The Manage Availability section in Practice Admin allows non-integrated practices with Healthengine to publish their available appointments online in a familiar, calendar-style interface called Calendar.
Using Calendar, you can create your practitioners' schedules and set them to repeat each week or each fortnight, either on every day or certain days of the week. These schedules can repeat forever or until a date chosen by you!
Please note that Calendar is only available for non-integrated customers at this stage and is incompatible with "Schedules" (AKA "Auto-Publish Rules") and "Book Now". If you do not see Calendar on your account and you would like to use it, please discuss this with your Customer Success Manager.
- Navigating to Calendar
- Changing your Advanced Publishing Preferences
- Creating Schedules in Calendar
- Editing Schedules
- Deleting Schedules
- How to Delete Availability Quickly (ad-hoc basis)
- Viewing and Rescheduling Bookings in Calendar
- Things to Look Out for in Calendar
Navigating to Calendar
To access your Calendar, navigate to the Settings in your Practice Admin then click on 'Manage Availability'.
Once you are on the Manage Availability page, you will see the Calendar layout that will default to the current day's view.
You can navigate to a different day by using the '< or >' arrow icons or select the calendar icon to the left of the arrows to select a specific date.
You can also zoom in and out of your daily view by clicking the + or - icons on the left.
If you haven't set up any practitioners for appointments in HealthEngine, your Calendar will appear blank with no columns as seen below:
To resolve this, you'll need to add some practitioners to your appointments - you can find out how to do this in our Help Centre article, Adding, Editing and Deleting Practitioners.
Changing your Advanced Publishing Preferences
To change your advance publishing preferences, click on the gear icon at the top right-hand corner, next to the 'Create Schedule' button.
This will open a pop-up box that enables you to click a drop-down list of options for how far in advance you'd like to display your available appointments online - the default is 28 days.
Creating Schedules in Calendar
To publish your available appointments online, click on the 'Create Schedule' button in the top right-hand corner above your Calendar.
This will display a pop-up menu as seen below:
To begin creating your schedule, start by clicking on the drop-down section under 'Schedule for' and select the practitioner in which you wish to create available appointments for - the form will select the first practitioner in the list by default.
If you have a lot of practitioners to choose from, you can narrow down the options displayed by typing in the practitioner's name until the relevant option becomes visible in the list.
Once you have selected the relevant practitioner, you can then pick the start date of your schedule. Please Note: This will immediately default to the date currently displayed in the Calendar day view
Next, under the 'Specialty' section choose which specialty you wish to publish available appointments for. Please Note: This will always default to the first specialty listed.
If you have a lot of specialty options to choose from, you can narrow down the options displayed by typing in the specialties name until the relevant option becomes visible in the list.
The next step is to decide whether you wish to publish a single appointment or a block of appointments.
If you select 'Single appointment', you will only need to choose the start time and length, to create a singular appointment.
Alternatively, you can create a 'Block of appointments', where you will now be able to select an end time.
When selecting a start and end time, you can free text the time you want (5:00) instead of scrolling all the way down to find 5:00 pm.
Please Note: If the practitioner for which you are creating available appointments requires any breaks during the day, you will need to create a separate block of available appointments on either side of the break/s.
Once you have chosen the start and end time for the block of appointments, you can select the appointment length that should be applied for these appointments - the default time is 15 minutes.
Finally, you can choose whether the available appointment/s should only be available on the selected date or if you would like them to be repeated into the future.
If you only want the available appointment/s to be published on the selected date, you can go ahead and click the 'Add appointments' at the bottom of the form.
You can also make use of the repeat settings for the schedule by selecting weekly, fortnightly or every workday.
Selecting "Every weekday (Monday to Friday)" will create the available appointments on every weekday until the specified end date (or indefinitely if no end date is specified).
Please Note: Only appointments within the window specified by your advance publishing preferences will appear online for patients to book (e.g. 28 days ahead).
