When you stopped seeing patients and shut down your practice, you likely had to cancel patient appointments by either breaking the appointment in the Appointment Book, or by marking it as Wait/Will Call.
Understanding what happens to an appointment when you use each of these methods will help you be able to find them again when it’s time to reschedule.
- Breaking an appointment adds it to the Unscheduled List. The provider, procedures, and appointment length associated with the appointment are preserved in the Unscheduled List, and the broken appointment counter in the Family File is updated.
- Marking an appointment as Wait/Will Call in the Appointment Information dialog box also adds it to the Unscheduled List. The appointment information is preserved in the Unscheduled List, but the broken appointment counter in the Family File does not get updated. This method is generally used when a patient cancels their appointment with plenty of advance notice but can’t reschedule right away.
You can access the Unscheduled List from the Appointment Book by clicking Appt Lists on the toolbar. Then select Unscheduled List > Current Clinic.
The Unscheduled List is broken down into two types of appointments: Broken and Wait/Will Call. This should be your “go-to” list to find appointments that were canceled previously.
Included in the list of patients is all the information you need to make a call and reschedule the appointment: patient phone number, appointment length, appointment reason/procedures, and so forth. Plus, you can access the Office Journal directly from the menu to document the phone conversation you have with the patient.
If the patient is ready to reschedule the appointment, you can click and drag the appointment to an open spot in the Appointment Book, or onto the Pinboard. You can also double-click the information on the Unscheduled List to open the Appointment Information dialog box and manually make changes to the date, time, operatory, provider, and so forth as needed.
As a cleanup measure, you should delete appointments from the list that will never be rescheduled. Appointments should be deleted when:
- You have tried to contact a patient on the list several times with no response.
- The patient has declined to receive the treatment listed on the broken appointment.
- The patient has moved or left your practice.
Delete the appointment from the Unscheduled List by selecting the appointment in the list and then clicking Appt > Delete Appt…
Use the Unscheduled List to find and reschedule those patient appointments you had to cancel when your practice shut down. Take the time now, when you are less busy, to clean up your list by deleting those appointments that will never be rescheduled, so your Unscheduled List remains relevant and useful.