In order to make sure that schedulers and other staff members are aware of times that providers are not available, you can easily block off days/times on the calendar. These blocks can be recurring (for instance, if you always want to block of certain time every day for lunch, or once every other week for a staff meeting) or they can be added for specific instances (if you're travelling or attending a meeting):
- If you have not already done so, create a "Block" or "Unavailable" schedule type in the Admin > Manage > Schedule Types manager. You don't technically need to do this, but it's not a bad idea to have a dedicated color to represent calendar blocks.
- Click in the time slot where you want the block to appear. When the Add Event window comes up, select your designated Block appointment type and provide a title, i.e., "Lunch".
- Set and end time and add any other notes you'd like. If you'd like this to be recurring event just check the Recurring checkbox and select the interval (for example: Every: Day for a fixed lunch schedule, or Every 2: Weeks for a staff meeting). Make sure you specify a future "End Date" in the End Date field next to the End Time field, because the recurring event will appear at the appointed interval until the date specified in that End Date field.
- Hit Add.
You should see the block appear. If you need to adjust the time of a recurring block you can either edit a single instance by clicking on the title of the scheduled block and making any edits, or you can delete the entire event cycle and add a new block at the updated time.
Note: These blocks will prevent patients from scheduling during these times (assuming you've enabled online scheduling) and it will also warn staff if they try to schedule something during blocked-off slots. However, internal staff are able to override these warnings if there's a pressing need to do so.