Charting Time Saving Tip: Templates

Save so much time by creating templates in your electronic medical record (EMR)!

Most EMRs have a template function. A template creates the basic form of the note that you can then adjust for that specific patient. Creating templates will take some time upfront, but will save you so much time in the long run! Here are three tips for getting templates set up in your EMR.

1. Ask colleagues. Odds are someone in your office is already using templates. Ask the provider if they can share a template and how to use it. Ask for help in creating your own template. Custom made templates can be fabricated with phrases you commonly use or routine instructions/education you constantly say. Did you get sufficient training on your EMR? If not, ask for it. Or contact IT. Although these technology experts may not know what medical terms/phrases should be in a template, they can help you build one!

2. Research online. The internet is full of tons of free info! Check out Google or Youtube for how to create a template using your EMR system. Search the EMR company’s website for “how to tutorials.” There are helpful resources on how to create a template in your EMR.

3. Keep it simple. Start with one template and identify what kind of information you are frequently saying or repeating. Make templates as custom as possible and always remember to adjust! Once you get a better idea for what information or phrases you want in a template, make more! Create templates for the 5 most common types of visits you see in a typical clinic day! I currently have 6 templates I use: Annual wellness exam, acute visit, chronic visit, COVID-19 visit, sports physical, well child exam. Feel free to create more, but don’t spend your time making a template for every single diagnosis you see. Most often, other templates can be used with small adjustments.

There are so many time saving tips to help NPs improve their charting! In The Nurse Practitioner Charting Course, I offer ready-to-use templates to give you a jumpstart for creating your own templates within your EMR! If you would like more information on current templates available and other tips to help you STOP charting at home, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting Course!


Erica D the NP is a family nurse practitioner and burnout coach. Erica created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help overwhelmed APRNs create work-life balance, conquer burnout, and advocate for themselves. The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner offers online courses, coaching, and support. Learn more at

For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at

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