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 Smart Scheduling Features
- 3.5 Multiple Schedulers Can Work Simultaneously
- 3.6 Dynamic Use of Available Time Prevents Over-Booking
- 3.7 See Overbooked Time Slots At-A-Glance
- 3.8 See Patient and Account Alerts As You Schedule
- 4 Remove or Cancel an Appointment
- 5 Reschedule an Appointment
- 6 Edit Appointment Details
- 7 Place a Scheduling Block
- 8 Appointment History
- 9 Appointment Reporting
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 tools 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.
Smart Scheduling Features: Read the Smart Scheduling Features section below to see alternative ways to search the calendar at your practice. The calendar browsing feature also makes it easy to jump to future dates for visual scheduling.
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.
Smart Scheduling Features
Often when scheduling, parents don’t ask for a specific date, but will inquire what you have tomorrow, or in two weeks, or three months. You can use smart scheduling terminology when searching the calendar at your practice. Alternatively, you can use the calendar browsing feature to jump to future dates for visual scheduling.
Enter Dates and Times to Search for Appointments
The date and time search boxes offer a few different ways to search for appointments. You can enter a specific date, use the drop-down options, or enter shorthand text. For example, you could enter the first three letters of a month, the letter “T” for today, or “2 weeks”, and the date that corresponds with your search command will appear.
The calendar will use hashmarks and highlighting to focus the date and time selected in the search fields.
You can select from pre-configured drop-down options in both the date and time fields. For example, if you have a patient selected and choose the “next physical due” option, the date that they are due for a physical, as well as the age they will be on that date will populate the date field.
If you select “beginning of day” or “end of day” in the Time search field, you will be taken to the first or last time slot that the provider has hours that day.
Use Calendar Search Window to Jump to Any Day
If you prefer a more visual approach to scheduling, you can use the calendar window to schedule. This will show you six months into the future, making it easy to find the day you need.
The calendar shows you the provider hours for the selected provider and location. Click on any day within the search window to jump to that day in the Appointment Book.
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.
Remove or Cancel an Appointment
When you need to cancel an appointment, select it within the calendar grid and click “Remove”.
Select a reason that the appointment is being canceled and click “Remove”.
Reschedule an Appointment
When you need to change the date and/or time of an appointment, select it within the calendar grid and click “Reschedule”.
The appointment will move to the “Reschedule Appointment” tab.
Select a new appointment time and click “Save” to continue.
Edit Appointment Details
Sometimes you need to edit appointment details without changing the appointment time. For example, a well visit might turn into a sick visit, or the length of an appointment could need to be extended.
You can make changes to the details of an appointment that has already been scheduled in the Appointment Book, without having to reschedule it.
Click “Edit” to change the visit reason, duration, and/or the appointment note.
Make changes in the Edit Appointment window and click “Save” to continue.
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.
You can use the Report Library to run reports that might be useful for scheduling or otherwise managing appointments.
Find Forced Appointments
Use the “Forced Appointments” report to find all appointments that have been forced into the schedule.
If your practice has a habit of double-booking appointments, or you need to understand when your providers are most often over-booked, you can review the Find Forced Appointment list to get the data you need to make adjustments.
Create Daily “Huddle” List for Your Morning Meeting
Use the new “Huddle Sheet” report to generate a list of all appointments on a date or range of dates that you can use to prepare for the day.
When you meet together in the morning, your staff can use the information on the Huddle Sheet report to review special circumstances for each patient or family and plan accordingly.
Create Custom Appointment Reports
Appointments report provides all the filters you need to create custom appointment-based reports.