Learn how to schedule, view, & manage different appointment types in Instinct’s Appointments Calendar!
Table of Contents
📆 Accessing Appointment and Event Calendars
All users can access Appointment and Event Calendars by clicking ‘Business Office’ on the left sidebar. Please note, these calendars must be enabled by contacting us: email@example.com.
After clicking ‘Business Office’, you’ll notice the following options at the top of the screen (shown above):
- Appointments – add, edit, or remove scheduled appointments
- Events – a separate calendar designed to track specific events, including cleaning or vacation schedules
- Patient Registration – search/add new patients, retrieve previous medical history, and check patients in/out
- Accounts – search/add a new account (owner) and transfer patient ownership
- Referrers – document how a patient was referred to your hospital, including the practice name and veterinarian
To view a specific date on the Appointments or Events Calendar, click the calendar icon towards the top right hand corner of the screen to select a day. You can also scan by week (<< and >>) or by day (< and >).
🗓 Appointments View
When clicking on ‘Business Office’, you’ll be brought to ‘My Calendar’ by default. This is your own personal calendar and you can use the dropdown menu towards the upper left of the screen to view Groups or other Doctor/Staff calendars.
📓 Please note – Calendar Groups can be created within the Admin section to include different doctors based on department or schedule (more on this under ‘Calendar Admin’ below).
📓 Please note – All users have their own personal calendar, either under Doctor or Staff. Anyone can schedule appointments, availabilities, and drop-offs on their own calendar or another user’s calendar as necessary.
Each day also includes an optional ‘Daily Note’ field to enter appointment details relating to that user’s day. To leave a note, hover over the day and click the gray note icon as shown below.
Notes are then displayed by hovering over the orange flag and can be edited/deleted at any time by clicking the orange flag. Keep in mind any Daily Notes are saved under individual calendars.
🗓 Group Appointments Calendar
Group Calendars are created within the Admin section (more on this below under ‘Calendar Admin’) to show multiple user Appointment calendars at once. This can be set up based on department or specific shift schedules, for example.
Once a Group is selected on the Appointments Calendar, a list of users within that group are shown in the left filters bar. In the screenshots below, Availability blocks have already been created for these users. For more info on this, please refer to the Availability Blocks’ section below.
The ‘Only Available’ toggle can be turned on to show each doctor’s availability for the selected day. You can un-select any doctor to remove them from this view or turn off the ‘Only Available’ toggle to see scheduled appointments and availability:
As seen above, the ‘Only Available’ toggle has been turned off, showing any scheduled appointments (Fluffy Jones) and all availability.
You may also select a specific appointment time to search for Availability, either by date only or by both date and time. In the screenshot below, Amy Snow and Sarah Snyder are not available at 12:30pm so their calendars have been removed. Carrie Jay and Melissa Jones are available, so their calendars display their Availability to schedule a new appointment.
Keep in mind you can schedule appointments, availabilities, and drop-offs from any Group calendar using the instructions above (‘+ New Appt’ or 3-dot menu).
🗓 Events Appointments Calendar
The Events Calendar is accessed from the top of the Business Office page as shown below. Events calendars function very similar to personal/group Appointment calendars and can be used to schedule miscellaneous events, including discharges, transfers, surgery OR rooms, staff lunches, staff meetings/CE Events, team birthdays, and cleaning schedules.
Please keep in mind Event Calendar types are created within the Admin section (more on this below under ‘Calendar Admin’).
To schedule a new Event on any of your Event Calendars, simply click ‘+ New Event’ and select which Calendar you’d like to schedule this under followed by the Start time, Duration, and any specific Notes.
You can also Edit or Cancel any Event via 3-dot menu. At this time, we do not have a way to schedule recurring events but this feature will be available in the future.
✅ Availability Blocks
Availability Blocks are useful for communicating the times you or your providers are available to see certain types of appointments. These are optional (an Availability does not need to be created in order to schedule a new Appointment or Drop-off). Availability can be added from a personal or group calendar by selecting the down arrow next to ‘+ New Appt’ followed by ‘New Availability’.
