A Shortcut to Laughing Out Loud

March 16, 2015

Lol, Omg, Brb. Chances are you’ve seen or more likely used these text abbreviations at some point to convey a shorthand version of a longer phrase. These abbreviations are almost common place now in a majority of text conversations. They allow us the efficiency of conveying lengthier phrases in a few taps as opposed to typing out the whole phrase. Now, whether this can be associated with the downfall of the written language is a debate for another day…

What we can agree on is their efficiency. And efficiency is something we here at Pragma-IT strive to bring to our users. Efficiency is another analogy for time in our world. The more efficient we can make our software, the more time we give back to our users. Specifically, in this case, clinicians using the therapyBOSS software for home health therapy staffing and early intervention.

therapyBOSS clinicians have the benefit of being able to use modern mobile devices, in addition to desktop and laptop computers, to electronically document patient treatment. With more and more clinicians using tablets and smartphones as their go-to devices for managing and documenting patient care, the benefits associated with these devices start to arise.

One of the benefits, and the subject of this article, is the ability to tap a few keys and have an entire word or phrase entered by the device automatically. There is no need to explain that taking advantage of this feature could save clinicians time in their patient documentation. We’ll tell you exactly how to set up what’s called keyboard shortcuts to reference terms and phrases that you commonly use in your electronic documentation.

Our instructions are for the two most popular mobile platforms, Apple iOS and Android. These instructions are equally applicable to tablets and smartphones.

Keyboard Text Shortcuts on Apple iOS Devices:

  1. Select the Settings icon on your device
  2. Tap General tab
  3. Tap Keyboard tab
  4. Tap Shortcuts
  5. Here you will see all previously created shortcuts. By tapping the plus (+) icon near the top right, you will begin to create a shortcut
  6. Phrase is the actual word or phrase that will be displayed when the shortcut is typed
  7. Shortcut is the desired abbreviation you’ll type in to display the phrase
  8. Tap Save at the top right when done

Example: If you wanted ‘tkr’ to expand to total knee replacement, then ‘tkr’ would be the shortcut, and ‘total knee replacement’ the phrase.

To delete any created shortcut, from the Shortcuts screen, tap Edit at the bottom left, and tap the red minus circle next to the shortcut you want to get rid of.

Keyboard Text Shortcuts on Android Devices:

  1. Go into the Settings
  2. Tap Language & Input
  3. Tap Personal dictionary
  4. Here you will see all previously created shortcuts. By tapping the plus (+ADD) icon near the top right, you will begin to create a shortcut
  5. In the ‘Type a word’ section, enter the word or phrase you wish to have displayed when you type in the shortcut
  6. In ‘Shortcut’ type in the desired abbreviation for your word or phrase
  7. Once complete, at the top left, tap left arrow icon to return to the Personal dictionary menu

Example: If you wanted ‘pwb’ to expand to partial weight bearing, then ‘pwb’ would be the shortcut, and ‘partial weight bearing’ the phrase.

To delete any created shortcut, from the shortcuts screen, tap on any shortcut, and choose delete near the top right.


If the above clinician was to type in: Patient post mva required tkr. Admitted to HHA on 3/23 w/ pt and ot. The output would be: Patient post motor vehicle accident required total knee replacement. Admitted to home health agency on 3/23 w/ physical therapy and occupational therapy. How cool is that!


Smartly utilizing shortcuts will allow clinicians to type long strings of information quickly and with far fewer keyboard taps. Ultimately, we hope that with this tip clinicians can speed up their documentation and increase their efficiency. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.