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July 09, 2015

Populate a Patient Intake Form with Ninja Forms

In today’s day and age, if you’re still having your patients fill out paperwork when they get to your office, you need to improve the process.  Not only does it require your office staff to do a lot of extra work, it also is a burden on your patients. 

You should (and need to) be using web forms to collect information from your patients.  The process of setting up these forms could not be easier with the wide selection of online form software out there like the popular Wordpress plugin, Ninja Forms

“But our staff is used to seeing patient data in a specific format.  They don’t want to login to a database to get a patient’s information”.  No problem!  With WebMerge, you can take the information that is collected through your online form and populate the PDF forms your staff is used to seeing every day.

In this example we’re going to show you how to take a simple patient intake form that was built with Ninja Forms and using WebMerge to populate the PDF.  Then, we’re going to save this file in a folder in Box that’s specific to that patient.

To get started, we’re going to setup our document in WebMerge.  We’re going to be using a fillable PDF version of our Patient Information form.  Here’s what our PDF looks like

From the Documents page in WebMerge, click New Document and then type in Patient Information and click Next.  You’ll want to select the Fillable PDF document type and then choose the file from your computer.  This will upload the file.

After you have uploaded the PDF file, you’ll be taken to the Settings page.  We actually won’t need to make any changes on this page so we’re going to skip ahead to the Deliver tab.  On the Deliver tab we’re going to setup a new delivery to Box so that our merged document is saved in the patient’s folder.

Click New Delivery then select Box and follow the authentication steps (if you haven’t already setup a Box delivery).  Once you’ve authenticated WebMerge to use your Box account, you’ll see a list of the folders that are in your Box account.  Click the main folder that you will be saving the document in (for example “Patient Files”).

In order to save the file in a folder that is specific to the patient, we’ll need to turn on a setting under More Options.  Go ahead and check the box to Use merge fields as a subfolder.  This will open a dropdown for you to choose which merge field to use.  We’re going to use the Name field. 

With this setting turn on, each time a PDF is populated, WebMerge will send the file to a folder with the name of the patient.  If the folder does not exist, it will auto-create the folder.

We’re moving along great!  Next step is to get this PDF integrated with our form in Ninja Forms.  If you don’t already have it installed, you’ll need to install the WebMerge Add-On.  If you have not already done so, you’ll need to add your WebMerge API Key and Secret to the Add-On settings.  You can generate an API Key here.
Under the Ninja Forms settings, let’s click on WebMerge.  This will take you to a page where you can enter the API Key and Secret.

Once you’ve entered you’re API Key, we’re ready to integrate the PDF with our form.  From the “Edit” option on our form, go to the Emails & Actions tab.  We’re going to want to add a New Action and then select WebMerge as the type.

You should see a dropdown with a list of the document’s in your WebMerge account.  Go ahead and pick the Patient Information document.  Ninja Forms will then load a list of all the fields that are in your PDF and you’ll need to match them up with the corresponding fields that are on your web form.

Once you have all of the fields mapped, save the Action and we’re ready to do a test!  Go ahead and submit a submission on your form and then login to your Box account and you should see a new file added to the folder you specified!
Here’s what our test PDF looked like after we submitted the form:

Congrats! You can now make your patient’s lives (and your staff) a lot easier.  Can you think of any other ways you could use WebMerge and Ninja Forms to collect data and populate other types of documents like Word or PowerPoint?

7 min read

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