Posted By Amanda Girard On December 16, 2021

Personalization, Configuration and Customization in EHR Design

Personalization, configuration and customization in your EHR

Personalization, configuration and customization in your EHR are sometimes confusing terms to differentiate. They involve different levels of making the EHR software unique to your users, groups of users, or organization. Some levels of these adjustments come as part of the base, out of box, EHR system. Others require source code changes by your vendor which changes the initial product. Understanding these differences can help you get the solution you need.


Personalization comes out of the box with a new EHR system. These are settings adjusted by yourself and the vendor during implementation. It is not necessary to change the software source code to set them up, though. Personalization is a feature of the software that allows it to target experiences to users in roles or as individuals. There are two types of personalization:

  • Role-based Personalization groups users together according to their user roles and the access they need. Staff would have specific tools or dashboards available based upon their duties. You outline what functions your staff needs (whether Clinician, scheduler, etc.).  Then your EHR vendor sets up the access and dashboards for them.
  • Individualized Personalization allows users to manipulate parts of their dashboard unique to themselves. With this, a staff member could manipulate the widgets they see or change calendar colors. A patient could prioritize the health information shown in their patient portal.


Configuration is also included out of box with a new EHR and does not require core code changes. The vendor configures fields and values as you prefer to help with your workflow. Configuration will happen whether you choose to customize your EHR software or not. These are set up during implementation and also come as part of your out of box EHR purchase. Examples of configurable items include:

  • Email templates
  • Portal forms
  • Reports
  • Security roles
  • Revenue recognition schedules
  • Page layouts
  • Custom fields & objects


Customization is not a part of the out of box EHR system. Sometimes clients need more changes than possible with personalization and configuration alone. Customization requires changing the source code of the EHR software your organization’s needs. That makes it become custom to you. 

Which Do You Need?

You may or may not need EHR customization. Personalization, configuration and customization in your EHR depends upon your particular needs. Any reputable EHR vendor would be able to do an informational interview and uncover this. Your workflow and process best practices are going to establish that. Personalization and configuration come along with the EHR you purchase. Only customization requires going beyond the out of box EHR to make the product specific to you. Not everyone needs more than the baseline solution.

About Patagonia Health

At Patagonia Health, we build customizations specific to you. However, if we decide to make a source code change and build in new features, we release it to all our subscribers. In this way, all our customers continue to enjoy system updates. Each client we take on in Public Health and Behavioral Health becomes our partner. We set up user groups and continue to evolve our products based upon our client’s needs. We are always focused on the pulse of industry needs in this way. If you would like to learn more about our specific product offerings, please contact us.

About Amanda Girard

Amanda is the Marketing Manager at Patagonia Health, a cloud and apps-based Electronic Health Records (EHR) software company serving Public and Behavioral Health. Amanda has a passion for serving those who serve in others in healthcare. She oversees the production of informative content on industry topics and health IT solutions.