Alternatively, choosing "Weekly on" or "Fortnightly on" will give you the option to choose which days of the week the available appointment/s should be published on each week or each fortnight.
You also have the option to set a stop date for each repeat option as seen below:
Please Note: the default is always set to 'Doesn't repeat' and 'Never stop repeating' for weekly, fortnightly and every workday repeat options.
When you have filled out all the required information, you can select 'Add appointments' for this schedule to be added to your Calendar.
Please allow a few minutes to pass before checking this availability (especially if you have created them quite far in advance) as our system needs time to publish these!
Only the appointments that are within your advance publishing preferences (e.g. the next 28 days) will appear online for patients to book.
Choosing a Schedule Length
When creating a schedule, please factor in your appointment type length to avoid any scheduling complications. For example, general appointments may be 10 minutes, so this should be your default appointment length.
Example 2: Check ups may be appointment types that are 15 and 30 minutes, so your appointment length will be the lowest time of 15 minutes.
It is the length that is set in appointment types that will determine how many of those blocks are booked. E.g If a patient books a 15 min appointment, 1 x 15 minute block will be allocated and booked.
Once you have created some schedules, you may wish to go back and modify them. To do this, simply navigate to the schedule you wish to modify and click on the schedule to reveal the same pop up you saw when you originally created the schedule.
From there, you can amend any setting you wish by selecting the 'Edit Schedule' tab as seen below.
Please Note: If it is a repeat schedule, this will also update all future schedules already published.
All of the settings originally entered when this appointment or block of appointments was created are pre-populated in the form so that you can easily change the settings as needed.
When you are happy with the changes, simply click "Update appointments" to apply the changes.
To delete an entire schedule, simply select the trash icon in this same section.
How to Delete Availability Quickly (ad-hoc basis)
This functionality is fantastic for when you need to make quick amendments to your live appointments on particular days without affecting your regular repeating schedules. This is ideal for situations when a staff member needs to finish early for the day or for any ad-hoc breaks.
To learn more about hiding availability for Public Holidays or Lunch Breaks, read our Help Centre article, Creating, Editing and Deleting Block Schedules.
To do this, click on the schedule you wish to update and a pop-up default to the 'Manage availability' tab will appear. There will be a list of the individual slots within that schedule and you simply need to select the icon of the circle with the line through it to unpublish this slot online.
Once you have done this, the slots become greyed out with the option to republish again by clicking the 'refresh' icon if you have made an error or change your mind!
Viewing and Rescheduling Bookings in Calendar
In the instance that a patient books an appointment and calls you to reschedule, you can manage this change through Calendar!
To do this, simply navigate to the booked appointment time you wish to change and select it within the Manage Availability pop-up of your schedule as seen in the image below:
You can view the patient's booking within the schedule by selecting the person icon next to the appointment time.
To reschedule an appointment, click on the 3 vertical dots beside an appointment time and a drop down selection of options will appear. Select 'Reschedule Booking' to be taken to a new pop-up form where you can choose the patients new appointment date, time and practitioner.
Once you select the new time and confirm the change, the patients booking details will be transferred to this new appointment time and they will receive an updated booking confirmation email just as if they had cancelled and rebooked the appointment themselves! You will also be able to see the booking in the new appointment time in your Calendar.
Things to Look Out for in Calendar
Please be aware that there is some incompatibility between Calendar and Sidebar.
For example, if you create some available appointments in Sidebar, they will not appear in Calendar! Additionally, any availability created in Calendar should be modified only in Calendar while Sidebar should be used only to "mark appointments as booked".
The reason for this is that any appointments deleted in Sidebar are read by the system as bookings made by patients so they won't be republished by Calendar should you republish it on Sidebar.
Therefore, changes to your available times created in Calendar should only be made within Calendar.
We hope you enjoy using Calendar! If you experience any issues or need assistance with making changes, reach out to our friendly Healthengine Support Team via phone, chat or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not yet have access to this feature and would like to use it, please contact your Customer Success Manager (CSM) to register your interest in the feature.