The Appointment Book is a visual scheduler in PCC EHR. You can use it to schedule appointments, review and make changes to providers’ schedules, and place scheduling blocks.
Watch a Video: You can learn about the Appointment Book by watching the Appointment Book video series. Click here.
Ongoing Development: PCC announces new Appointment Book functionality with each PCC release. If you want to consider transitioning your practice to the Appointment Book, talk to your PCC Client Advocate.
- 1 Open and Review Your Appointment Book
- 2 Schedule an Appointment
- 3 Appointment Book Features
- 3.1 Open the Appointment Book Automatically
- 3.2 Scale the Appointment Book to See More of Your Day
- 3.3 Color-Code Your Schedule by Visit Type
- 3.4 Multiple Schedulers Can Work Simultaneously
- 3.5 Dynamic Use of Available Time Prevents Over-Booking
- 3.6 See Overbooked Time Slots At-A-Glance
- 3.7 See Patient and Account Alerts As You Schedule
- 4 Reschedule an Appointment
- 5 Place a Scheduling Block
- 6 Appointment History
Open and Review Your Appointment Book
You can access the Appointment Book from the File menu, where it opens a window on top of PCC EHR.
You can move the window around, and if your screen is large enough, keep both windows open at the same time. You can also toggle between PCC applications by using the File menu or the keyboard commands for your operating system.
Days in the past are shaded with a dotted pattern, which appears much like a curtain over the days. Today’s column will include a blue header, and a blue line will appear down the left side of the day, clearly dividing the past from the present.
If your practice chooses to assign Visit Types, you may see color-coded guidance on the calendar to help schedulers see when certain types of appointments should be scheduled. You may also see colored stripes on the left of scheduled visits, indicating the actual visit type.
When you click on a time slot in the calendar that has open space, the Appointment Book will assume that you are attempting to schedule, and will select the available appointment space.
Any appointments scheduled within the selected block of time will appear on the left side of the screen, accordion-style.
You can click on each scheduled appointment, either in the accordion or on the appointment grid to see details for that appointment.
Schedule an Appointment
Use the Appointment Book to schedule for a specific provider, or peruse the schedule to see which provider is available at the desired time.
Choose Your Location and Provider
The Appointment Book remembers which location and provider you last scheduled for and opens your calendar to those settings. You can change these settings at any time during the scheduling process to expand your options.
Find the Patient
Use the Patient Name field to search for the patient you are scheduling for. If it is a patient whose chart you’ve recently accessed, you can select their name from the drop-down list.
Clicking the “x” in the Patient Name search field will clear the patient but not the slot.
When you click on the patient’s name within the search field, you will see a drop-down displaying their most recent vitals and who their primary care provider is.
Optional:Review and Update Patient Details
Depending on your practice’s workflow, the Patient Details window may open automatically when you select the patient. You can also click the “Details” button to see it. You can use this customizable ribbon to verify and update items in the patient’s chart right as you schedule.
Click “Edit” to add or edit information.
Click “Save + Exit” to commit your edits and proceed to the scheduling screen.
Select a Visit Reason
Once you have selected your patient and verified their information, you can pick a visit reason and optionally adjust visit length or enter an appointment note.
Find an Open Time in the Schedule
Click anywhere on the grid to pick an appointment time. If your practice uses color-coded visit type guidance, you can match the swatch shown next to the visit reason with a block of time on the grid.
You can use the calendar tool to pick a different day, if needed.
If there’s an obstacle in the calendar, an error message will display in the scheduling panel.
Click on another block of time within the grid to change your selection.
Pick the Appointment Time First?: If you prefer, you can click directly on the grid to select an open appointment time and then find a patient and enter visit information. Either order works.
Save the Appointment
Click “Save” to confirm the appointment. The details of the new appointment will be shown on the left side of the screen.
Check Availability for All Providers
When a patient needs an appointment right away, it’s helpful to see availability for all of your providers at one time.
If you are trying to schedule an appointment and the provider is not available, you can click on the “Day” button to see if any of your other providers are available at the desired time.
You can also get to the same view by selecting “All” from the Provider drop-down field.
If you don’t already have a day selected, the current day will be displayed.
Appointment Book Features
The Appointment Book includes several built-in features to keep your practice’s scheduling going smoothly and efficiently.
Open the Appointment Book Automatically
Users can choose to have the Appointment Book launch automatically every time they log in.
Set individual preferences in the My Account tool from the File menu.
Scale the Appointment Book to See More of Your Day
Adjust the scale slider in the upper-right corner of the Appointment Book to adjust how much of the day appears on your screen.
You can “zoom out” to see more of the day and find open time slots.
PCC EHR will remember your preferred scale, even if you log out.
