Anyone else need ability to stop online bookings for NEW clients

Because my practice has become so busy lately, I feel that I have no option but to stop taking new clients for the near future. I am worried that my service level to existing clients is being impacted because they cannot get access to timely appointments due to the volume of clients needing appointments. Not a bad problem to have, but I want to continue to provide a high level of service to the current clients.

While I can place a message on my website that I am not taking new clients for the moment, there is nothing stopping a new client from making an online booking.

What I need is for when a new client makes an online booking, that Cliniko identifies this is a new client and then displays a message (that I have authored) that explains that I am not taking new clients at the moment.

I have asked the Cliniko support team to add this to the product roadmap, but I am wondering if there are other Cliniko customers who also need this?

Please shout out if you do.

3 Likes

We have different appointment types for a new patient and a returning one. If you set it up this way, you can take the new patient appointment type off online bookings whenever you want.

@PetaB We created a category called New patients, and then a category called Current patients - if you have appt types like @LCAH noted (we have New patient assessment and Regular, senior regular, first responder regular etc.) you can go to appt types and unclick ‘new patient assessment’ and write in the description section of the New patient assess appt type that patients would see in the drop down ‘Notice March 1 2020: We are not currently accepting new patients, please check back with us in 30 days. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.’ or something like that. It would be clear also when they go to the calendar it will say ‘no appts (dates?) available’

I have been unable to make use of on line bookings at all because of the problem of new patients. We have a busy practice, generally booked our several weeks. I severely restrict the number of new patients i book to make sure i have room for existing patients. The on line booking is very attractive, but there is no way to restrict new patients from booking in. I do use a different appointment type (generally a longer time) but they do not HAVE to choose it. I would like to see the ability to restrict patients who are not in my database from booking on- line. OR restrict them from choosing any appointment except the one they need to choose - which is an initial appointment.

2 Likes

Thanks for your replies. @LCAH and @qpc you have developed creative ways to utilise current functionality to solve your issues to some extent.
However, a new customer can easily spoof the booking system by choosing an existing customer appointment type, which will be an awkward scenario when they come to the appointment.
My needs align with @jmarsden – I need the ability to restrict a client who is not already in the database from being able to complete the online booking.

2 Likes

I am looking into transferring to Cliniko from other PMS and would not be able to utilise the online booking system without differentiating between existing and new clients. We have an on boarding/triage system for new clients.

Hey Cliniko, any news on this? It has become more problematic than ever with the Covid 19 issue - our schedule has gotten even tighter and having a new patient book when/where they are not supposed to is creating problems here. I am still not using on line bookings for one therapist as they cannot open up to new patients - yes, it’s a good problem to have, but we are paying for cliniko and would love to be able to use all that it offers.
We have changed our 1 hour appointments to 45 minutes with 15 minutes to allow cleaning and airing etc. But we require more time than that for new patients, for the obvious reasons. If i open up a time slot on line that is longer, there is nothing stopping a regular patient from taking it. Or the reverse, if i don’t make a time slot long enough for a new patient, there is nothing stopping them from just putting themselves in as an existing patient. Then they show up for their appointment with no paperwork done,(which is attached to the new patient confirmation, which they did not get) and not enough time in the appointment to do history, assessment, and treatment.
Right now we are physically going in and lengthening the time for the new patient after they have booked, and then calling everyone after that patient to back them up so that we have enough time to complete the appointment, get the patient out the door, get the room sanitized and aired, and ready for next patient. This is critical, and causing us much headache.
sorry for the long essay, but i need you to understand how important this is to us right now. Please let me know where we are on this. Thanks for your time

We’re also having that issue with one of the psychologists who’s books are closed, and another who is leaving. clients will either not use the correct appointment type to book, unintentionally or not and then it’s a bit of an admin mess to try and work it out. We gave up having a seperate appointment type for initial clients in the end

1 Like