Best Practice - Medical Director (Pracsoft) - Zedmed - Optomate
The HotDoc Sidebar was created to help you manage any bookings that could not be automatically confirmed by HotDoc.
This article explains more about processing appointments in the Sidebar, including what happens when a new patient books as an existing patient, an existing patient books as a new patient, or there are multiple matching patient records.
In this article
How does the Sidebar work?
The HotDoc Sidebar has been optimised to automatically process online bookings as they are requested. This will occur as long as the options selected by the patient during the booking process matches what's in the practice's database. For example:
- If a patient chooses that they have not visited the practice before, HotDoc will check if there is an existing patient record in the practice's database that matches their details, before automatically confirming the appointment as a 'new patient' booking.
- If a patient chooses that they have visited the practice before, HotDoc will search for their existing patient record and insert that into the book to automatically confirm the appointment.
The HotDoc Sidebar will look at the following details of the patient's HotDoc account and match it with the details in your practice's database:
- First and Last name
Sometimes a discrepancy between these details during the booking process may cause the patient's booking to alert in the Sidebar for manual confirmation. When this occurs, the appointment will need to be manually actioned through the Sidebar.
Manually actioning an appointment
If an appointment alerts in the Sidebar, you should see an alert that says Click here to resolve:
Clicking into this alert will take you to the Sidebar to inspect the appointment details.
Reception must then confirm bookings by clicking ‘Confirm’ before they can be transferred into the practice schedule. During this time, we will insert a placeholder into the appointment book that says Check HotDoc Sidebar to reserve the spot.
In the event of an inappropriate booking, receptionists may elect to dismiss the appointment. Dismissing an appointment will then send an email to the patient to let them know that their booking has been unsuccessful and inform them to contact the practice directly.
Read the following to be taken through each scenario where you may need to manually action a patient's booking.
Existing patient books as a new patient
When a patient books as a new patient but has attended the practice before, or already has a patient record in the practice's database, we will alert this in the Sidebar.
In this case, reception can either confirm the patient to an existing patient record, create as a new patient, or dismiss the appointment.
- If the patient has an existing patient record at your practice, we should find this and provide you the option to Confirm Patient in the Sidebar. If the patient match we suggest is not correct, you can click Show other patient matches to select a different patient record from the list.
- If the patient is a new patient click Create New Patient and this will create a 'new' patient record in your clinical software.
- Clicking the Reject Booking button will dismiss the appointment and send the patient an email to inform them of their unsuccessful booking.
Example of an existing patient booking as new
Example of the email that is sent to the patient when a booking is rejected
By clicking show other patient matches, we will show other patient records with partial such as the name or date of birth.
If you click on a patient record with a partial match, we will inform you of the difference before confirming the patient.
New patient books as an existing patient
When a patient books as an existing patient but has not attended the practice before, we will send this request to the Sidebar to be manually actioned.
In this case, Reception can again either create a new patient record or dismiss the appointment.
- To confirm the appointment, click Create New Patient which will then create a 'new' patient record in your clinical software.
- Selecting Reject Booking will send the patient an email to inform them of their unsuccessful booking.
Example of new patient booking as an existing patient
Existing patient books but there is no exact match
If a patient books as an existing patient but does not have an exact match in the practice's database based upon their HotDoc account details, we will send this request to be manually actioned in the Sidebar.
In this case, the patient may have registered their DOB, first name or surname incorrectly during the HotDoc sign up process or the patient record in your clinical software may not be accurate. As a result, we may still bring up a partial match but ask for manual confirmation. The Sidebar will show the top 6 matches based upon how similar the patient details are to the HotDoc booking:
- If one of the results we show is correct, select the patient and click Confirm Patient to confirm the match.
- To dismiss the appointment, click Reject Booking and we will send the patient an email to inform them of their unsuccessful booking.
- To create a 'new' patient record for this patient in your clinical software, you can select Create New Patient.
- If none of the matches shown are correct, you may want to manually insert an appointment for the right patient. In this case, we recommend you call the patient to let them know they have been rebooked and to ignore the unsuccessful booking email from HotDoc. We also suggest confirming the patients details so their HotDoc account matches their patient record in your clinical software.
Example of existing patient booking with no exact match
Patient books but there are multiple patient records
When a patient books online as a new or existing patient but we find multiple patient records with the exact same details in your clinical software, we will send a request to your Sidebar.
- We suggest locating the multiple patient records and archive one or merge the records in your clinical software. From here, click Try again in the Sidebar and this should confirm the booking.
- If the patient details are not correct, click Show other patient matches and choose the correct patient from the list.
- To create a 'new' patient record for this patient, click Create New Patient.
- Alternatively, you can click Reject Booking and manually insert an appointment for the right patient in your appointment book. In this case, we recommend you call the patient to let them know they have been rebooked and to ignore the unsuccessful booking email from HotDoc.
Example of patient booking with multiple patient records found
Dental4Windows - HotDoc Calendar
The HotDoc Sidebar, used in conjunction with the HotDoc Appointment Calendar, will assist with accepting and placing appointments into your calendar while making sure patient details are entered correctly.
