The On Call node in the Schedule is used to set up a waiting list for patients, or to perform a more advanced search than the Find feature.
There are two methods of creating an on call record:
- Stand-Alone On Call: To create an On Call record that is not associated to an appointment, select On Call in the Schedule sidebar,and click the green plus button above to create a new record. If a patient is selected, the on call record will be automatically associated with this patient. If no patient is selected, a search window will open to search for the patient.
- On Call From an Appointment: To create an On Call record from an appointment, drag the appointment to the On Call node. A prompt will ask if the appointment was meant to be moved to the To Reschedule node. To remove the appointment from the existing time slot, click Move. Otherwise, click No. Creating the On Call from an existing appointment will keep the original appointment intact, but also create a prompt for if a more desirable date and time become available before their appointment.
Note: It is also possible to create an On Call by right clicking on the appointment itself and selecting Create On-Call.
After creating the On Call record and selecting a patient, his or her name, Birth Date, Age, and phone numbers will be displayed at the top of the MacPractice window. The Notes field can be used to enter additional information about the On Call, and will appear in the prompt when an On Call is triggered.
Next, set the criteria for the patient's appointment:
- Alert if a time slot of X min opens: If this box is checked, and an appointment length is entered in the field, an alert will appear if a time slot that meets these criteria opens on the schedule. For example, an existing appointment may be cancelled, opening a time on the schedule. An alert will appear, allowing the On Call to be scheduled. This checkbox will also check or uncheck the On Call record in the sidebar (and likewise, checking or unchecking the On Call's checkbox in the sidebar will check or uncheck this alert checkbox).
- Resource: Select the resource(s) in which the appointment can be scheduled. For example, an appointment may be limited to a single doctor if the patient wants to schedule a check-up with their usual provider.
- Best Available Times: The Best Available Times table allows for detailed and customized time criteria to be set for the patient's appointment. By default there will only be one line in this table. Enter a Start Date and End Date, as well as a Start Time and End Time. Finally, select the Days the patient is available. Each of these settings can be customized per line to indicate the patient's availability. In the example above, the patient is available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for a week in December. Click the small plus button to create additional lines. Each new line will populate the information from the previously selected line.
After setting the criteria, click Search Now to see any open appointment slots that meet the desired terms. Double-click a search result to go to that day and time on the schedule. From there a patient's appointment can be created as usual, but the On Call record will need to be disabled or deleted manually.
If the On Call is tied to an appointment, a prompt will ask to delete the On Call record. If the On Call is not deleted it will become unchecked, so no additional alerts about the appointment will be generated.
For any existing On Calls, the schedule's availability can be checked by right clicking on the Appointments node and selecting Check On-Call.