FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the minimum technical requirements for using CTCS?
To use CTCS you only need:
1) A Windows based computer(*) running your practice management software (**)
2) An internet connection to one of the computers at your office.
For Real Time Scheduling, the internet connection has to stay up, otherwise a temporary connection is possible.
(*)Vista, XP, 200x(**) Dentrix, Easydental, MediSoft...
How will my clients know my practice provides online scheduling?
There are several ways your clients can schedule their next appointments with your office using the CTCS automatic search engine:
1) Your clients can go to your web site where you will have installed a link that leads them directly to our services specifically customized to your practice. We provide your office with the link to install on your web site. The online scheduling system will be tailored specifically to your existing web site's color, images, and backgrounds so the transition to it will not be apparent to your patients. They will feel like they are continuing to use your web site when scheduling their next appointment. (Click here to see an example.)
2) Your clients can go to http://appointMaster.com/my_practice where they will find your practice and schedule their next appointments. (This is useful when you do not yet have a web site.)
3) Upon request at any time, we will send one or more emails or text messages to all your current clients to inform them about the new service and to invite them to use it for scheduling their next appointment. Each email will contain a link to a private CTCS secure portal, from which clients will be able to schedule their next visit online.
4) All client communications we send out on your behalf, (e.g., reminders, birthdays, survey invitation, reactivations, etc.) will contain the same link to bring your clients directly to their private CTCS secure portal.
If requested, we will provide flyers and cards explaining to your clients the benefits of using online scheduling. We recommend such information be displayed prominently in your office reception area.
We strongly encourage you to revise the message callers will hear on your telephone answering system. The message should indicate that new and/or existing clients can now enjoy the convenience of scheduling their next appointment online by going to your web site or ClienTraxcs.com.
What link should I provide to my Clients to make online scheduling easy?
Your CTCS account allows you to download a link at any time that will take visitors directly to your web site's new online scheduling service.
Remember CTCS scheduling online is specifically adapted to your existing web site's look and feel (e.g., color, images, and backgrounds) so visitors will not experience any change transitioning from your web site to CTCS scheduling online. Clients will think they are continuing to use your web site when scheduling their next appointment. (Click here to see an example.)
Upon your request at any time, we will send emails to all your existing (and/or active) clients to let them know about this new service and to invite them to use it for their next visit. Each email will contain a link that will take them directly to a private CTCS secure portal adapted to your web site.
How do I link CTCS online scheduling to my existing website?
This very simple operation must be performed by your web master, web contractor, or the company who is hosting your web site.
We provide you a "link" that brings visitors directly to your CTCS Online Scheduling, specially tailored for you.
The only thing you must do is select the location on your web site where you want the link to appear. If you are not sure where to to insert this new service in your existing web site, we will be happy to help you identify or design the best place.
I do not have a website; how will my clients be aware of this new service?
Even if you do not yet have a web site, there are several ways your patients can use the CTCS automatic search engine to schedule their next appointments with your office:
1) Your clients can go to appointMaster.com where they can find your practice and schedule their next appointments. (usually http://appointMaster.com/"your_practice_name").
2) Upon request at any time, we will send on your behalf, one or more emails or text messages to all your current clients to inform them about the new service and to invite them to use it to schedule their next appointment. Each email will contain a link to a private CTCS secure portal, from which they will be able to schedule their next visit.
3) All client communications we send out on your behalf (e.g., reminders, birthdays, survey invitation, reactivations, etc.) will contain a link to take patients directly to a private CTCS secure portal adapted to your practice from which they will be able to schedule their next visit online.
We urge you to display flyers and cards on your office reception desk to describe the benefits of scheduling appointments with your office online. If requested, we will provide these materials.
We also recommend that you revise the message callers will hear on your telephone answering system to indicate that new and/or existing clients can enjoy the convenience of scheduling their next appointment online by going to your web site or ClienTraxcs.com.
Does CTCS apply to all of my appointments?
Technically, yes. CTCS has the potential to handle the scheduling of all appointments for your practice. But you may choose to have some appointments booked traditionally by phone, at least initially.
Depending on your field and specialty, online scheduling will be used more often by existing clients; new clients will probably tend to call your office first. Experience shows that patients who start using CTCS come back and use it more frequently again and again.
What plans do you have for supporting other practice management software?
We strive to support as many different practice management and scheduling software systems as possible so CTCS can be used by more and more users. We invest a lot of effort in constantly increasing the number of software systems we support.