Please read the following guide and view the training video to learn more about processing appointments in the HotDoc Sidebar.
In this article
What is the HotDoc Sidebar?
The HotDoc Sidebar is an application that allows you to review all online appointment requests before they are entered into your Appointment Calendar.
When a patient books an appointment through HotDoc, the Sidebar will look at the following details to determine whether the patient already exists in your HotDoc database:
- First Name
- Last Name
As patients make an appointment, they will be sent to the HotDoc Sidebar with a call to action so that your Reception team can easily process the request.
- The Sidebar can be accessed via the HotDoc Dashboard using the Open Sidebar button:
- If running a Windows environment, you also have the option to install the HotDoc Sidebar application on your workstation.
- When accessing the Sidebar for the first time, you will need to log in using the same clinic user details used to access the HotDoc Dashboard.
- If opening the HotDoc Sidebar from the Dashboard, you may need to Enable Notifications. You should receive a prompt at the top of the window as shown below:
How Does the HotDoc Sidebar work?
For practices who use the HotDoc Appointment Calendar, by default you must process all online booking requests for your practice using the HotDoc Sidebar. Please use the steps below to learn how to action a booking request:
- When a request is made, you should see an alert notifying you of the appointment that requires attention:
If using the Sidebar opened from the Dashboard, and notifications are allowed, an in-browser alert will appear when an appointment has been requested:
- Clicking into the alert will take you to the Sidebar to inspect the appointment details. Reception can action the booking by choosing an option such as confirming the booking, rejecting the booking, creating a new patient file, or choosing a different patient to add into the calendar:
Example of a Sidebar call to action for a patient who has booked via HotDoc for your practice (existing patient)
Example of a Sidebar call to action for a patient who has has not booked via HotDoc for your practice (new patient)
- During this time, we will insert a placeholder into the appointment book that says Check HotDoc Sidebar to reserve the spot for any request made until the appointment request has been actioned:
If you prefer that HotDoc automatically places new and existing patient bookings into your Appointment Calendar You can switch off manual processing by heading to Bookings > Settings and checking the boxes for new, existing and/or cancellations:
Verifying Patient Details in the Sidebar
While below are the most common reasons you may need to validate a patient's details in the Sidebar, there may be other scenarios. In most cases, reading the heading in the Sidebar alert will let you know what's occurred so you can choose the appropriate action.
Existing Patient booked as New
In some cases, the patient may have made an appointment with your practice using HotDoc before, but has accidentally booked as a 'new patient' to your practice.
Alternatively, sometimes the patient's name in their HotDoc account does not match your HotDoc patient records exactly and you may also see this error:
In this instance, you can:
- Select Confirm patient to place the request into the Appointment Calendar based upon the patient we found in the HotDoc patient database.
- Reject or dismiss the booking.
- Create a new patient record based upon the patient's HotDoc account details (not recommended as this may cause double ups).
- Select a different right match at the bottom of the window (if HotDoc is able to find more possible matches).
New Patient booked as Existing
In some cases, the patient is considered 'new' to your practice (has never booked via HotDoc before for your practice), but has selected that they are an existing patient. In this case you will see this error:
In this instance, you can:
- Reject or dismiss the booking.
- Create a new patient record based upon the patient's HotDoc account details to accept the booking.
- Select a different patient match at the bottom of the window (if HotDoc is able to find more possible matches).
If there are discrepancies in the patient's details, you may prefer to choose some other options to confirm the appointment. In the event of a discrepancy, receptionists may also elect to dismiss the appointment.
Dismissing an appointment will send an email to the patient to let them know that their booking has been unsuccessful and inform them to contact the practice directly.
Example of the email sent after an appointment is dismissed
Most of the time, online bookings will be automatically placed into your Genie appointment book by HotDoc. There are a few instances where you need to manually approve a patient's request. This is done by utilising the HotDoc Sidebar.
When a patient books online, the Sidebar will look at the following details and try to match it against a patient in your Genie patient list (Open > Patients):
- First Name
- Last Name
If there are discrepancies in these details, you will need to manually confirm the appointment in your Sidebar.
- If you have set up your Sidebar notifications correctly, you should receive a notification from your web browser when there is an appointment you need to action.
- Once in the Sidebar, you can confirm or reject the patient appointment after reviewing the details provided:
- If the patient is existing but accidentally booked as a new patient, or if the patient's name in their HotDoc account does not match your Genie records exactly, you can either Reject the booking or select the right match at the bottom of the window.
Alternatively, if the patient is new but booked as an existing patient, you can choose to either Reject the booking or Create New Patient. Creating a new patient will allow HotDoc to create a file for the patient in your Genie Software:
An existing patient books as a 'New Patient' or multiple patient record matches found. In this case, you can choose the correct record by selecting 'other patient matches'
A new patient books as an existing patient of the practice. In this case you can select Create New Patient and HotDoc will create a new practice patient in your database
- There may be other scenarios that are presented in the Sidebar. In most cases, reading the heading will let you know what's occurred so you can choose the appropriate action: