Our scheduler has evolved in the context of high-stress scheduling environments,
where speed matters, where templates can change weekly and where appointments can
be moved frequently among providers (whose own availability pattern is fluid) and
where automation is required to avoid unusably small time fragments from developing.
To meet these challenges we needed a robust template system, quick to set up, easy
to change and easy to override on an ad hoc basis. Our templates are organized by
day of the week, occurrance of that day within the month (any combination of first,
second, third, fourth, fifth), and template beginning and ending effective dates.
Ad hoc templates can be set up to override the standard template for specified periods
of time, making it unnecessary to change the standard template, while at the same
time keeping slotting within the scheduler itself sensitive to irregular arrangements.
A further challenge we faced was to keep the scheduler snappy and light on bandwidth.
One way to achieve that would have been to keep a full copy of all the scheduler
data in the memory of each computer using the scheduler. That would prevent what
most schedulers have to do--continually fetch quantities and quantities of information
from the server each time a different day or range of days is brought to the screen.
But then the problem would be to keep each and every mini scheduling database on
each computer constantly updated with any changes made on any one of them. We split
the problem down the middle, keeping some information on each box--and keeping it
all instantaneously current--but without degrading the performance of saving and
keeping all computers current.
Changes made on one computer are nearly instantaneously brought to all other computers
and screens affected by the changed data. And we did so without the performance
and bandwidth expense of periodic refreshing or polling. This makes ours one of
the most scalable and fastest internet-based schedulers on the market.
- Appointments have a status: pending, waiting, begun, concluded, billed, canceled,
no show, all to track the status of an appointment from start to finish. These status
levels are color coded.
- Practices can set up any number of appointment types, designating the type of service
to be performed.
- Resources, whether practictioners, assistants, rooms, machines, etc., are color
- For each resource, the grids show appointment times, duration, type, status, name
and reason, more than most schedulers.
- Overbooking is permitted if the user deliberately places a checkmark in a box. The
overbooked appointment then appears in a different color.
- It is easy to find the next available slot within a lengthy time period.
- Related entities, such as referring provider, facility, and assistants, and more,
can be associated with any appointment.
- Encounter forms can be printed from the scheduler.
- The scheduler works hand-in-hand with the application tree, easing the search for
any entity involved with the scheduler, including appointments themselves, simple
- Ad hoc reports can be used to derive scheduling statistics.
- The scheduler has an optimizer to adjust remaining blocks of time to avoid, if possible,
unusably short slot fragments.
- Long narratives can be associated with appointments.
- Templates do not entail actually "rolling out" hardwired slots into the future.
Therefore, no data need be changed when modifying a template other than the template