Help : Calendar and Scheduling

MD HQ Calendar/Schedule View

The calendar and scheduling page contains a full set of event and task management functions. The calendar itself may be viewed by month, week, or day (going hour-by-hour or all the way down to 15-minute intervals), using the Calendar Options controls. The view may also be limited to include only certain users' schedules.

Event types, which are configurable at the practice level, are color-coded, making it easy to get a detailed view of the schedule at a glance.

Help: Viewing Calendars and Scheduling

Viewing Calendars and Schedules

To view your calendar, click on the Scheduling menu in the top bar and choose Go To Scheduling. The main calendar pane will take up the main part of the page, flanked on the left by two additional calendar blocks: a monthly calendar and your calendar options.

Calendar Options

Screen shot calendar optionsThe Calendar Options block lets you customize your calendar pane view by  time interval and by user. It also lets you save a default view.

The Day, Week, and Month tabs on the right side of the Calendar Options block allow you to change your calendar view between the three options with a click. The drop down menu in the top right of the Calendar Options block allows you to change the time interval displayed on the calendar. The interval options range from 10 to 60 minute increments.

The calendar pane will allow you to see your own calendar as well as those for other users in your practice. To add or subtract a user's calendar to view, check or uncheck the desired name in the main body of the Calendar Options block.

Save your desired default view (whose schedule and what time interval of the day you would like to see when you log in) by selecting desired options and then clicking the save icon on the top right of the Calendar Options block.

Navigating through Time

To access the schedule in the future or past, use the monthly calendar block at the top left of the screen to navigate to your preferred date. The double arrows on each side of the month name will move you backwards or forwards in time. In addition, the year dates at the bottom of the pane will jump you to the year you select. Clicking the “Today” button will bring you back to the current month and day.

Once you have selected the time period you would like to review, click the desired date within the monthly calendar to view it in the main calendar pane.

Help: Add/Edit Event

There are four ways to add a new event to the calendar:

  • Click on any open time slot in the week or day view of the open calendar block, or click on a day's header in month view;
  • Select Add Event for Today from the Scheduling drop down menu; or
  • With a patient's chart open, select Schedule Event for the Pt from the Scheduling drop down menu.
  • From the Patient Portal Queue, click on the yellow helper button to the right of an appointment request to add the appointment.

Any of these actions will bring up the Schedule New Event in Calendar pop-up.

Screen shot schedule event pop upTitle (free text box) – provide a short title to be displayed on the calendar.

Type (drop down) – select the type of event. This will color code the event on the calendar based on the schedule types loaded in your system. Depending on your settings, certain appointment types (e.g., "In-Office Schedule," "On-Phones Schedule) may determine the availability that patient's see when requesting appointments via the Portal.

Event Details (free text box) – a place for additional detail not contained in the title.

This appointment is for: (search box) – this brings up a search box to associate a patient with the event, if desired. Once a patient is associated with the event, two options pop-up to the right to send an email notice and/or an appointment reminder to the patient.

Email Notice and Reminder (pop-up) – click the applicable check box(es) to send an email confirmation and/or an appointment reminder email to the patient's email address on file.

An email notice will be sent as soon as you click "+Add New Event." A reminder will be sent the specified number of hours before the appointment.

Edit the email subject and message to the patient as needed. Your email will automatically include the date, time, provider and appointment type. To save your email subject and message as the default for all appointment email notices or reminders, respectively, check the box at the bottom of the pop-up called 'Save as initial notice email default'.

For Reminders, specify the number of hours before the appoinment that the email should be sent using the drop down menu at the bottom of the Reminders pop up.

Note: you may also use Chart Parts to create multiple different default emails. Once you have created the desired email Chart Part(s) (via Admin --> Manage --> Chart Parts), type in the email message area to search for the desired Chart Part name or nickname, then select to insert default text and edit as needed.

Note: email notice and reminder will be sent by regular email, not as a secure message via the Patient Portal - do not include Protected Health Information in your message.

From/Until (calendar dates) – the start and end date and time. These can be specified by typing manually or by using the calendar pop-out.

Recurrence (checkbox) – allows for repeating events. Checking the box will bring up a set of drop down menus to set the recurrence frequency. The first specifies how many and the second specifies the time period. For example, the first could be set to 'every 2' and the second to 'week(s)' for an event that happens every other week.

Applies to (checkboxes) – allows different users to be assigned to the event. This event will show up in the selected users calendars.

When finished, click the green +Add New Event button to schedule the event (and send an email notice, if that checkbox was selected).

Clicking on an existing event brings up the Edit/Delete pop-up, which is the same as the Schedule New event pop-up, except that the buttons at the bottom allow you to Edit or Delete the existing entry.

