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).
📆 Appointment Calendar List View
Calendar appointments can also be viewed and sorted in a List View.
To view calendar appointments as a list, select a Staff Group from the dropdown.
💡 Important Note: The List View toggle will only display when a calendar group is selected.
Once a Staff Group is selected, the toggle for List View will appear in the left menu. Click the toggle to turn List View ON. When List View toggle is ON, the “Find Appt Time” and “Only Available” options are disabled.
📃 List View Display
Scheduled appointments will display in list format:
A red arrow will display next to appointments during their scheduled time block:
Past appointments will display in gray and appear inactive:
🚦 Patient’s Appointment Status
A sortable Status column will display next to the Time:
If the patient is checked in to their most recent visit and their appointment is active, the status column will show the Checked-in icon:
If the patient is checked in to their most recent visit and their appointment is marked as canceled, the status column will show the Canceled icon:
If the patient is checked out of their most recent visit and their appointment is active, the status column will be empty and no icon will display:
If the patient is checked out of their most recent visit and their appointment is marked as no show, the status column will show the No Show icon.
🔼 List View Column Sorting
- By default, the List View is sorted chronologically by Time. Each time you navigate back to the List View, the sorting will reset to this default sorting.
- Dropoff appointments are considered a 7:00A appointment time. They will be sorted with the other appointments based on a 7:00A arrival time.
- You may sort up to 2 columns at a time, however the secondary sort column will always be the Time column.
- For example, you can select to sort by the Provider column A-Z. This sorts the appointment list by provider A-Z and all appointments for each provider have a secondary sort by Time.
Columns available to sort:
- Default sorting
- Sorts appointments chronologically by appointment Time.
- Sorts appointments by Status and then Time.
- Sorts appointments by Patient name and then Time.
- Sorts appointments by Client last name and then Time.
- Sorts appointments by Provider and then Time.
- Sorts appointments by Service and then Time.
- Sorts appointments by Type and then Time.
You can reset sort options (except Time) by selecting the up/down arrows until the column sorting is no longer active. Selecting the up/down arrows changes the sorting from ascending, to descending, and then removes the sorting. Sorting may be removed from all columns except the Time column.
Sorted by Provider then Time
✏️ Editing Appointments from List View
To edit an appointment while in List View:
- Hover over patient’s name
- Click the 3-dot menu when it appears
Users without the calendar_manage_appointments permission will only have the option to check-in/check-out.
🗓 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.
Availability Notes can be added or edited from the 3-dot menu next to the Availability block on the Appointment Calendar.
📆 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.
- Choose Timeslot will display at the top with a step indicator that shows you are on Step 1 of 2.
- The Location, Provider, Type, Start and Duration fields will be the only fields that will display in Step 1.
- If you schedule a new appointment using the 3-dot menu in an Availability Block, and the selected provider is available during the chosen Start date and time, the Finish Details header will display and indicate you are on Step 2 of 2.
- The Reason for Visit, Service, Appt Notes field and Reminder Toggle will display to allow you to move forward with booking the appointment.
Doublebooking warning: If a provider has another appointment scheduled during the date and time selected while scheduling a new or editing an existing appointment, a message will display during Step 1 of 2 that says “It looks like the selected timeslot has been taken. Scheduling this appointment may create a conflict in the calendar. Do you want to continue to schedule?“
No availability warning: If you attempt to schedule an appointment for a date and time that the provider does not have availability in the calendar, a message will display during Step 1 of 2 that says “The selected timeslot is outside of the chosen provider’s availability. Please confirm with the provider that they will be available. Do you want to continue to schedule?“
Clicking the checkmark allows booking multiple appointments for the provider during the same time or allows scheduling an appointment outside of the provider’s availability.
Clicking the X closes the warning message and you will remain on Step 1 to choose another date and/or time.
To view appointment details, simply hover over the appointment block and a pop-up will appear as shown below”
Editing Existing Appointments
When editing an existing appointment, the step indicator will not display.