When creating availability, you can enter Appointment Type (Wellness in the example below) to communicate which Appointment Types should be scheduled during this availability block.
Once scheduled, the availability becomes visible on the users personal calendar and any groups they belong to. The Appointment Type is also highlighted as shown below (Wellness):
Please note – any Appointment Type can be scheduled at any time regardless if it’s listed as a preferred Appointment Type. You can also schedule appointments outside of someone’s Availability if needed.
To edit an existing Availability, simply select the 3-dot menu within the Availability block followed by ‘Edit’ (you can also create a new appointment or discard this availability block using this 3-dot menu).
Clicking ‘Edit’ opens the initial screen when first scheduling this Availability, allowing you to adjust the start time, duration, and appointment types as needed. The Staff field is locked and in order to edit this, you will need to discard the current Availability (via 3-dot menu shown above) and create a new Availability under the correct Staff member.
📆 Scheduling Appointments
Appointment Types must be created before appointments can be scheduled (more on this below under Calendar Admin).
There are 2 ways to schedule a new appointment:
- Using ‘+ New Appt’
Click ‘+ New Appt’ on the Appointments Calendar. This opens a side pane on the right side of the screen to enter in the appointment details. Please note that any field with an asterisk (*) is required and the Provider field defaults to the current Provider, but can be edited if needed.
- Using the 3-dot menu within an Availability
Click the 3-dot menu within any Availability and select ‘New Appt’. This opens the same side pane shown above to enter in the appointment details. Please remember an Availability must be scheduled for this workflow.
Using the right side pane, create a new patient or select an existing patient for this appointment. Please keep in mind a patient must be associated with an appointment.
- When scheduling a new or existing patient, you can also add Account, Patient, or Visit alerts as needed.
If an appt is scheduled during the available time, the availability block will be split and remove the appt duration from the availability slot.
To view appointment details, simply hover over the appointment block and a pop-up will appear as shown below:
📓 Please Note: If a patient is marked deceased and has scheduled appointments in the future, any upcoming appointments will be grayed out with a gravestone icon. Future appointments are not canceled automatically if a patient is marked deceased.
⏰ Appointment Reminders
When setting up an appointment, you can select the Appointment Reminder timing options to your preferred schedule. Once selected, the client will receive an email appointment reminder at the specified time.
Reminders can be sent 3 weeks before, 2 weeks before, 1 week before, 72 hours before, 48 hours before, 24 hours before, 12 hours before, 8 hours before, 4 hours before, or 1 hour before.
🕖 Upcoming Appointments on the Patient Info Bar
Both Checked In and Checked Out Patients will display an Appointments section, located below the Patient section of the Patient Info Bar.
📓 Please Note: To see Upcoming Appointments, you must have the Appointments Calendar feature enabled at your clinic by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there are no appointments or drop-offs scheduled, the section will display No Upcoming Appointments.
All Appointments and Drop-Offs will be displayed chronologically by date and time. Drop-Offs will always display at the start of each scheduled day, before any other same-day appointments.
Each Appointment or Drop-Off will show you the following:
- Date and time of Appointment
- Any Drop-Offs will display ‘Drop-Off’ after the date instead of time
- Appointment Type
- 3-dot-menu to Edit Appointment or View the Appointment in the Calendar
Hovering over the Appointments header will display a tooltip with all upcoming appointments.
Cancelled, No Show Appointments/Drop-Offs, and any Appointments/Drop-Offs in the past will not display in the Patient Info Bar just yet (coming later!).
Additionally, each Appointment and Drop-Off will show a tooltip when hovering over each.
If you are currently Editing an Appointment from the Patient Info Bar and click Edit on another Appointment on the screen, you will get a warning message asking if you want to switch Appointment information without saving changes:
✏️ Editing Scheduled Appointments
To edit any scheduled appointment, click the 3-dot menu within the Appointment.
From here, you’ll be able to:
- Edit – adjust the Appointment details via right side pane (same screen when scheduling the Appointment).