Help: Setting Work Schedules

Work schedules can be used to specify things like office hours and on-call hours for internal use, as well as to set which hours are available for online appointment scheduling via the Patient Portal. For practices with this feature enabled, you can also specify which appointment types are available during specified periods.

To set office hours or on phones hours:

  • Click any open time to open the Schedule New Event pop-out and set the appointment type to In-Office Schedule (or On Phones Schedule, if this is one of your appointment types) OR
  • Click on the Work Schedule icon in the upper right-hand corner of the calendar when in DAY view.

This will direct you to a Who is Available? pop-up.

Screen shot Who is Available? pop upCheck who will be available (check boxes) – this lets you select the users associated with the work schedule. Work schedules can be associated with everyone within the practice, an individual provider, or any combination of providers. If you allow patients to request online appointments through the patient portal, this will set the available hours for providers associated with the schedule.

Check What Visit Types (checkboxes) – if this feature is enabled on your build (contact us to set it up), it allows you to set which appointment types are available during the scheduled period. This determines what patients are able to schedule during the specified period (but NOT what you may internally schedule via the calendar/scheduling page - allowed visit types are informational only on the EMR-side).

Help with creating your list of work-schedule visit types found here.

Title (free text field) – the title automatically populates with the event types available (or Allow: Available if all event types are selected), but the text may be edited. The title will appear as the name of the calendar event on the background of the calendar pane. Including allowed appointment types in the title is useful for seeing at a glance what patients may schedule via the Portal during specified hours, as well as for internal informational purposes in multi-user practices.

Event Details (free text field) – a place to add additional details to the event. The details will appear when the event is hovered over in the calendar pane.

Event Recurs (drop down menus) – allows users to set a recurrence for the event. The current recurrence tool allows for a repeat every day, week, or month. So, to set recurring office hours, e.g., M-F, you would need to create weekly recurring work schedules for each day of the work week.

From/Until (calendar dates) – the start and end date and time. The time can be specified by typing manually or by using the calendar pop-out.

Click the green +Add Work Schedule button to schedule the event.

To edit an existing work schedule, right-click on the schedule in the calendar pane and choose Edit. This brings up an identical pop-up to the one used for creating work schedules, except for the buttons at the bottom let you edit or delete the event. For recurring events, you may edit ONE occurrence, delete ONE occurrence, or delete ALL occurrences.

Help: Creating Work-Schedule Types

There are three different lists of schedule/appointment types within MD HQ:

  1. The list of appointment types shown in the appointment type drop down menu when you add a new appointment to the calendar. These are color coded in the schedule and are primarily used for internal informational purposes, but will also be shown to the Patient (a) in an appointment confirmation email or appointment reminder email, if you choose to send these to the patient, and/or (b) on the Patient Portal, as part of the information shown to the patient for an upcoming appointment. Contact us to change your basic list of appointment types.
  2. Your list of work-schedule types (if this setting is enabled on your build). Work-schedules are used to set office hours (or on-call hours) and are displayed in the background in the calendar week and day view. You can restrict which types of appointments can be scheduled during different office hours using work-schedule types. If this feature does not currently appear for you, please contact us to enable it.
  3. The list of appointment types used to categorize encounter notes. This is often very similar to, or a simplified version of, the basic list of appointment types shown when you schedule a new appointment on the calendar. Contact us to change the appointment types used to categorize encounter notes.

You can set up the work-schedule types that you want to use to specify which types of appointments should be available during specified office hours. The following help information guides you through that process.

To add a work-schedule type, go the the Admin drop down menu, select Manage, select Schedule Types. This will bring up a Manage Schedule Type pop-up. Select the green +Add New Schedule Type button.

Screen shot add schedule typeAppointment Type (free text field) – this will be the name of the appointment type shown on your schedule for administrative use. Often, practices use short-hand to save space and decrease visual clutter when many different appointment types are used. For example, O30 for a thirty-minute office visit.

Appointment Name on Portal (free text field) – this will be the name of the appointment type shown on the patient portal . Use something easily understandable by patients, such as Office Visit – 30 Minutes.

Default Length of Appointment (# of minutes) – this will block out a specific number of minutes on the calendar when the appointment is scheduled.

Color (color swatch) – each appointment type must be assigned a different color within the system. Clicking the color button will bring up a color choice pop-up where you can choose a color by picking a swatch, choosing the color picker, or loading in RGB values.

Providers who use this appointment Type (list) – this lets you specify which providers use the appointment type (for multi-provider practices where different providers have different appointment types available). These selections do not limit what can be scheduled within the EMR.

