The HotDoc Sidebar was created to help you manage any bookings that could not be automatically confirmed by HotDoc.
Please follow the steps in this guide to learn more about processing appointment in the Sidebar.
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
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