Vital Signs usage

Estimated reading: 13 minutes

Learn how to enter and utilize weight and other vital signs for a patient.

Before you start

Security

Setup

Important!

  • Familiarize yourself with the vital sign editing rules, for adding to an existing vital sign set or editing a recorded vital sign
  • If any active vital signs are not associated with the patient’s species, the vital sign window will display ‘none for species’ instead of the vitals’ abbreviation. Entry will not be allowed until the species is linked.

Viewing weight and vital sign history

Navigate to Patient Clipboard > select patient > Vital Signs tab.

View and graph weight and vital sign entries, from this tab.

Patient weight entry

  1. Enter a patient weight by clicking the Vital Signs/Weight button that displays throughout Cornerstone in the following areas and more:
  2. Modify the Date and/or Time for this weight and its associated vital signs set, if necessary. The server date and time are entered by default.
  3. Enter the staff ID or F2 to search and select from the staff list.
  4. Enter the weight.
  5. Change the weight unit of measure by selecting the appropriate unit from the drop-down list, if appropriate. The default weight unit is based on Vital Sign setup for the species.
  6. Select High, Low, or Abnormal from the drop-down list, if appropriate. This selection will display the weight in red text in the vital sign window and Vital Signs tab of the Patient Clipboard.
  7. Enter a comment in the available field, if needed. Entered comments display with a note icon in the vital sign window and Vital Signs tab of the Patent Clipboard.
  8. Do one of the following:
    • Click OK to save the weight information and close the window.
    • Click add more Vital Signs to open the full vital sign entry window and enter additional vitals.

Additional workflows to enter patient weight: 

  • Enter the weight in the designated field when checking in a patient or when setting up a new patient record in Cornerstone.
    • This begins a new vital sign set for the patient based on the check in date/time.
    • When entering vitals, you will be prompted to edit existing set or create a new set. 
  • Enter the weight using the steps above when starting a medical note, based on document default settings to prompt for weight entry if current weight is > x days old. 

Vital sign entry

When entering vitals for a patient, the following fields and options are in the full Vital Signs window, based on your practice’s vital sign setup. 

Field/OptionDescriptions
Date/TimeThis field expands automatically with a yellow background when any other field in the current day’s column is selected. Date and time is required for each vital sign set. It defaults to the server date and time and is applied to the set, not individual entries. Date and times that are in the future or are greater than 10 days old cannot be entered.
Text entry box or selection listData entry/selection field displays as a text box or a list, based on the vital sign type.
Example: Alphanumeric and numeric types display as a text box. List types display as a drop-down. 
? linkClick link to view list values and any extended descriptions.
Example: Dental or pain scoring. 
Normal listSelect High, Low, or Abnormal from the drop-down list to indicate an outlying vital sign entry. Non normal entries will display the value in bold red, along with an H, L, or A designation.
Enter commentType vital sign comments in the text box up to 30 characters. displays for an entry if a comment is associated with it.
None for speciesThis text displays in a field if the patient species has not been associated with the displayed vital sign. This is for alphanumeric and numeric lists.
  1. Open the Vital Signs window for the patient by any of the following methods:
    • Clicking the Vital Signs/Weight button that displays throughout Cornerstone: Patient Clipboard patient information tab, Check-in/Out window, Patient Visit List, Estimate, Invoice, Document Editor, Whiteboard, etc.
    • Navigate to Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Vital Signs/Weight.
    • Click Process for an Update Vital Signs special action when using the finalized estimate, Patient Visit List or Invoice workflows.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Enter the weight details and click add more Vital Signs.
    • Click add more Vital Signs. Note: The weight can be entered in the next step.
  3. If the patient already has a set of vital signs for the current day, select Edit Existing or Create New when prompted.
  4. Address any patient alerts.
  5. In the Create new Vital Signs set column (far right column) expand the field to enter data by doing one of the following:
    • Double-click the specific vital sign field. The cursor defaults to the first field for you.
    • Press Tab until the cursor is in the cell you want and press Enter.
  6. If necessary, you can change the default server date/time associated with the new vital signs set, but you must still abide by the editing rules. Example: Cannot backdate more than 10 days:
    • In the Date field, enter a new date by typing the date or by clicking the drop-down arrow to select the date from a calendar. Press Tab.
    • In the Time field, type a new time and press Tab.
  7. Record vital signs as applicable for the patient.
    • Entries outside the normal range will display a message confirming the entry is correct.
      • Click Continue to retain entry or click Cancel to reenter the data.
      • Range vales are based on vital sign settings.
    • Click the ? link to view detailed descriptions of available list values.
    • Select High, Low, or Abnormal from the drop-down list to indicate an outlying vital sign entry. Non normal entries will display the value in bold red, along with an H, L, or A designation.
    • If needed, add a comment about the entry in the comment field, using a maximum 30 characters. Examples: Panting, purring, or nervous
    • Tip: For alphanumeric entries (text entry only), note that only a small number of characters display in the column when the vital signs set is viewed later in history. Because of this, it is best to type abbreviated text that’s meaningful at a glance.
    • Click to view a numeric type vital sign’s values graphed. There can be up to 10 values per graph.
  8. When finished entering vitals, click OK.
  9. Verify or enter a different recording staff ID.
  10. Click OK to save the vital signs set for the patient.

