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Setting up the Schedule Ability

This guide will cover the basic set up for the Schedule Ability for a new office. We'll review configuring the Resources that make up your schedule, touch on a few Preferences to start with, then discuss Appointment Types and Appointment Status. Finally, we'll talk about configuring how you can adjust the appearance of your scheduled blocks in the Appointment Display node.

If you are setting up MacPractice for a new office, we recommend visiting our New Office and Admin Orientation section in Guided Learning first.

If you're looking for an article more geared towards using the Schedule, please refer to our "How To Use the Schedule Ability" article here.

Configuring Resources
First, you'll want to navigate to the Schedule Ability. Once there, click on and expand the Resources node by clicking on the triangle icon to the left of the node.

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A Resource is essentially a column of your schedule. These columns can represent a particular Provider, a Room, a piece of Equipment or anything else you wish to schedule for. You can schedule appointments inside a Resource, and you can adjust a Resource to only allow appointments during a specified time, such as your practice's operating hours.

To add a Resource, simply click the green plus in the sidebar with the Resources node selected.
You'll note that three field names are in red, as shown in the above screenshot. These indicate which fields are required before the Resource is fully created.
The Code will be used as a shorthand for that Resource, if the Name is too long to fit the column width.
The Type allows you to distinguish what kind of Resource this is. If none of the available presets are appropriate, you can type in whatever you prefer.

You can also set an Office and a Resource Provider.

Next, you'll want to configure your Hours of Availability for your Resource. You'll note there's two sets of open and close columns. These allow you to configure a lunch break if you want for that Resource. For example, if that Resource is open at 8 AM and unavailable from 12:00 to 1:00 PM, you'd set the first Open and Close from 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM respectively, then set the second open to 1:00 PM.
Go ahead and check the days you'll have this Resource available and configure the time as needed. Repeat these steps to populate your Schedule with all the Resources at your disposal.

Once you've configured all the Resources you need, you'll want to visit the Resource Order tab to determine the order in which these Resources should be displayed on the Schedule from left to right. Simply drag and drop the Resource in order as desired.

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This covers the basics for Resources. For more information on this topic, please review the Schedule - Resources Node article. 

Adjusting Start/End Times and Time Intervals
Next, we'll want to adjust the Start and End Time of your office's hours, as well as determine how tightly the Schedule tracks time.
To do this, we'll navigate to the MacPractice Menu and select Preferences. 

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Once the Preferences Window is open, select Scheduling in the Sidebar.

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There are a wealth of Preferences that will dictate the behavior of the Schedule Ability. We strongly recommend you review all options here.

For now, you'll first want to set a Start Time and an End Time. This will allow you to lock down the schedule so no appointments can be scheduled outside the office hours.

Secondly, you'll want to set the Time Interval Per Block. This will determine how each hour in the Schedule is broken up. In the screenshot above, you can see it's set to 10 minute intervals. Local is for the current computer, Database impacts all clients.
You can determine whether to use the Database Time Interval or the Local Time Interval.
If you want all MacPractice Clients to display the same, use the Database Time Interval. You can set the interval to 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes.

Finally, you'll want to set the Time Interval Column Format to either Short or Expanded. This just adjusts how the format looks. Choose the one you prefer.

Appointment Types and Statuses
Next, we'll need to set up Appointment Types and Statuses. These are also relatively self-explanatory, but you'll want to set these up in advance to meet your practice's needs.

When in the Schedule Ability, scroll down in the sidebar until you see Appointment Types. Click this node.

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In the sidebar, you'll see all the Appointment Types currently in your database. For all of your different Appointment Types that your office handles, you'll want to add these in. To add or delete Appointment Types, click the Appointment Type node, and then click either the Green Plus or the Red minus. The only required field for a new Appointment Type is the name. 

Once you have all of your Appointment Types, we'll now move on to Appointment Statuses. In the sidebar, select Appointment Status.

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Appointment Statuses are used to track the status of a particular Appointment, so anyone in the office can look at the schedule and be able to know at a glance what's going on with your Appointments. Add and remove these to meet your needs by using the Green Plus and Red Minus. All you need is a name for the Appointment Status.

Once you're done, we'll touch on how to customize the look of your appointment blocks.

Customizing How Appointments Display
Select the Appointment Display node in the sidebar. 

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This node allows you to customize the appearance and the information that appears in each Appointment block.

In the Colors Tab, on the right hand side, you can see a preview of a sample appointment. Note that there are five numbered areas on each Appointment. These correspond to the table labeled "Specify the data type by which each area is covered". The numbers match with each Area line, visible in the above screenshot.

If you select one of the Area lines, you'll see that the drop down contains various Appointment data.
You can color code the areas of an appointment block by:

  • Appointment Status
  • Provider
  • Appointment Label
  • Appointment Type
  • Patient Label
  • Office
  • AutoRemind Status

You'll also note that with an Area selected, you can customize the Color Coding of each item as well.

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There's many ways that you can approach it, but to begin we recommend setting Area 1 and Area 2 to   Appointment Type and Appointment Status, respectively. Set the color scheme to what makes the most sense to you.

Next, click on the Text tab.

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The Text Tab allows you to add text information into an Appointment block. These fields can pull information from all over the MacPractice software to provide an at-a-glance look at selected information.

You can add several lines of Text data that will appear on an Appointment block. However, you will want to limit how many lines you choose to add. Too many lines may mean on short appointments the later lines will be cut off. You'll need to determine what's important to your office.

This covers setting up the Schedule Ability! To learn more about how to actually utilize the Schedule, please refer to the "How To Use The Schedule Ability" article.

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