How to Process Appointments in the Sidebar

How does the Sidebar work?

The HotDoc Sidebar has been optimised to automatically process online bookings as they are created. This will occur as long as the options selected by the patient during the booking process matches what's in the clinic's database.

For example, if a patient chooses that they have not visited the clinic before, HotDoc will check if there is an existing patient record in the clinic'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 clinic before, HotDoc will search for their existing patient record and insert that into the book to automatically confirm the appointment.

Sometimes a discrepancy 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.

Manual Confirmation

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. In the event of an inappropriate booking, receptionists may elect to dismiss the appointment, which will then send an email to the patient to let them know that their booking has been unsuccessful.


Below are some scenarios where this may occur:

Patient books as a 'New' patient but has attended the clinic before, or already has a patient record in the clinic's database


In this case, reception can either confirm, or dismiss the appointment. Confirming the appointment will create a 'new' patient record in the clinic's patient database which may need to be merged with the patient's current record at a later date.


Patient books as an 'Existing' patient but has not attended the clinic before


In this case, Reception can again either confirm or dismiss the appointment. To confirm the appointment, you must first click 'Treat as a New Patient' then 'Create New Patient' which will then allow you to create a 'new' patient record in the clinic's patient database. Learn more about Treat as a New Patient here.


Patient books as an 'Existing' patient but does not have an exact match in the clinic's database


In this case, the above patient may have registered their DOB or Surname incorrectly during the HotDoc sign up process, or the patient record may not be accurate. As a result, we may still bring up a partial match but ask for manual confirmation.

Automatic confirmations can also be switched off for a clinic. If this is required, please reach out to your Account Manager to discuss this change further.

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