The steps below will demonstrate multiple patient scheduling and teach you all the tools you need to find the best openings for them quickly.
Find the First Patient.
When a caller wants to schedule two siblings or any two patients at the same time, the first step is to find the first patient. Run
sam and enter the patient’s name as described in the sections above.
Add Additional Patients
After finding the first patient, press one of the following two keys on the SAM Search Criteria screen:
F3 – Find
Press F3 if you wish to find an additional patient by name, birth date, or other identification. You will see the standard Partner find routines, where you can find any patient or add a new patient. If you are scheduling the same patient for multiple providers, you can press F2 – Use Last Patient from the find screen to select the current patient a second time.
F5 – Next Relation
Use F5 to add a relation of the current patient. A relation is any patient who shares the same custodian as the currently listed patient. You will see a list of all patients who share the current patient’s custodian.
When you have several patients on the screen, the SAM Search Criteria screen will list them all at the top:
Review Patient Information
You can use the check box at the left to select each patient. Press the left arrow key to enter the box, and then arrow up and down to choose a different patient. The information window in the middle of the screen will change to reveal info for the chosen patient. If the caller is making appointments for physicals, for example, you can verify each of the patients’ last physical date before scheduling.
If you added a patient by mistake, you can remove them from the list by selecting them and pressing F8 – Clear.
Fill Out Criteria.
Fill out the Visit Reason and Provider fields for each patient. Note that an initial next to the Provider field indicates the patient’s primary care provider. You can select each patient and use F6 – Demographics if any changes need to be made.
Note: You can specify exactly which provider each sibling should see, or you can use provider groups. If you use a provider group, such as “any”,
sam will attempt to find times when both patients can see the same provider.
Enter Time Frame
Enter a time frame and press F1 – Schedule to find open appointment times.
Note: If you are scheduling multiple patients for more than one provider, the default search is for “serial” appointments;
sam assumes that you do not want the visits to overlap. A parent would want to attend the physicals of each child, for example, even if the visits were with two different providers. You can add the time frame of “concurrent” if the caller does not mind having their patients in two different rooms at the same time or if you are scheduling one patient for a simultaneous two-provider visit.
Select the Best Appointment Times
As with one patient,
sam will next show you the Normal View:
The middle row shows you the first available times for the first child based on the time frame you entered. The top of the screen will display what time is held for each of the other patients.
sam carefully selects available time slots in which all of the listed patients can fit. If you see any offerings, you can trust that all of the patients will fit into the schedule at that time. The Normal View’s columns and rows, however, can only show time selection and provider for one patient.
Always look at the top of the screen when offering times to the caller. The listed times are held by
sam, and pressing F1 – Schedule will begin confirming those times for the patients listed.
Optionally, check the Patient View.
If you wish to see one column for each patient, press F7 – Patient View. The Patient View option only appears when scheduling multiple patients. It will show you columns for each patient you are scheduling and allow you to see existing appointments surrounding the selected time. If you are scheduling for more than one provider, the Patient View helps you understand each providers’ schedule for the selected day and time.
You can move from left to right to select a different patient. Use F3 – Previous Available and F4 – Next Available to scroll to other possible openings in the selected day with the selected provider.
sam will continue to calculate the best available times to bring in all of the patients listed. You can return to the Normal View by pressing F8 – Normal View. The Normal View picks times for you for all patients and lets you move from day to day, but the Patient View helps you understand exactly where the visits will land during the selected day.
Schedule and Confirm the Appointment.
Whatever view is on your screen, press F1 – Schedule Appt to begin confirming the appointments. Remember that the times and providers you are confirming are always shown at the top of the screen. Read the section below for full details on how to confirm appointments.
One Patient for Two Providers: Do you ever schedule one patient for two different providers at the same time? Does your doctor need a translator, or do you need both a doctor and a nurse practitioner present during certain visits? Use the multiple patient features described below to find the same patient twice and schedule time with two different providers concurrently.
Force a Specific Day and Time: Do you want to use the Day View to force multiple patients into a day that is not offered on the Normal View? You can, but remember that the Day View only selects a single date, time, and provider. If you use the Day View to force in multiple patients, you will be booking back-to-back visits for the same provider starting at the selected time. If that is not what you want, use the Patient View or schedule each patient separately. As mentioned above, always review your selection at the top of the screen before confirming the appointments.