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Managing your Availability

Managing your Availability

In SimplePractice you can easily indicate the times you're available, so your existing clients and potential new clients can request appointments with you online. You can also specify the services you provide during your Availability blocks. Any appointments you already have on your calendar will block those times that are available to prevent clients from double booking. This doesn't block you from scheduling multiple appointments at the same time if needed.

We’ve integrated a Call-to-Request feature as well, which allows you to designate service codes as available to book only by phone call.

To get started with setting up your Availability, you’ll first want to make sure you’ve enabled online appointment requests at Settings > Client Portal > Settings. If you haven't yet, you can learn how to enable appointment requests in our guide: Enabling online appointment requests

In this guide, we'll cover: 


Setting Availability

For most clinicians, setting your Availability means setting your practice hours. For others, it might mean setting a few specific open blocks for clients to schedule online. To get started:

  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage
  • Click Availability in the upper right hand corner
    • This button will only show up if online appointment requests are enabled and you have at least one office location listed at Settings > My Practice > Locations

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  • Click anywhere on the calendar to add a new Availability block
  • Enter a title for your Availability block

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  • Adjust the start and end times for your block
  • Set the Location of where you want to offer this Availability
  • Check the box next to Repeats to set repeating blocks 
    • For example, if your regular hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, you can have these Availability blocks repeat for the days of the week that you’re available each week
    • Select the drop-down next to Every to set the frequency. If you want it to repeat every week, leave it at 1. You can make this repeat up to every 8 weeks
    • Select the drop-down next to Ends. If this is temporary, you can select After or On Date. Otherwise, you can select Never if these are your typical hours and you want them to repeat. You'll always have the option to delete individual blocks later
  • If you want to offer multiple services, your active codes will display and you can select the available services for this time block 
  • Click Done

You can click anywhere on the calendar to add another Availability block. You can also add multiple Availability blocks that overlap. Follow the previous steps to create other Availability blocks as needed.

availabilityblocks.simplepractice.calendarhomepage.png


Editing Availability

If you want to make any changes to your Availability:

  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage
  • Click Availability in the upper right corner
  • Select the Availability block you want to edit 
  • A fly-out will appear and you can edit the name, date, time, Location, and Services Offered

editavailability.simplepractice.calendar.png

  • Once you’ve made your changes, click Done

Deleting Availability

To delete an Availability block: 

  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage
  • Click Availability in the upper right corner
  • Select the Availability block on your calendar that you want to delete
  • Choose the trash can icon

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  • If the Availability block is recurring, you have the option to delete:
    • Only this event 
      • This will delete the Availability block for just that day
    • This and all future events
      • This will delete this Availability block and all Availability blocks scheduled in the future for this series
    • All events in the series
      • This will delete this Availability block and all future and past blocks in this series 

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  • Click Delete

Scheduling time between appointments

If you have appointment requests enabled to book appointments by session duration, you can automatically schedule breaks in between sessions, or add extra buffer time to allow for paperwork between clients. For example, if you have a 50 minute appointment and you need 10 minutes after the appointment to prep for your next session, you can adjust your schedule so that the appointment block takes 60 minutes, instead of starting the next appointment immediately after. 

Important: The session duration and the buffer time needs to be equal to or less than the Availability block’s total duration for the time to be available for online appointment requests.

To do this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Services
  • Click the service code you want to edit
  • Make sure Available for online appointment requests is selected to see all Booking Options 
  • Enter a number of minutes to block off before and/or after the appointment

buffertime.simplepractice.billingandservices.png

  • Click Save

Note: We recommend only choosing to block off time before or after a service, not both. This will help to keep your Availability streamlined and easier to troubleshoot if issues arise. 


Scheduling available appointments at the bottom of the hour

You have the flexibility to customize your hours of Availability however you need. You can have appointments begin on the hour, the half hour, or every 1.5 hours. 

Note: Before proceeding, set your availability to start on the half hour and make sure the service codes you want to use are selected.

Next, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Settings > Client Portal > Settings
  • Select According to service duration under Appointment start time is shown...

accordingtoserviceduration.simplepractice.clientportalsettings.png

  • Click Save Settings

Next, confirm that the appointment duration works for your setup. To do this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Services
  • Select the service you want to offer for this custom time event
    • Repeat these steps if you have other codes with similar requirements
  • Change the service code Default Duration to 60 minutes

defaultduration.simplepractice.billingandservices.png 

  •  
    • If the duration is already set to 60 minutes, you don’t need to make any changes
    • If the duration is set to 50 minutes, you'll want to add extra time by adding a 10 minute block off time, so as not to affect the billable duration
  • Click Save

You can customize these buffer times if you’d like your appointments to be available every 1.5 hours or other custom times.


Displaying Availability without enabling online appointment requests

You can create Availability blocks to help you see your available times or show your team when you’re available, even if that time isn't available for your clients to book online. To do this:

  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage 
  • Click Availability 

availabilityblocks.simplepractice.calendar.png

  • Click anywhere in the calendar and a flyout window will appear
    • Enter a title (i.e., Morning Availability, as shown below)
  • Change the duration if needed
  • Uncheck Available for online appointment requests
  • Click Done to save

availableforrequests.simplepractice.calendar.png


FAQs


I’m part of a group practice, but only some of our clinicians are available for online appointment requests. Why?

Each clinician that’d like to accept online appointment requests will need to establish their own availability blocks. To do this, follow the instructions in Setting Availability to create a new availability block for the clinician(s) in question. 

Note: If you’d like to allow Availability for multiple locations, you’ll need to create an Availability block for each individual location along with each clinician offering services at that location. 


I have an Other appointment scheduled, will that block my online appointment request availability?

If you schedule an Other appointment on your calendar, that time will no longer be available for online appointment requests. 

otherappointment.simplepractice.availability.png


Why isn’t my availability showing up for client’s trying to schedule an appointment through the Booking Widget?

To allow clients to request appointments through the Booking Widget on your website, you’ll need to have Availability blocks set up for services that you’ve set as bookable for new clients. To make a service bookable for new clients online:

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Services 
  • Click the service code you’d like to make available to new clients
  • Check the box next to Allow for New Clients

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  • Click Save
  • Navigate to your Calendar homepage
  • Select Availability in the upper right corner
  • Click the Availability block you want to make available through the Booking Widget
  • Check the box next to the service you just made available for new clients

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  • Click Done

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