Block off time slots to make them unavailable for online booking

There are two ways you can block off time slots to make them unavailable for online booking.

Are you blocking off a time slot that follows a pattern (e.g. lunch hour every day)?

Block off in Ocean.

Edit your provider schedule and use the Day/Time Restrictions to set times for Ocean to ignore when allowing patients to book online.

In the example below, I have marked the following days and times as not bookable: all day Saturday and Sundays, between 12am - 9am Monday to Friday, between 12pm - 1pm Monday to Friday and between 5pm - 11:55pm Monday to Friday.

Are you blocking off a one-off time slot (e.g. vacation day or sick day)?

Block off in your EMR.

It is best to block off individual time slots that do not follow a recurring pattern directly in your EMR. Learn more about how to make time slots unavailable in your EMR.

To block off a time slot for online booking, you can simply mark it with "no online booking" in the description.

Control billing for provider schedules

All active provider schedules will be billed and all deactivated provider schedules will not be billed. To stop a provider's schedule from being billed (e.g. if they are on vacation or simply want to stop accepting appointments booked online for some time), you can easily stop billing by deactivating their schedule. 

Deactivate a provider's schedule.

  • Login to the Ocean Portal. Navigate to the Admin Tab and select Online Booking from the left side bar.
  • Next to the Provider Schedules heading, click Configure.
  • To stop the billing for a provider schedule, simply click Deactivate next to the provider's schedule configuration. This will stop billing for that provider's schedule. You can easily reactivate schedules at any time by clicking Activate.

Accepting brand new patients for online booking

Ocean can allow brand new patients who don't already have a chart in your EMR to book online. Unfortunately, the Telus API doesn't allow Ocean to create new charts in PSS or Med Access. This guide will walk you through how to configure your provider's schedule and your booking link to accept new patients to book online, and how to import the online booking notes into a new patient's chart after it's been created in your EMR.

Warning: Ocean can't create charts in PSS or Med Access EMRs

*Please note that Ocean can't create a new chart in Telus PS Suite or Med Access EMRs. Therefore, you will need to create "stub" charts for new patients and import any information captured in your booking link from Ocean's eRequest tab.
  1. Configure provider's schedule and booking link to accept new patients.

    • Login to the Ocean Portal. Navigate to the Admin Tab and select Online Booking from the left side bar.
    • Under Provider Schedules, click Edit next to the schedule you'd like to accept new patients.
    • In the Who is allowed to book into this schedule? field, select All Patients. Click Save.
    • Navigate back to your Online Booking Settings and click Edit next to the booking link you'd like new patients to use when booking online.
    • Ensure the box next to "Do you want to limit online booking to patients with a chart in your EMR?" is unchecked. Click Save.
  2. Create a "stub" chart in your EMR and import the online booking eRequest.

    • Login to the Ocean Portal. Navigate to the eRequest Tab. Use the drop down menu on the left side bar and select All - "your site name". All online booking appointments are recorded as eRequests in the Needs Review tab. Once you've found the eRequest for the new patient, click to see the full details of the eRequest.
    • Login to PSS and create a new record for this patient. PSS requires at minimum first name, surname, date of birth, sex and health card number. Copy this information from the eRequest in Ocean to the new patient record. Click Save.
    • Once you've created the new patient's chart, navigate back to the eRequest in Ocean. Click the Import into EMR button. Ocean look in your EMR for a matching health number and will import the details from the eRequest into the newly created patient's chart.
    • Navigate back to PSS. Find the new patient's appointment (it will have "HN not in EMR" in the details). You can now assign your new patient to this appointment.

Restrict certain patients when booking online

Ocean provides many options to set who can book into your providers' schedules. 

Restricting patients to a certain primary provider

You can restrict a provider's schedule to accept only patients from a certain provider at your clinic. This could mean a provider accepting their own patients, or a medical resident accepting a provider's patients.

Note: Please refer to Your EMR and Ocean Online Booking: What you need to know for details on how Ocean finds the patient's primary provider in your EMR.

  1. Login to the Ocean Portal. Navigate to the Admin Tab and select Online Booking from the left side bar.
  2. Click Edit next to the provider's schedule you would like to edit.
  3. Under the Restrictions heading, click the drop down menu and select Patients with selected providers. A search and drop down window will appear. Click on the provider(s) who's patients you would like to allow to book into this schedule. Their name(s) will appear below the table under the Selected Providers heading.

Individual patient level restrictions

For PSS users, download this "Online Booking Patient Settings.cfm" custom form and import it into PSS. Use this custom form to restrict patients from booking online entirely, or to set a minimum booking duration for their appointments.

For Med Access users, you can add special terms in a patient's chart to restrict them from booking online. In the Notes field (Care Assignments & Notes heading), adding "no ob" or "no online booking" won't allow the patient to book online with Ocean.

Adjusting the online booking cancellation window

By default, Ocean enforces a 24 hour cancellation policy. This means patients can cancel their appointments online, if they have emailed themselves a confirmation email, at least 24 hours before their scheduled appointment. 

To change this cancellation window, you will need to add a formula item in your booking form. This formula item sets the cancellation window for the provider schedule its eForm is assigned to.

Add the ax_minHoursNoticeForCancellation item type in your booking form.

  • Login to the Ocean Portal. Navigate to the Admin Tab and select Online Booking from the left side bar.
  • Click Edit next to the provider's schedule you would like to edit.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Edit Advanced Settings. This will reveal your booking form and post booking form.
  • Next to your booking form, click Edit. This will open the eForm editor.
  • In the eForm editor, click the green plus icon Add Item. In the General tab, set the caption to ax_minHoursNoticeForCancellation:$$. Set the item type to Formula.
  • In the Note Formatting tab, for the field Create a note for this item: select Never.
  • In the Scripting and More tab, set the item reference to ax_minHoursNoticeForCancellation, set Show this field if: false and in the Formula field, enter the number of hours for your cancellation window (e.g. entering 24 will allow patients to cancel their appointments 24 hours prior to their scheduled appointment via their cancellation email).

Warning: If you decide to edit your online booking eForm, do not edit the items referenced "appointmentType", "appointmentDuration" or "reasonForVisit". These are special item types that set the appointment details in your EMR scheduler.

The appointment types configured from Step 1 will be generated in a section with the item reference “appointmentType” in this booking form.

The appointment durations configured from Step 1 will be generated in a section with the item reference “appointmentType” in this booking form.

The "reasonForVisit" item will populate the patients response in the details field of the appointment in your EMRs scheduler. 

It’s highly suggested that you do not edit these items in the booking form.