IMS provides a very configurable appointment scheduling system that allows each doctor to design “model” days with the times, procedures and chairs to fit their needs. IMS’ “Thinking Scheduler” utilizes Doctor-Time scheduling and allows for any number of chairs, multiple doctors and multiple locations. Color coding for procedures is viewable on each and every screen allowing extremely fast “browsing”. Appointments may be scheduled easily in seconds from any workstation on the network, simultaneously for any day, chair and time. Appointment slips with school excuses, financial statements, treatment status or tailored notes may be generated at any time from any location.
Upon entering the “Thinking Scheduler”, the initial screen provides an immediate list of each and every procedure that is still available for the next five (5) days. If any of the appointments listed are acceptable, you are only a click away from selecting it for a patient. This feature is unique to IMS’ “Thinking Scheduler”, and can save valuable time as your days get “booked up” with appointments.
For those seeking to see everything in your schedule, the “Schedule Day” screen can be utilized to show the entire day. In this mode, each procedure still available is designated by the color associated with that procedure. If times are “blocked out” or patients are scheduled, those slots will be “black & white” so that they are not to be confused with appointment slots still available. Patient names will appear when appointments are taken. Also unique to IMS’ “Thinking Scheduler” is the ability to “flip” the role of color when viewing a day or week. By doing so, the appointment slots are colored for those which are “scheduled” rather than “available”. This allows for you to get an idea on how your days or weeks are shaping up as to which appointments are scheduled.
The IMS “Thinking Scheduler” sets itself apart from all other appointment scheduling systems in the orthodontic industry with a feature referred to as “Substitutions”. This is a process where the “Thinking Scheduler” decides when and where to substitute appointments into a “slot” where originally they might not have been designed to be. Although it appears the computer is doing the “Thinking”, these are simply parameters you, the administrator, decide on before building your schedule. By doing so, the “Thinking Scheduler” will keep your “Doctor Time” intact without the end-user being required to make split decisions with every appointment they schedule. Procedures can be “built” from a number of smaller procedures, derived from “dividing” up a larger procedure, or switching with “like time” procedures all while not compromising “doctor time”.
Appointment Chaining is another unique feature. Chaining allows up to 3 appointments to be scheduled for a single patient at one time. Each of the appointments will maintain the configured interval between appointments automatically. This allows offices to find the most difficult appointment first and fill in the easier appointments. Once all appointments are selected the click of one button will schedule ALL appointments, if there are any confilicts (someone else in the practice has schedule an appointment in your time slot), NO appointments will be made. The IMS Chaining feature eliminates the need to make notes and flip around in your schedule to make a series of appointents!
The “View Week” screen allows you to glance at all the available procedures for an entire week. Again the procedures will be color coded with their respective color. This is a powerful feature which allows you to get a better perspective on how your week is “shaping up”.
Utilizing IMS’ “Thinking Scheduler”, you will never lose a patient in the appointment shuffling. At the end of each day, the program presents you with a list of patients who have not been “checked out”. You are then presented a “check out” screen for each of those patients so that you can mark the appointment as failed, cancelled or needs an appointment. While “checking out” the appointment, fees can be assessed, correspondence can be generated and treatment stages can be updated. These processes can also be automatically driven either when a new appointment is made, or when the appointment is “checked out” on the day of. When finished “checking out” the patients, the system will then produce “failed appointment” and “needs appointment” reports.