Alternatively, we also provide our own online scheduling software, allowing you to forget completely about local software, costly installations, upgrades, maintenance, or disastrous crashes.
To learn more about CTCS Full Online Scheduling click here.
What is involved in stopping the CTCS if I wish to do so?
CTCS can be used for free with no obligation for a period of up to two months. During this time, you can cancel your account at anytime, a credit of 400 free communications (text or phone) is granted to you.
Once you have decided to purchase our service, you may select a monthly contract that gives you the flexibility of discontinuing our service at any time without penalty or additional cost. We also offer a 6- or 12-month, fixed-rate contract that offers a substantial saving.
SERVICE & PROCESS
How does CTCS know what is actually available in my schedule?
When you use CTCS with your existing software, we install a data communications software product on your computer which regularly updates a copy of your schedule into CTCS. This ongoing schedule-synchronizing process is protected by standard HIPAA-qualified controls.
Thus, if a client requests a specific time for an appointment, CTCS knows this time was available in your schedule prior to the request, and there is little chance that your staff has already booked the same appointment. However, in the unlikely event this happens, your staff can use the CTCS alternative-appointment-proposal feature to suggest another date and time, instead of confirming the appointment.
Can CTCS work with my existing software?
Yes. CTCS has been designed to be compatible with - not replace - the functions provided by your practice management system. For example, we have created data communications software that regularly aligns the schedule in CTCS with your current schedule in real time. All client data from your current system is also automatically known by CTCS. The Pet Portal feature reads the pet data already on file. In these and other ways CTCS complements your existing processes.
What happens when an TCS appointment is scheduled online by a patient?
CTCS searches its own synchronized copy of the practice’s appointment schedule for openings using a series of practice-customized rules. It presents those openings to the user for selection. When a selection has been made, the details of that selection are written to a file in the practice management system, which is read virtually immediately and placed on the practice’s schedule.
Can the same appointment be booked twice online?
Certainly not almost always. CTCS uses a technical "reservation" mechanism to preclude double booking.
As soon as a schedule opening is chosen, CTCS marks the selected choice as "pre-booked" in its copy of the practice schedule. In this way CTCS guards against two online appointment requests reserving the same opening. This processing takes place only in the CTCS copy of the schedule. As usual, CTCS does not change anything in your actual practice schedule.
As soon as your staff has responded to the request, the "pre-booked" opening is changed to its actual status, whether confirmed or open, depending on the staff response.
What kinds of appointments can be proposed to my clients?
Any and all kinds. Creating and defining the kinds of appointments (what CTCS calls appointment “Reasons”) is just another of the ClienTrax CS user-customizable features.
Appointment Reasons can be tailored in a number of ways: for desired durations, to be available only on certain days or time frames, limited to certain providers, and in other ways. Optional explanatory “help text” can also be created for each Reason.
How will I know a client has requested an appointment online?
CTCS will advise you of an online appointment request in two ways:
1) A software tool called a Notifier Agent will create a flashing message on the computers of all users that you choose.
2) An email will be sent to the practice’s email address.
To learn more about the online scheduling process, click here.
How is it determined which appointment requests ultimately get put on my schedule?
You make all final decisions regarding the status of online appointment requests. The email sent to you for each request allows you to either respond to the requester with an alternative day and time or allow the request to be confirmed.
Can the client select a specific provider within my practice?
Yes. You can easily define appointment "Reasons" (The CTCS term for appointment types) proposed to your visitor for online scheduling that link them with a specific provider, or a group of providers.
You have the ability to label a "Reason" with a custom name, to link the Reason to a provider if desired. You can name a reason with a simple label like "Appointment with Dr X for (specific reason)" or even create a category of multiple Reasons that include a given provider name.
To learn more about "Reason" and appointments type proposed to your online visitors, click here.
What if I do not currently use scheduling software?
If you’re not currently using any software product to manage your practice scheduling, CTCS Online Booking (OLB) may be the answer. It is easy to set up, fast, inexpensive, and available online from anywhere, at anytime. It offers a variety of customizing options. It can be integrated into the scheduling function of most practice management systems, should you choose to purchase one later.
Click here to request a demonstration or receive more information about OLB.
How long does it take to be up and running with CTCS?
As soon as you sign up with CTCS, we will help you set up and customize your account to make sure online appointments proposed to your visitors accurately reflect your practice procedures.