- Mark as No Show – gray out the patient name with a strikethrough and document the patient never showed up. You can always undo this action by clicking the 3-dot menu again and selecting ‘Mark as Shown’.
- Cancel – gray out the patient name and move the cancelled Appointment to the bottom of the column’s cancelled section. You can always undo this action by clicking the 3-dot menu again and selecting ‘Reschedule’.
- Check In – Check the patient in for their Appointment.
- Visit History – View previous medical history, including treatment sheets, vitals, and invoices.
🔍 Visible Appointment Audit Log
Wondering who created that appointment? Or maybe when that appointment was cancelled?
This information can be found by hovering over the appointment block and viewing the details in the pop-up. The audit log will display which staff member created, edited, canceled, or marked an appointment as no show, as well as the date and time it was done.
- Created: who made the appointment and when
- Edited: most recent information on who edited the appointment and when
- Cancelled: who cancelled the appointment and when
- No Show: who marked the appointment as no show and when
📓 Please Note: Rescheduling a canceled appointment or changing the status to ‘Shown’ will remove the Cancelled or No Show audit log, and will show the most recent Editing information.
➕ Adding New Drop-Off Availabilities
Drop-off availabilities can be added to a personal or group calendar by selecting the down arrow next to ‘+ New Appt’ followed by ‘New Drop-off’:
The staff dropdown defaults to the calendar that is currently in view but this field can be changed to another user, if needed. Select the number of Drop-offs using the dropdown under the ‘Availability’ field to mark how many Drop-offs this user has available.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to schedule any additional Drop-offs once this value has been reached, however, you can edit this number by clicking the 3-dot menu as shown below followed by ‘Edit’. You can also discard all Drop-offs or schedule a Drop-off using this 3-dot menu (more on this below).
Please note: if you click ‘Discard’ as shown above, it will discard any available Drop-offs and cancel any existing Drop-offs scheduled for that day.
After clicking ‘Edit’, you can update the day and number of available Drop-offs but the Staff field will be locked. In order to edit this, you would have to discard the current Drop-off (via 3-dot menu shown above) and create a new Drop-off under the correct Staff member.
📆 Scheduling Drop-Offs
To schedule a Drop-off, click the 3-dot menu next to the available Drop-offs followed by ‘Schedule’.
A ‘New Drop-off’ side pane opens on the right side of the screen to enter the Reason for Visit, Type, Service, and any Appointment Notes (optional and can include default text created via Admin screen). You can then add the patient information by creating a New Patient, selecting an Existing Patient, or looking up by an Existing Account.
Once scheduled, the number of available Drop-offs updates (from 4 to 3 in this example) and the patient information is shown on the Appointments Calendar:
✏️ Editing Individual Drop-Offs
Use the 3-dot menu within the Drop-off field to Edit, Mark as a No Show, Cancel, Check In, or view this patient’s Visit History.
- Edit – adjust the Drop-off details via right side pane (same screen when scheduling the Drop-off).
- Mark as No Show – gray out the patient name with a strikethrough and document the patient never showed up. The Available Drop-offs count at the top of the day will automatically recalculate and you can always undo this action by clicking the 3-dot menu > ‘Mark as Shown’.
- Cancel – move to the bottom of the column’s cancelled section and recalculate the number of available Drop-offs at the top of the day. You can always undo this action by clicking the 3-dot menu again and selecting ‘Reschedule.
📆 Appointment Cards Cheat Sheet
Appointment Cards scheduled on the calendar are displayed differently based on the status of the appointment.
- Scheduled appointments will have the corresponding Appointment Type’s color on the left-side of the card:
- Once the patient is checked in, the entire card will be bordered with the appt type’s color:
- Appointments marked as a No Show are inactive with ‘No Show’ at the top of the card. The patient name is also struck out:
- Appointments with start times in the past will be grayed out:
⚙️ Calendar Admin
Any user with the ‘admin_calendars’ permission will have access to the ‘Calendar’ category within the Admin screen. This is where you can create/edit Appointment Types, Appointment Templates, Staff Groups, and Event Calendars. Please see our EMR Administration Guide for more details!