DocMeIn February ’11 Release

Today we are releasing the latest DocMeIn update. Aside from bug fixes and minor enhancements, there are a few key features we would like to highlight. As you can see below, we are continuing to stay laser-focused on the core appointment scheduling functionality that you use every day. As always, please share any comments you may have with us via our support forum or by responding to this blog post below.

New Appointment Status

We are continuing to improve DocMeIn’s appointment status tracking capabilities. This is one of many areas where we are constantly seeking to maintain a balance between complexity and functionality. This time, we are advancing toward increased functionality with one little step, which are going to be particularly useful to practices with lots of appointments scheduled by the patients via self-service.

Active appointments now have two separate color codes depending on whether they were requested by the patient through the doctor’s profile page vs. entered by the practice into a doctor’s calendar directly. The new appointment status, Accepted (dark blue), designates appointments that came in through self-service as Requested and were subsequently, well, accepted. This feature does not affect appointments created by the practice.

Appointment Confirmation Window

Continuing with improvements in appointment status tracking, we now enable practices to define when patients can confirm their appointments. The new appointment confirmation window, under Calendar Settings, allows you to specify the number of hours prior to appointment time when the patient can confirm the appointment. This makes confirmations more meaningful, since they can be enabled only as the appointment time is approaching rather than days in advance.

Late Cancellation Notices

We are introducing new features to enable practices to lower their no-show rates. To this end, the new late cancellation period allows you to define what constitutes a late cancellation for your practice. Expressed in terms of the number of hours to appointment time, it can be specified in Calendar Settings. If the patient tries to cancel the appointment within the within the specified number of hours of his or her appointment, they will be notified that this constitutes a late cancellation and that they should call your office. The notice will not prevent the patient from canceling, but they will be warned. If they proceed with the cancellation, the appointment will be marked as a late cancellation in the patient’s appointment history.

Existing users will find the late cancellation period to be nil (0 hours), consistent with pre-February ’11 behavior.

No-Show Tracking

Continuing with features to help you better tackle no-show issues, we are adding a way for you to flag appointments that were missed by the patient. Just select any appointment that starts from a minute ago to any time in the past and you will see a new checkbox in the appointment dialog box (not availble for appointments scheduled to occur in the future). This checkbox, Missed, now allows you to mark no-shows. If checked, the appointment’s status will be shown as missed in the patient’s appointment history. You can access the patient’s appointment history by opening the Appointments tab in the patient dialog box.

New Message Templates

With this release we expanded the number of customizable email templates available to our users. These new templates are used for messaging of two different scheduling events: appointment cancellations and rejections of appointment requests that came from the patients via self-scheduling. You can see the new message templates under Settings. They are populated with our default text for your convenience, but you are welcome to change them as you see fit.

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