If the start date and/or time are edited, the system will perform a check to see if the new date and time conflict with another appointment or if it is outside the provider’s availability.
Conflict warning messages will display if there is a conflict and you can confirm the appointment or select another date and/or time.
📓 Please Note: If a patient is marked Deceased and has upcoming appointments, drop-offs, and/or any scheduled reminders, Instinct will automatically cancel the Appointment and it will move to the Cancelled section on the Appointment Calendar.
⏰ Appointment Reminders
When setting up an appointment or drop-off, 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.
Drop-Off Reminders are based on a 7:00am start time on the day of the scheduled drop-off. The toggle will only be available for same-day drop-offs if it is created or updated before 7 am on that day.
📨 Opt-Out for Email NotificationsClients have the option to Opt-Out of email notifications. You will also be able to turn off email notifications directly from the Account edit screen.
A bell icon with an X will indicate an email has opted-out of notifications.
✅ Appointment & Drop-off Confirmation
Appointments and drop-offs can be marked as Confirmed or Unconfirmed and are represented visually in the calendar by the band and a confirmation check mark.
When a new appointment or drop-off is scheduled, it is created in an Unconfirmed state. This is represented as a striped band on the left side of the calendar card in the corresponding Appointment Type color. The striped band on drop-offs will always be black regardless of Appointment Type.
Once an appointment has been confirmed, click the 3-dot menu next to the appointment and “Mark as Confirmed”.
Once an appointment or drop-off is marked as Confirmed, the striped band changes to a solid band. There is also a confirmation check mark that is shown beneath the appointment time.
The 3-dot menu option then changes to “Mark as Unconfirmed”, which would revert the calendar card to a striped band with no confirmed icon.
Regardless of confirmation state, if a patient for a scheduled appointment or drop-off is checked in, the band is changed to a solid color and a colored border is placed around the card. Marking as Confirmed or Unconfirmed while the patient is checked in will just show or hide the confirmation check mark.
In List View when an appointment or drop-off is marked as Confirmed, the confirmation check mark is present under the Status column.
🔎 Appointment Search
To search for all current and future appointments and drop-offs for a patient, navigate to the Business Office under Appointments and click on Find Appt.
Clicking the Find Appt button opens the Appointment Search panel on the right side which allows you to lookup specific patients and list their current and upcoming appointments/drop-offs.
Once you have selected the patient from the search results, a list of all current and upcoming appointments are listed in the panel. The list updates automatically so new appointments or drop-offs are reflected on the list immediately. Past appointments, cancellations, or no shows will not display on the list.
Appointments or drop-offs in the list have a 3-dot menu that can be used to edit the appointment/drop-off or view the appointment/drop-off in the calendar. A tooltip text will appear when hovering over the Appointment to show more details.
When scheduling or editing an Appointment, if you try to open the Comm Log before you’ve saved changes to your Appointment, you will get a pop up box warning you that you will lose your changes. Click on Cancel to get back to your Appointment to click Save.
🕖 Upcoming Appointments on the Patient Info Bar
Both Checked In and Checked Out Patients will display up to 3 Appointments in the Upcoming Appointments section, located below the Patient section of the Patient Info Bar.
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 (note that the colored bored will only appear if that patient was checked in):
🪦 Upcoming Appointments for Deceased Patients
Instinct will now automatically cancel upcoming appointments, drop-offs, and/or any scheduled reminders for any patient that is marked as Deceased moving forward. The appointment will automatically move to the Cancelled section of the Appointment Calendar.
📝 Please Note: Appointments and Drop-offs scheduled for a future time, within 4 hours of marking the patient as deceased, will not be canceled.
Reminders for Deceased patients will remain scheduled but will not be sent. The Reminder icon will display until after its scheduled time, then you will see an indication that the reminder was not sent.
⚙️ 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!
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