Color-Code Your Schedule by Visit Type
On a busy schedule, you need to save time slots for sick visits and other types of visits that are scheduled late. You may also want to let schedulers know that some visit types need to be scheduled with specific providers or only on certain days.
If your practice chooses to use color-coded visit types, the Visit Reason drop-down field in the Schedule Appointment panel will include color swatches next to each reason that is part of a designated visit type.
This will help schedulers to find a time slot on the appointment grid that matches the color of the visit type they are scheduling.
Your practice can include color blocks on your scheduling templates to give guidance to schedulers about where to place certain types of visits. In addition, visit bubbles display a stripe down the left to show the visit reason color of the actual visit, whether it matches the guidance in the background or not.
Users will not be prevented from placing appointments of one visit type on a time slot reserved for a different visit type.
For details about using color coding to set up visit types and for help with assigning list type guidance to scheduling templates, read the Appointment Book configuration article on learn.pcc.com.
Multiple Schedulers Can Work Simultaneously
As you schedule in PCC EHR’s Appointment Book, you will be able to see other users who are setting up appointments at the same time.
If another scheduler has selected a time slot on the calendar, it will appear on your screen with an ellipsis and the name of the scheduler.
Only the specific amount of time needed for the length of the appointment will be held. For example, if a 5-minute visit is being scheduled within a 15-minute time slot, other schedulers will be able to use the remaining 10 minutes simultaneously.
If you hold a time slot, the Appointment Book will continue to hold it if you open the patient’s chart, visit another tab, or perform another action. As long as the time slot remains selected, the Appointment Book will hold the time for you.
If you want to free up the cell you are holding, or if you are in the Appointment Book but do not wish to hold a specific cell, you can click the “Clear” button.
If you have permission to force in appointments, you can override your co-worker’s hold on a time slot.
Dynamic Use of Available Time Prevents Over-Booking
The Appointment Book will automatically accomodate longer appointments and, if necessary, fill time into the next cell.
Appointments will only borrow from the next time slot if there is sufficient time available. It will never change the start time of other appointments.
See Overbooked Time Slots At-A-Glance
If there is no room to push longer appointments into the next cell, you will need to have “force” permission to overbook a cell.
Overbooked appointments will stack side-by-side or one on top of the other. When a timeslot is overbooked or double-booked, you’ll see a patterned background indicating that the time is overstuffed.
You can use this visual indicator to quickly understand all the places where the day will be extra busy.
See Patient and Account Alerts As You Schedule
PCC’s Appointment Book can alert you to any important patient or account statuses, right after you select the patient to schedule. Your front desk staff will know immediately whether to schedule the patient, or if something else needs to happen first.
When you find a patient in the Appointment Book who meets the criteria for a scheduling alert, the alert will appear over the scheduling screen as soon as you select that patient.
You can click “Continue” to ignore the alert and schedule the appointment.
Reschedule an Appointment
When you need to reschedule an appointment, select it within the calendar grid and click “Reschedule” from the appointment panel on the left.
You can make any edits needed in the Schedule Appointment panel, or just click on a new time within the grid to move the appointment. You can use the calendar tool if you need to move the appointment to a later week.
If the patient’s family wants to reschedule for a time the provider is not free, you can select “All” from the Provider drop-down menu to see if anyone else is available.
When you have chosen the new time and/or provider for the appointment, click “Save” to confirm and save your changes.
Place a Scheduling Block
Click the Add Block tab to work with scheduling blocks. You can create a block just as you would schedule a patient.
First, enter a title in the Block Reason field or select a previously used reason from the drop-down, and then select the length of time for the block.
Select the area of the calendar to block out and click “Save”.
What About Changes to the Doctor's Schedule?: You can block time anywhere on the schedule for a single day. To change a provider’s schedule for a day or manage their available time, use the Provider Hours configuration tool.
The Appointment History component displays all of a patient’s appointments and includes tools for making changes.
Your practice can add the Appointment History component to your Medical Summary, as well as chart and phone note protocols.
You can review a patient’s past appointments while charting, and can click to reschedule or remove upcoming appointments.
For example, you may have taken a call and opened a new phone note indicating the patient needs to reschedule. While recording the phone note, you can select the appointment on the Appointment History component and click “Reschedule”. PCC EHR will open the Appointment Book to the scheduled time. You can work with the family to choose a new time and/or clinician for the appointment.
Un-Cancel a Canceled Appointment
You can use the Appointment History component to reverse appointment cancelation.
Highlight the canceled appointment and click the new “Restore” button.
The “Restore” button replaces the “Remove” button when a canceled appointment is selected.
The Details option in the component will show that the appointment was removed and restored.