Appointment reason groups and reason types assist with managing appointment scheduling and unifying scheduling workflows. Reason groups and reason types must be prepared before online scheduling functionalities are available for live client use. Advanced scheduling and workflow functionalities are also available for consultations and client communication with the use of appointment reason types.
Setting Up Reasons
We want to set up possible visit reasons because they allow us to define customer access in detail as you will see below. Navigate to Settings > Items & Lists > Reasons to do so. Note that reasons are also useful for regular booking and consultation workflow purposes.
Adjust Reason Groups
The first step is to set up what are called 'reason groups'. Reason groups help with the categorisation of specific appointment reason types so customers and staff can refine the list of possibilities for the nature of the visit instead of browsing a large list of mixed reasons, especially when using the online scheduling platform. If you don't want to use groups, you can also just create one group and put all reasons into it.
A common approach is to create reason groups based on general veterinary fields like dermatology, neurology, vaccinations, surgery, exams, and so on. In the end, the design of reason groups and reasons is entirely up to the clinic (you).
On the reasons' page, under the 'Reason groups' section, select the blue 'Add' button to add a new reason. On the dialogue that opens, select an applicable department. If no department is chosen, it will be available in all departments. Name the reason group and select the green 'Save' button to create the group.
You can edit or remove existing reason groups or reasons with the pen and trash bin buttons on the table rows as usual in Provet Cloud. Note that removing a reason group removes all reasons that belong to it.
Next, we want to define the actual reasons that allow precise control and will define available times for the customer. On the reasons' page, under the 'Reasons' section, select the blue 'Add' button to start adding a reason.
Name - Name the reason. This will appear both to Provet Cloud users and your customers.
Duration - Use this field to define the default duration for the booking if the given reason is used. When the customer starts to choose a suitable time for the visit after selecting the reason, they will be offered a list of available starting times. The duration of the booking will be chosen automatically for them based on this setting. The duration can later be adjusted by the clinic from the appointment calendar if needed. This setting is mandatory.
Colour - Use this setting to set a colour for the reason in the appointment calendar if wanted. This is not used in customer communication.
Group - Choose the reason group for the reason. The customer can see the reason as the next choice when they have selected the corresponding reason group. This setting is mandatory.
Proficient staff - You can use this option to select staff members for whom an appointment with the given reason can be booked. This helps to ensure that depending on the problem, customers would book the appointment with the correct vet, physio, technician or team. If nobody is selected, there are no limits.
Instructions - You can enter a custom message that will be sent to customers with confirmation and reminder messages.
Disable all reminders - Option to disable all reminders when this reason is used.
Disable all confirmation messages - Option to disable all confirmation messages when this reason is used.
Email message - Choose whether the general instruction text will be used or a more customised message is sent when it's a confirmation or reminder.
SMS message - Select whether general SMS confirmations or reason-specific messages will be used.
Available online - This is the most important setting here for us. Make sure this setting is enabled for the reason to be usable with online booking.
Available from and to - Optionally, define the time during the day when this reason is available with online booking. This setting works hand-in-hand with the duration setting. For example, if the available time is defined to be from 10 to 12, the duration is set to 60 minutes and the calendar time slot size is 15 minutes, available times for the customer will be 10:00, 10:15, 10:30, 10:45 and 11:00. The duration must fit within the available period entirely.
Default items - When the given reason is used, selected treatment items will be added to the consultation automatically when it's started. This allows you to standardise and make the workflow faster with common appointments.
Default clinical note - Optionally, choose a clinical note template that will be automatically added to the consultation when it's started. Similar to the default item setting, this allows you to standardise and make the workflow faster.
Shift types - This setting allows you to select shift types with which the reason is usable. If none are selected, there are no limitations. There's also a checkbox option to update existing shifts in that regard if needed. The update changes the shifts, placing the limitations, but it does not cancel any existing appointments that may conflict with the rule. Note that this setting is in sync with the shift type settings described below - when we change something here, the selected shift types will also have their setting adjusted.
Pre-registration questions - This section allows you to define pre-registration questions the customer can answer when checking themselves in if you have the appropriate feature enabled.
There are several customisation settings available that interact with appointment reasons. These can be found by following Settings > department >
Client interactions > Enable pre-registration for reason types
Pre-registration allows clients to confirm their general information as well as their pet's before arriving to the scheduled appointment. Additionally, specific preliminary questions can be assigned to appointment reasons which relate to the nature of the appointment and routine gathered information.
Clients Interactions > Disable self check-in for reason type
Self check-in allows clients to make themselves as arrived to their scheduled appointments remotely. This can be disabled for specific appointment reason types.
Client & scheduling options> Swap appointment status and reason type colours
When this setting is enabled, and a scheduled appointment has been started, the assigned appointment reason is replaced with the appointment status colour. For example, appointments in the 'marked as arrived' status will have a purple colour coding.
Booking settings > Reason type required on appointments and consultations
When appointments are being scheduled, the reason type selection can be made mandatory. Additional appointment-related instructions can be connected to streamline the scheduling process.
Department Settings > Enable species-specific reason types
This setting relates to online booking functionalities. When this setting is enabled, a patient species must be selected first by the client before appropriate reason types that relate to the patient's species then appear for selection.