type of user interface to present on demographics screen. If you need your own set of options for the field being set up, you will need to create a list and then choose that list in the setup.
  3. Use the dropdown cryptically marked as UOR to hide a field by setting as unused or make it optional if your practice is going to be ok with the missing last names.
  4. The layouts manager is mainly designed for your layouts. So changing the prebuilt layouts come with caveats - if there are database restrictions or usage in programs, changed settings can lead to issues. As an example, if you use the ‘Delete Field’ button rather than ‘Unused’ option for something like ‘SSN’, the data entry may work but some reports may generate SQL errors.

Specifically you can edit / modify fields via the Administration → Forms → Layout and changing the demographics layout. Keep in mind all of the caveats that @mdsupport mentioned.

@mdsupport Thank you for the pointers!

I’ll keep that in mind. Just to clarify, am I correct in saying that if I don’t want a field, I should set its UOR to Unused, instead of deleting it entirely? Can I do this for how many ever fields I want to?

Aha, this is what I was looking for! Thank you. :slight_smile:

It might help to add this to the Wiki in some way, since there’s no existing documentation in about this process, AFAIK.

EDIT: Another question - if it’s advisable to leave existing fields in the prebuilt layouts, how do I add new fields to the “New Patient” page? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the entire layout called Demographics is a prebuilt layout.