Patient Search

Use the patient search to select and work with the patient's record, or create a new record.

Patient search is displayed whenever it is necessary to identify a patient in Communicare, for example, when you open Patient Biographics Patient Biographics, Appointments, or Clinical Record.

Before you add a new patient to Communicare, you should first do a thorough patient search to ensure that you don't already have a record in Communicare for that patient. See Adding a New Patient for more information.

Communicare uses the information you type into the patient search fields to produce a list of matching patients. Search by entering the following information:
  • Patient name:
    • Search for both family name and given name in either order
    • For children, if you can't find a child, search with a given name of Baby Of to identify children who were entered before being given a name
  • Date of birth - search by date of birth to identify patients whose surname has changed
  • Medicare number
  • Patient unique identifiers, Patient ID, CentreLink No., DVA No., HPN - deceased patients are automatically included in these search results
  • Other patient identifiers - MRN, IHI
  • Extended identifiers - for enterprise customers, to search using identifiers from external systems or clinics, first enable Enable Extended Identifiers on the System Parameters > > Patient tab
Use the following guidelines:
  • The more information you provide, the more precise the search results are
  • To display results as you type, set Search automatically. Results are refined as you add more information
  • To enable Communicare to attempt to match search terms based on pronunciation, set Phonetic search
  • To search by any other criteria stored in the database, click Advanced.
  • To search on multiple criteria, on System Parameters > Patient tab, deselect Single Field Patient Search.
  • Deceased patients are not included in the search results unless you set Include deceased or search by patient unique identifiers.


  • When you select a patient, the patient details panel summarises information from the patient record. Use this information to check that you have found the correct patient record.
  • If the details panel is highlighted in gold, the patient has a clinical item in the specified group.
  • The search returns all results that include your search term, including both preferred names and any aliases if they meet the search criteria, meaning that you can have more than one result for a single patient. If a record matching the search term is an alias, it is identified by colour in the search results. For example, a preferred name and an alias are returned for Martin Brown, using the search "MAR BRO" and displayed in the following ways:
Table 1. Patient search results with aliases
Description Example
Aliases are listed in green text, preferred names are listed in black text Example search\, alias in green text
When selected, an alias is displayed with white text on a green background Example search\, alias selected
When selected, preferred names are displayed with white text on a blue background Example search\, preferred name selected
  • Medicare details incomplete icon A green card icon with a red slash through it is displayed near the end of a patient's record if their Medicare Card details are incomplete. Click Change Details to complete the Medicare details. See Changing Biographics for more information.
  • Notes icon A notes icon is displayed at the end of a patient's record if there are notes entered on the Administration tab.

To open a patient record, double-click the patient name or click Select Patient icon Select Patient. Once a patient has been selected, they remain the current patient until a new patient is selected. All patient information displayed and patient-specific reports are for the current patient. The name of the current patient is displayed prominently, usually in the title bar, with other identifying information for the patient, such as preferred name, age and so on.

Advanced searching

Use the advanced search to compile a list of specific patients, based on any information stored in the database, including demographics. Any existing report that includes the Patient ID can be used in the search window. For example, to list all patients who live on a particular street, run Patients Search by Street Name; to list all patients in a particular age range, run Patients Search by Age.

To use advanced search:
  1. In the Patient Search window, click Advanced.
  2. In the Load a patient query window, select the patient query you want to run and click OK. See Patient Query for more information.
  3. In the Report Parameters window, enter the required parameters and click OK.


All patients whose record includes the specified parameters are listed. Double-click a patient to open their record.

To return to the regular Search window, click New Search.