Restrict the types of appointments that can be booked into a certain time slot

Providers may want to limit appointments booked online to a particular time slot(s) during the day or week. For example, offering Mental Health appointments from 3:00 - 5:00 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays but at no other time. Another common reason is to ensure that different types of appointments cannot be booked at the same time of day - for example, patients should not be able to book a “Physical” appointment in time slots reserved for “Mental Health” appointments.

PS Suite Med Access Accuro OSCAR Pro


  • PSS Users: Please ensure your schedule is configured to allow multiple bookings. You can find this setting in the PS Suite scheduler under Appointments -> Change Provider. Select the appropriate provider and ensure "Single Bookings Only" is unchecked as shown in the image on the right.

1. Create a placeholder appointment type in your EMR with "online booking" or "/ob" in the name.

    1. First, you'll need to create a new appointment type(s) in your EMR with "online booking" or "/ob" (case sensitive) in the name of the appointment. You'll use this EMR appointment type to assign “placeholder” time slots in your EMR schedule that you would like to make available for appointments booked online only. You may choose to create a single generic “online booking” placeholder appointment type for all appointments to book into, however you can also create more specific placeholders such as “Mental Health /ob” for Mental Health appointments, “Physical /ob” for Physical appointments, or “Telemedicine /ob” for Telemedicine appointments.

      When creating your new “placeholder” Appointment Type(s), ensure that you select a unique “Default Background Colour” so that you can easily see where it has been applied in your EMR schedule. For information on where to find appointment types in your EMR, please refer to "Where to find EMR Appointment Types" section in our guide to EMR Appointment Type Mapping.

      In the image below, a placeholder appointment type has been created for Mental Health appointments - the Name of the appointment type is “Mental Health /ob”, and the Default Background Colour is red. This will be applied to empty time slots the EMR schedule to indicate the times which Mental Health appointments can be booked into.

2. Assign a time slot(s) in your EMR using your newly created "online booking" or "/ob" placeholder appointment type.

    1. In your PS Suite schedule, you can now indicate the time slots that are available to be booked online (or indicate specific time slots for specific appointment types) by applying the newly created “online booking” or “/ob” placeholder appointment types to your desired empty time slots. Ensure the time slot(s) you are assigning do not overlap with other assigned time slots or unavailable times (purple ‘x’ in the PS Suite schedule).

      To quickly allocate multiple time slots, select the starting time slot, select your “placeholder” appointment type (e.g., “Mental Health /ob”, and indicate the duration in minutes for the number of time slots you wish to allocate (e.g., 120 minutes = 2 hours). You can also apply a recurrence to create a pattern (e.g. if you'd like to set this restriction every week).

      The image below provides an example of a properly applied “Mental Health /ob” placeholder appointment type for a 2 hour duration from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM.

If you have created new "online booking or "/ob" appointment types in your EMR and assigned time slots to these new appointment types, login to Ocean Cloud Connect and conduct a full schedule sync. Click the arrow next to Sync Recent Appointments and select Sync Full Schedule.

3. Create your list of appointments available online and enable EMR Appointment Type Mapping.

Note: You must be an administrative user on your Ocean site to configure online booking for the following steps.

    1. Login to the Ocean Portal. Click the Menu button at the top left of the Ocean Portal and select Online Booking. Click the Settings button in the top right corner.
    2. Next to Appointment Types, click Configure. You may have already completed creating your Appointment Types - if not, add the name and duration of appointments you would like to be available for online booking (for all provider schedules), and ensure you have enabled EMR Appointment Type mapping. You can refer to Set Up Appointment Types for Online Booking if necessary before proceeding.

      Ensure that you do not map to the newly created "online booking" or "/ob" placeholder appointment types - these will be more relevant in the next step. Ensure that you click Save.

4. Associate the placeholder "online booking" or "/ob" appointment types to their respective appointment within the Provider Schedule.

            1. Within your Online Booking configuration area, select “Edit” next to the relevant Provider Schedule. Under the “Appointment Types” heading, you may see the Appointment Types if you added them previously. If not, you can add the relevant Appointment Types that were created in the previous step to the Provider Schedule now (refer to Set Up Providers' Schedules if needed).

              Pressing “Edit Restrictions” next to an Appointment Type allows you to enable restrictions for each type of appointment. For example, to restrict Mental Health appointments to be booked into time slots which have our “Mental Health /ob” placeholder appointment type applied, the first option can be used. Additional Appointment Type Restrictions can be applied if desired. Ensure you press the green “Save Restrictions” button.

              Once you have completed and saved the restrictions for each appointment type, ensure you press the “Save” button on the bottom left to save the entire Provider Schedule.

            2. If you want to apply this restriction for all of your providers, you must repeat this step for each individual Provider schedule.

              The image below shows the “Mental Health” appointment type is restricted to only book into time slots in the EMR which have the “Mental Health /ob” placeholder appointment type applied as shown in Step 2 above.

Warning: Differences in EMR Appointment Types

The EMR Appointment Type that you configured in Step 3 should be different from the EMR appointment type you assigned in Step 4.

  • In Step 3, you are mapping your online booking appointments to EMR Appointment Types. When this appointment is booked online, it will enter your EMR schedule with the associated EMR Appointment Type. Using the screenshot on the right as an example, booking a "Telephone Visit" appointment online will enter your EMR schedule booked as a "TELEPHONECON" EMR Appointment Type.
  • In Step 4, you are mapping the restriction for the placeholder appointment living on the provider schedule to the time slot assigned in your EMR in Step 2. Ocean will look for the EMR appointment type defined on the restriction, and only book appointments of that type in that schedule, in that slot. Using the screenshot on the right as an example, patients booking a "Telephone Visit" will only see time slots that have been assigned the "online booking" placeholder appointment type. When an appointment is successfully booked, it will enter the time slot assigned as online booking and booked as a "TELEPHONECON" appointment.
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