How the Sidebar and Practice Admin work together.
If you don't have integrated software you may find yourself using our HealthEngine Sidebar. In this article I will explain the different ways that you can publish your availability using the sidebar.
The topics we will cover are:
- Publishing with only one appointment type length
- Publishing with different appointment type lengths
- Important Information.
It's always a good idea to have the appointment types page of your practice admin portal open at the same time as your sidebar when you first get started so that you can ensure you are publishing times that will work with your appointment types. Once you have the hang of it you will find the sidebar easy and convenient to control.
Publishing with only one appointment type length
If you only have the one appointment type length, it makes publishing with the sidebar even easier, and also allows you to use a gap between your appointments if that is something you want.
To publish this way, first set your appointment type up in your practice admin portals appointment types page. In this example, I will be publishing one appointment type of 30 minutes. For further information on editing your appointment types click here.
You would then publish your availability on the sidebar as shown:
Publishing with different appointment type lengths
Most practices would tend to have different appointment types, with different lengths. If your appointment type page looks more like the one shown below, you will want to publish your availability a bit differently. You will also not be able to use the 'gap between appointments' feature shown in the previous example.
For different appointment type lengths, you will want to publish your availability in a length that all of your appointment types are divisible by. In the example below, there are 20, 30, and 40 minute appointment types. The only number divisible by all of those is 10. So that would be the length I create availability in to get the most out of my HealthEngine Sidebar. As a rule, this is generally the slot length in your own practice management software.
Don't worry, the Sidebar is clever.
The HealthEngine sidebar has been carefully developed to ensure practices are getting the most out of HealthEngine with the least amount of effort. When a patient goes through the booking form and selects the appointment type they want to book, the required amount of availability slots will be taken from the sidebar to accomodate the patient.
In the example above, four 10 minute availability slots would be taken from the sidebar to accommodate that appointment. If there are not enough slots available in a row at the time chosen by the patient, they will be directed to choose a new time from a selection of options where there are enough 10 minute slots available consecutively.
Likewise, The system is smart enough to not publish any availability that is too short to be booked according to your appointment types setup. This means that you don't need to worry about patients booking times where there is not enough availability for a particular appointment type. eg. If you only have a 10 minute slot available on your sidebar, but all your appointment types are at least 20 minutes, then that 10 minute slot will not display online, so you'll never be left rushing your patients through an appointment.
The sidebar also requires no access to your own server or network, so if the Internet in your practice is down, you can log into the sidebar from any computer with internet available to continue to manage your availability. You can even use the sidebar from your lap top at home!
Publishing into the weeks beyond.
You may notice that you are only able to create availability within the current week when you press the 'Create availability' button on your sidebar. If you want to publish ahead of time, select the date on the side of your sidebar first, then hit the 'Create availability' button. You will then get the option of publishing on any day in that week.