A Paper Chart/EMR-Bear Chart Parallel
To better understand how Programs and Programs-Locations work, an example with a paper chart comparison will be used.
When defining the Program services in a paper-based chart, most agencies will produce a file template and store it in a binder. The file template is likely to be named after the Program and the binder will contain "tabs" where the forms go. This paper binder is equivalent to Programs and Sections in EMR-Bear.
When defining either a regular paper chart binder or an electronic chart (e-chart) for a program in EMR-Bear, the schema of the file can be reduced (see following graphic) for both paper and e-chart.
What the prior graphic symbolizes is: the name of the program (OPT in this case); all the Program Sections ("tabs") that are used to separate the information inside the program file; and the forms that will be used and placed inside of each section.
In order for the Program to function to serve clients, it has to be associated with at least one of the agency's physical locations. EMR-Bear is designed to accommodate multiple locations per program.
When associating the Program with a location, a Program-Location is defined. And the Program becomes available for clients whose primary or secondary location match that of the Program-Location.
For example, the following graphic displays the Program, OPT associated with the Location, Bernalillo. This association creates Program-Location of "OPT @ Bernalillo". The same OPT Program is also associated with the Location, Santa Fe, creating the Program-Location of "OPT @ Santa Fe". The OPT Program is now offered at both locations, Bernalillo and Santa Fe.
Although the definition of the OPT Program is unique for EMR-Bear in terms of the forms to be used and where in the sections each of those are located, adding two Locations to the Program makes the System behave like it has two different programs, one called "OPT @ Bernalillo" and another called "OPT @ Santa Fe".
When an agency is offering programs that are very similar but not identical (e.g., OPT for Adults and OPT for Children), the recommendation is to create two programs instead of one where each reflects its own charting definitions.