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How to benefit from Appointment Automation

We have some very busy clinics, where the Receptionist is multi-tasking on too many things and sometimes tends to forget updating the status of Patients who came in. Not doing so, raises false alarms by increasing either no-shows or by showing a very high waiting time skewing your internal statistics of patient turn around times. All such problems can be handled by going to Tools | Organization | Select organization name | Preferences | Calendar. Let me show you how to automate certain permissions with the help of Clinicea:

1. You can setup Clinicea to auto mark the Patients who were scheduled to come but did not turn up as a No-Show, automatically. Clinicea will figure it out and mark them as a No-Show. Next morning you can also have Clinicea send out an SMS to the No-Shows wondering if they would like to reschedule.

Switch on Auto Mark Patients as a ‘No-Show’ if they remain ‘Scheduled’ at the end of the day.

2. You can also have the Clinicea Calendar, auto-check outpatients who came in but have not yet been checked out, at the end of every day.

  • Switch on Auto Checkout Patients who remain marked as ‘Engaged’ at the end of the day
  • Go back to Organization and click on Communication under Preferences and switch on the preferences as needed.

3. A new Receptionist on the job may miss out setting the Services for Appointment. Well no more training issues, you can configure Clinicea to make it mandatory for the Receptionist to enter the Services in the Appointment.

Switch on Make it mandatory for Staff to note the ‘Services’ when booking an Appointment.

4. You may want to disallow double bookings. Then do the following.
Switch off Allow multiple Appointments in a Timeslot.

 

5.  If you do not want any function to be allowed on the Appointment (barring cancellations of course) until such time that the Patient is checked in.
Switch on Enable various features on Appointment only after the Patient has been checked in the waiting room.

 

6. You may want to make sure as part of the checkout process that the receptionist should ask the Patient for the preferred date of next appointment, but things get busy and they forget to do so sometimes. Then getting Patients on Packages to come back can become a task on its own. As soon the patient appointment changes to check out, the Next Appointment window comes up.
Switch on Always prompt the Staff to book the ‘Next Appointment’ when doing a ‘Check-Out’.

 

7. Suppose a receptionist drags an existing appointment around a few times before figuring out the right time slot then a bunch of SMS and emails about all those changes may annoy the patient.

To avoid this, as soon as you drag and drop the Appointment, the Communication engine will also double check if at all such a preference to send a reminder on appointment changes is on. If on, is it email or SMS that the Patient prefers, and if the answer to all of this is yes, then too, rather than sending a reminder, Clinicea will ask whether you want the patient to be updated about these changes.

If you make changes without dragging and dropping, the Calendar understands its a deliberate and not an accidental change, it will still check those couple of things, but send out an update to the patient in the mode of communication they prefer.

 

8. If you have forgetful patients, missing appointments then remind them of their appointment when it is booked, 1 day before at precise time next day their appointment is, and then on the day of the appointment send them a 3rd reminder in the morning, as they are planning their day. This is also present in Communication Preferences under the Organization details.

 

9. You can also see the number of appointments that you have in a day/week. An Appointment count is now displayed beside the practitioner’s name on the top of the Calendar.

 

10. You can also move Patients along the queue. Bill a patient who arrives in case you have a fixed price clinic, and the Patient is marked as Waiting.

  • Click on the Calendar preferences under Organization.
  • Switch on Auto Update Appointment Status on Billing

A Patient who is scheduled to come for an appointment walks in. Receptionist bills the patient. At this point, the Appointment Status automatically changes to Waiting and the color bar changes to orange in color.
To use this option:

a. Go to Calendar | click on the Currency icon under the Patient name in the scheduled appointment list on the extreme left of the page, to bill the Patient.

 

b. Once billed, the Appointment status will auto change to Waiting and the color bar will change to orange while the Currency Icon will also change to green in color.

 

11. The Patient is in the Waiting Room. The Practitioner opens the Patient’s Chart from the Calendar. The Appointment Status automatically changes to Engaged and the color bar changes to red in color. To use this option:

a. Go to Calendar | click on the Open Medical Record icon under Patient name in the scheduled appointment list on the extreme left of the page.

 

b. The Patient Chart will open up and back on the Calendar, the Appointment Status will auto change to Engaged. The color bar will change to red in color.

 This changing of Appointment status to ‘Engaged’, only happens when the EMR is opened by a Practitioner.
 

Is there anything the Calendar not do
It cannot answer your phone calls, for now.