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How to use appointment categories with online appointment booking
How to use appointment categories with online appointment booking

Understand how appointments are categorised to streamline the patient booking experience.

Hebe Neate-Clegg avatar
Written by Hebe Neate-Clegg
Updated over a week ago

How do I use appointment categories when creating online appointments?

When creating appointment options in your Portal admin dashboard, you will need to create them under a specific category. When the patient views appointments in their Patient Portal, they will be broken down into categories for the patient to choose from.

This helps the patient to understand, at a glance, which appointment is right for them.

After navigating to your portal admin dashboard, you can create a new online appointment type by going to ‘Online Booking’ and clicking the ‘Appointments’ section.

You can then choose which category best fits the appointment you are going to make from the following. You can choose from:

  • New or lapsed patient dental exams

  • Routine dental exams

  • Direct access hygienist appointments

  • Hygiene appointments

  • Emergencies

  • Consultations

What appointment categories can the patient see when they book?

When a patient goes to book a new appointment, they will first see a list of main appointment categories to choose from, with auto-generated descriptions:

  • Dental checkup - A checkup to screen for common problems

  • Hygienist - Classic clean or advanced stain removal

  • Emergency - For debilitating pain or accidents

  • Consultation - [Dynamic description, based on the consultation types chosen]

  • Something else - Can’t see the appointment you need? Then please start a live chat with the support team for further advice and guidance.

💡 Top tip: The ‘Something else’ option allows the patient to seek guidance when they aren’t sure what they need.

The way you categorise appointments in Portal will determine which category they appear in for the patient.

  • New or lapsed patient dental exams & routine dental exams will appear under the ‘Dental checkup’ category.

  • Direct access hygienist appointments & hygiene appointments will appear under the ‘Hygienist’ category.

  • Emergencies will appear under the ‘Emergency’ category.

  • Consultations will appear under the ‘Consultation’ category.

What online appointments are visible to different types of patients?

Within these categories, we only show appointments that are relevant to patients, so they will see different appointments depending on whether they are new, lapsed or existing.

A new patient has yet to complete an appointment at the practice. The length of time that an existing patient becomes a lapsed patient can be defined in appointment settings. These patients usually need a longer exam.

Patients who have used a recall booking link to book a dental check-up or hygienist appointment will be prompted to book directly with their existing dentist for the pre-determined length, which helps to encourage patients to book their routine appointments at the right time when required.

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