Allow Pts to Schedule on Portal (checkbox) – checking this box makes the appointment type available for patients to request on the patient portal.

Description of appointment type (notes field) – a description for administrative use.

Patient message (notes field) – an optional description for patients to view in the patient portal about the appointment type.

Click the green +Add Schedule Type Entry button to create the schedule type and make it available as an appointment type that may be set to be available when setting work-schedule/office hours.

Help: Patient Scheduling through the Portal

MD HQ users have the option to allow patients to request appointments through the Patient Portal. There are various ways this can be set up, including:

  • Simply allowing patients to send a request for a certain date and a morning or afternoon visit, without displaying calendar availability.
  • Allowing patients request a particular appointment date and time based on calendar availability.

This help page describes how patient appointment requests work if your set up allows them to request a particular appointment date and time based on calendar availability.

Set Up for Patient Appointment Requests

For patients to access schedule availabilities, you must first set your in-office work schedules. Work-schedule hours will be shown as available, except where there are conflicting appointments already in the calendar.

To limit which appointment types can be scheduled at different times, this feature must be enabled on your build (contact us to set this up) and you must create different work-schedule types, during which different appointment types may be scheduled, then set your in-office work schedules using these work-schedule types. This may be used to limit, for example, phone visits to afternoon hours or house calls to one day a week.

What Patients See

When requesting an appointment via the Patient Portal, patients will first select the provider they would like to see. Then, if applicable, they select the appointment type. They will then be shown a list of dates when there is some availability for the provider (and, if applicable, appointment type requested) and, once a date is selected, the available hours in that day. There is also a space for patients to add notes to their request.

Scheduling Appointment Requests

Screenshot Patient Schedule RequestWhen a patient requests an appointment, the request arrives in the Patient Portal Queue within MD HQ.

At this point, a user needs to respond to the request within the Patient Portal Queue. The request will have a yellow Add an Appointment button that brings up a Schedule New Event pop-up with the patient's request pre-loaded into the event. Make any changes necessary and click Add New Event to schedule the event. Note that the appointment time will not be reserved and will still be shown as available on the Patient Portal until the appointment is added into the calendar.

Once the event is scheduled, users should archive the request in the Patient Portal Queue by clicking the green or red x.

Help: Calendar Sync

Calendar Sync creates an iCal feed that can be used to show your MD HQ schedule in other major calendar software, including Google Calendar (via computer or on Android phones or tablets), Yahoo! Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and iOS devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad). Once you've added the iCal feed, your MD HQ schedule will be viewable in the external calendar program and will automatically update to reflect scheduling changes in the EMR.

The iCal feed is uni-directional, meaning that you can view your MD HQ schedule, but any edits made in the external calendar will not show up in the EMR and may be overwritten by the iCal feed (or you may be prevented from making edits on that end).

Only events that apply to you in the EMR will be transmitted via your iCal feed.

How to Get a Link to Your iCal Feed

The first step is to get a link to your personal iCal feed. To do this, go to the Scheduling drop down menu in the EMR and click on Calendar Sync URL. This will generate a link your personal MD HQ calendar. Copy this link and provide it as the calendar source when prompted by your calendar program.

Adding your iCal Feed to iOS Devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.)

  1. On your iOS device, go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Add Account
  2. Select Other -> Add Subscribed Calendar
  3. In the Server prompt, paste in the URL of your personal calendar feed (see How to Get a Link to Your iCal Feed, above)
  4. Touch Save

Adding your iCal Feed to Google Calendar or Android Device

For Android devices, you simply need to add the calendar to the Google account that is associated with your phone/tablet. To do this:

  1. Using any device, go to your Google Calendar: https://www.google.com/calendar/
  2. On the left side of the page find "Other Calendars" and click the small arrow to the right of the text
  3. Select "Add by URL"
  4. In the "Add by URL" prompt, paste in the URL of your personal calendar feed (see How to Get a Link to Your iCal Feed, above)

Note: Google Calendar does not synchronize as often as other calendars, so new events and edits to existing events in the EMR may not show up in your Google Calendar for up to 24 hours.


Adding your iCal Feed to Microsoft Outlook

Note: the instructions are different for different versions of Microsoft Outlook:

Outlook 2007

Outlook 2010

Outlook.com (Web version)

 

Adding your iCal Feed to Yahoo! Calendar

  1. Go to https://www.calendar.yahoo.com/ and sign in with your Yahoo! username and password.
  2. Click the cog next to "Subscribed" in the bottom left side of the screen.
  3. Select "Subscribe to Other Calendars".
  4. Give the calendar a name (MD HQ Calendar, e.g.) and paste in the URL of your iCal feed (see How to Get a Link to Your iCal Feed, above).