Scheduling an entire practice is no easy task. We have attempted to make it a little less difficult, with our special Planner module. Just look for the link at the top right of your PracticeDent screen, just above your profile picture.
Keep in mind that in order to use the Planner correctly, you should first set up your main Facility details. You can do that from the Practice Cockpit, by navigating to the Medical Practice item in the menu. Here, you should fill out the details about your Staff and Facility – these are the tabs that relate to the Planner. However, we advise you to fill out all information, to make sure all PracticeDent modules and functionalities will work as intended.
You will also see a Schedule tab here. This is, essentially, the same as the Planner, only it’s strictly for your own personal schedule, while the Planner allows an Administrator to work with the entire practice.
Now, let’s go to the Planner!
Here you see the entire Planner. It consists of a toolbar and a detailed yearly view. The toolbar – the grey part on top – consists of two pickers (here you select whose calendar to view, and what practice the selected person works at), 3 preset buttons (Vacation, Sick leave, Clear), and a Legend (where you see a color-coded list of your available facilities).
Note that this is the Simple mode of the Planner – you can click on the link next to the year selector (right above January) to switch to Advanced mode. We will go over the Advanced mode later in this article.
The Simple mode assumes that all weekdays, except for the weekends, are workdays, and takes the working hours you specified in the Facility settings. If you have not specified working hours, it will presume a regular 8AM-5PM business day.
The buttons in the toolbar act like a paintbrush – you select the desired button and then use your mouse to “paint” over the days/weeks/months you want to change: just point and click! If you select the Vacation button and, for example, consecutively click on three single days, they will be marked with green stripes.
Additionally, you can click on a week number, or a month’s name, which will bring up the Schedule Painter pop-up, from which you can select exactly which days in the selected week or month you would like to “paint” with the desired tool.
So, clicking on Week 6 and selecting the days, shown in the image above (Mon-Thu), will lead to the following vacation schedule:
Or, say you have an intern for April, who can only work odd dates, no weekends, due to some university schedule. Then you click on April, select Monday to Friday, click on “Even dates only” (the even dates will be marked as Vacation), and you will get the following schedule:
The Simple mode only allows a single person to be assigned to a single facility, and only provides Vacation and Sick leave options. The Clear button reverts the selected days to the initial state (at work).
The Advanced mode gives you more flexibility. For example, here the default state (Clear) is unassigned, as opposed to the default (at work) state of the Simple mode. Additionally, instead of the Facility picker, you get a new button – “Add rule” – which lets you create more complex schedules, such as one person working at different facilities during the same day.
Remember that switching from Simple to Advanced mode will keep your Simple mode schedule. This means that any Vacation or Sick leave days will be preserved, but all default days will be converted to Clear (unassigned) days. Likewise, switching from Advanced to Simple mode will keep your Advanced mode schedule, but will replace all Clear days (except for weekends) with “at work” days.
Let’s take a closer look at the “Add rule” button!
Once you click it, you will see a pop-up, where you can define the rule. What you can do here is define a single, uninterrupted working period at a single facility. This is useful, for example, when you need to set up a schedule, where someone works at one facility in the morning, and then at another in the afternoon. In the image above, you see that the rule is set as 7:30-12:30 at “Hansen Dental 2”. Once you click OK, you can apply the rule to any day/week/month you desire. You can see how the rule has been applied to May – note how only the first half of the day has been colored with the color assigned to “Hansen Dental 2”.
Next, we can create a rule, where the selected user will be working at another facility in the afternoon. This time, clicking on the custom rule button will simply select the rule, so we need to click on the cog wheel icon in the upper right corner.
Now, the pop-up will open again, with the previous rule already defined. Simply select the facility and hours you would like to apply, and click OK:
Now that we have created another rule (“Hanson Dental 1”, from 13:30 to 18:30), we can apply it to May again:
Note how the 2 rules have now combined visually. Also, keep in mind that if a new rule overlaps an old one, the old rule is discarded and only the new one is applied. I.e. if the blue stripes started from an earlier hour – say 12:00, they would overlap the orange stripes, which would mean that the orange stripes would be discarded.
Of course, you can apply rules to days, weeks and months, select even or odd dates – anything you can do in Simple mode is also applicable here.
Additionally, you can click on each month’s little information icon, located in the month’s upper left corner. This will open an overview of the schedule for the selected month. Let’s go with May again:
If you want to see a short animated overview of how to create and apply a new rule, just click the next image. (N.B. The animation loops over and over again!)
Editing the schedule, naturally, results in some visible changes in the Calendar – indicators appear, showing in color the planned working hours and facilities for the respective user.
If you look at the slide-down schedule view right below the main menu, you will note the new indicators – the color stripes, representing the respective facilities, above the corresponding hours. You can see the facilities list on the left.
These indicators will also appear in the regular Calendar views – below you can see the daily and weekly view.
This will make it much easier for the user to plan new events, according to his or her schedule.