Setting Up Appointment Guides, One-Off Availability & Blockouts
PracticeHub has a nifty little feature that allows you to block out certain parts of the day to indicate where certain appointment types can be booked.
This makes your appointment scheduling much more efficient.
- Appointment Guide
- Unavailable Blockout
- Custom availability
What are these?
An appointment guide is a background colour on the calendar which can define where certain appointments can be booked. This is very useful if you have certain times for New Patient, ROF and other special visits. It'll help the front of house to offer the correct times to patients. You can also use these appointment guides for online bookings - if they are enabled, these slots will show as available slots for appointment types that are either tagged as "Only bookable via Appointment Guide Slots" or "Bookable via regular available slots & appointment guide slots" - This is a fantastic way of controlling the availability on your online bookings area. These will repeat on a weekly basis by default.
Blockouts do pretty much what it says on the tin. You can block out areas of your diary as unavailable. This will also remove these times as available on the online bookings. These can be set to repeat as desired.
This allows you to open up your closed times for one-off availabilities. These are displayed in a transparent white on the calendar.
Creating an availability type
To create one of these, click the slot you wish for it to start. Instead of proceeding with a normal appointment booking, click "Availability Manager" on the right tab. You can then choose from one of the availability types on the form.
You can then select text to display, the time it finishes and the colour. You can choose to recur Blockouts and Custom One-Off Availability or make one-offs, and Appointment Guides will recur indefinitely themselves.
For appointment guides, you can also choose to enable this for online booking. This allows you to provide that guide as an available slot for online bookings as mentioned above.
Click save to save your availability type.
This is an example showing an appointment guide that has online booking enabled. You'll notice a little calendar in the top right corner - this means Online Booking is enabled for that guide.
Editing or deleting an availability type
Click on the availability type on the calendar. If it is a blockout the availability form will show by default. If it is an appointment guide or one-off availability, you will need to click on the Availability Manager to edit it.
As can be seen above, if clicking on an existing availability type, you will get a warning message appear. To edit the block, simply make the changes you require.
Please note: On "blockouts" you have the repeat rules options listed. This allows for you to edit all occurences, or simply the blockout you are editing. The repeat rules also function for deleting block outs.
To delete, select whether you wish to delete all future occurrences of the blockout or just the one you are on and hit "Delete Availability".