The scheduler is the mechanism in the system to plan out appointments, surgeries, boarding, or any other type of time slots that are planned in your practice. Here's that it looks like.


In the screenshot shown above, the practice has three separate schedules that they choose to show all on one screen. Your practice might have a very different setup, but the basics set out in this chapter will be the same for usage of the scheduling facility.

The top portion of the screen has various controls for showing different days, different time areas, and even entirely different schedules (technically views, please refer to administration documentation). Here's a brief overview of what each element does.

  • View: Allows you to select different schedules or sets of schedules.
  • Date: Allows you to choose which date is shown, advance or rewind by day or by week, and snap to today (the square button).
  • Schedule: When there are multiple schedules shown at the same time, this will allow you to show just one of them. Note that some formatting and extra information will be lost when you do this.
  • Highlight: There are several different ways to highlight the data. If you have many doctors in at once, you may want to highlight based on clinician. The highlight shown above is based on status -- meaning that Completed, In Progress, and Pending (for example) will all be different colors.
  • Clinician: This allows you to sort for a specific doctor's appointments.
  • Time: Often, the whole schedule won't fit on the screen. This allows you to narrow the time period of interest down to AM, PM, evening, etc.

enlightenedTip: Many of the features of OpenVPMS are configurable. Your screen may not look like this at all. Work with your administrator to setup what calendars and timeslots you'd like to see.

The remaining elements are the core part of the schedule. The time of the appointment is shown to the left and right, and the name of the schedules are listed across the top.

Creating an Appointment

In order to create an appointment, click the "New" button. You'll see this dialog come up.

Creating the appointment can be done by filling out all these fields. Note that the system will automacally populate some fields if they have already been selected in the system.

Here is a brief description of each field:

  • Customer: The customer whose appointment it is.
  • Patient: The patient whose appointment it is.
  • Appointment Type: The system can allow for default scheduling based on appointment type. You can have 15 minute, 30 minute, or any other length of appointment associated with this field. You can also override the times using Start and End Time.
  • Start Time, End Time: Self explanatory, the start and end times of the appointment.
  • Reason: This useful field is shown on the schedule to indicate the basic reason for the appointment.
  • Notes: This is for further details that might not be covered by the Reason field. These notes will appear in a baloon window when the mouse hovers over the appointment.
  • Clinician: Who the patient is coming to see.
  • Status: The current status of the appointment.

enlightenedTip: Multiple appointments can occupy the same time period on the schedule. Have your administrator turn this feature on. You'll notice that the schedule will create an extra column to accomodate.

In order to complete the appointment, ensure each of these fields is correct, and click "Ok".

enlightened"Ok" and "Apply" both save the work. The only difference is that "Ok" will close the window after it saves the work.

Editing an Appointment

To edit an appointment, you'll be dealing with exactly the same screen as when you add an appointment. The only difference is that you first need to click on the appointment.

You can tell when an appointment is selected by one of two ways:

  • It will be highlighted (this works only in the multiple schedules view, not the single schedule view)
  • You can also see which appointment is selected by confirming the customer and patient information on the side of the screen. When an appointment is selected, the current customer information area changes to the information for that appointment.

Next, to bring up the edit window, click on "Edit". You can now change the fields you'd like to change in the same way as when adding an appointment.

Other Functions

You'll notice there are several other functions available on this screen. Some of these (Consult and Checkout) are discussed extensively elsewhere (Workflow). Here's a brief description of each:

  • Delete: Deletes the currently selected appointment.
  • Print: For printing an appointment (appointments?).
  • Consult: Workflow function for medical notes and invoicing.
  • Checkout: Workflow function for invoicing and payment.
  • OTC: Over the counter.

The only one worth discussing further here is OTC. The OTC functionality allows for reception to quickly make sales that have nothing to do with appointments. A good general policy is to tie as many sales to patients as possible, as a matter of record keeping. However, there are always those times that someone who may not even have any patients would like to purchase something. This button is a shortcut to a screen that permits this type of sale. It's place here so that you don't need to leave the schedule at the reception area.

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