Editing vital signs

With appropriate security settings, you can edit existing vital sign sets to fill in blank fields or modify recorded vital signs to address any entry errors if entries are within the 24 hour/10 day editing rules.

Note: The time frame that you can edit is based on the server date/time when the vital sign set is created, which is not necessarily the date/time manually entered by the staff member.

  1. Using the same steps you did to enter vital signs, open the Vital Signs window.
    • Navigate to Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Vital Signs/Weight.
    • Navigate to Patient Clipboard > select patient > Vital Signs Tab > right-click > Update.
  2. If the patient already has a set of vital signs for the current day, select Edit Existing when prompted.
  3. Address any patient alerts.
  4. Double-click in the specific set column and field to enter data into a blank field or edit an existing entry.
    • Blank fields within an existing set can be filled in within 10 days of the set’s creation date/time.
    • Previous entries can only be edited within 24 hours of the set’s creation date/time.
    • Entries outside the normal range will display a message confirming the entry is correct.
      • Click Continue to retain entry or click Cancel to reenter the data.
      • Range vales are based on vital sign settings.
  5. When finished entering/editing vitals, click OK.
  6. The original recording staff ID displays. Modify as needed.
  7. Click OK to save the changes to the patient’s vital signs set.
  8. Click OK to confirm any overwrites (edits made), if prompted.
  9. Close the Vital Signs window.

Voiding a vital sign set

A vital sign set can be voided in cases where vital signs are accidentally entered for the wrong patient. Notes: logged in user must have security to perform the void; void applies to the set, you cannot void a specific entry or value.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • With the patient’s information showing on the Vital Signs window, right-click within the specific vital signs set and select Void.
    • With the patient’s information showing on the Patient Clipboard window, right-click the specific vital signs line on the Summary, Text, or Vital Signs tab and select Void.
  2. In the Void Vital Signs Set window, enter the staff ID and reason for the void. Note: The logged in staff ID also displays and cannot be changed.
  3. Click OK.

Graphing vital signs for a patient

You can graph a patient’s historic and current vital sign data for one vital sign at a time (one vital sign’s row on the Vital Signs window) for numeric and numeric list vital signs. You can print graphs and provide them to clients as a helpful visual to show weight trends or other changes in their pet’s health over time.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • With the patient’s information showing in the Vital Signs window, in the Vital Signs column (left column), click the Graph button for the vital sign.
    • With the patient’s information showing on the Vital Signs tab in the Patient Clipboard window, click the Graph button in the vital sign’s column header.
  2. Click Back/Next to move through the patient’s vital sign history, displaying up to 10 sets at a time.
  3. Click Print to print the currently displayed graph. Select your page setup settings, and then click OK.
  4. Click Close to return to the previous window.

Inserting vital signs information within a patient document

You can record and insert a patient’s vital signs information in a simple table format anywhere within a patient document (medical note or correspondence), using an existing prompt within the document or inserting one manually.

Note: This feature is not available in text only documents or classic medical notes. 

Additional Information

General

Vita sign terminology

Vital sign window

Vital sign entry

Vital sign editing rules

Related reports

These Cornerstone reports provide information from the actions outlined in this article. Each report has its own security access under the Reports tab of the Security Setup window.

  • Check-in report
  • Patient History report

Other resource

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