Signing up, initializing and activating your CTCS account is almost immediate. Setting up the schedule rules (the "Reasons") depends only on their complexity; but it usually takes only one or two days. Using our standard templates, you can then use CTCS immediately from your web site and have visitors start submitting their requests online.
Customizing CTCS Online Scheduling to the look and feel of your web site varies upon the complexity of your web site. It usually takes one or two days to complete the redesign of the art on these pages to match your style.
Where can I see what the client will experience when booking an appointment with ClienTrax CS?
You can see what a patient will experience booking an appointment online with CTCS using one of the following links:
If you want to learn or see more about this integration, do not hesitate to contact us.
How does CTCS handle possible interruptions of service?
CTCS always maintains several backup servers ready to take over any major failure from our highly secure cloud servers.
As a result of many years of experience, CTCS has developed technology and industry relationships with different partners to provide highly secure and continuous HIPAA-compliant online operation for the medical and para-medical industry.
If one of our server goes down, traffic will be rerouted automatically to a replication server, so neither you nor your patients or staff members will be aware that there has been a problem.
Can I customize the CTCS web-site pages in the same way that I can customize my communications?
In some ways. There are currently a few pages that allow changes to images or text. We are looking at additional places where we can make customization possible.
Is there a way that vaccine reminders can be made to work as automatically as appointment reminders?
Yes, in a soon-coming new feature. Based in part on input from current clients, a version of CTCSthat’s being tailored for the veterinary market includes fully automated vaccine reminders. In the meantime, vaccine reminders can continue to be created in the Media Center.
How do Media Center campaigns get set up? Does CTCS staff do that or can i do them myself?
It’s up to you. During your Free Trial, we create the “starter” campaigns for you while you watch. Based on that, you can decide whether to do subsequent campaigns yourself or have us do them. If you want to do them yourself, we’ll gladly walk you through the steps as you “drive”. If you’d prefer that we handle this for you going forward, we can accommodate that as well.
How much customizing is possible with the communications that my practice sends out through AppointMaster?
Virtually all aspects of the content of email, text and voice communications can be customized according to your needs. We do encourage practices to keep to the standardized message templates in the early stages of their Free Trials. This allows communication features to be activated as quickly as possible. Experience has shown that once the practice gets an initial “feel” for the regular workings of the communications, making adjustments later is easier and smoother.
Why will my clients use CTCS?
Your clients will use CTCS because it is very convenient, and it follows a general trend in the industry with more and more appointments being scheduled online.
Clients can use CTCS from their homes, their offices, and from their hotels while traveling, all of this at any time, often at times when your office may be closed or unavailable to take calls for appointments.
Clients can access CTCS from their mobile PDA or phones. CTCS has developed a dedicated interface so an appointment with your practice can be made from any modern mobile device "on the run," a convenience well-suited to today's busy clients.
Your clients can already book airline and theatre tickets, and make restaurant reservations completely online. They can perform countless financial and commercial operations online. Clients are beginning to expect this flexibility and comfort. Why should you not offer your clients the convenience of scheduling an appointment with your office online?
Does CTCS apply to new or existing clients?
This is entirely your choice. CTCS provides you with many ways to adjust to whom CTCS will appeal. You can enable privileges, encourage or discourage, or even prevent a specific category from scheduling appointments online.
For instance, if you specifically want new clients to call your office first, a client whom CTCS does not recognize will be explicitly directed to call your office. The opposite behavior is also easy to set up; by default, CTCS welcomes both categories, increasing the number of online appointments made for you.
Does the client see the actual schedule?
No. A visitor booking an appointment with your practice using CTCS never sees your actual schedule or part of it.
CTCS only displays to the visitor "openings" in your practice schedule that match:
1) Available time for the relevant providers,
2) Client actual needs, and
3) Client date and time preferences.
Your actual practice schedule is never displayed or easily determined from what CTCS displays to the patient. CTCS guarantees you complete practice privacy protection.
To learn more about what takes place when a patient selects an appointment, click here.
Does the client book real appointments in my practice schedule?
No. When an online visitor selects one of the openings proposed by CTCS, your office is immediately notified of the event; nothing is definitively booked in your practice schedule.
Only your office can decide if a request coming from the web is confirmed or not, and only your office will enter the client request on your official schedule. CTCS only facilitates the communication between the client and your practice.
To learn more on what happens when a Client submits a request click here.
Can the client select the best time for them?
Yes. This is one of many nice features of CTCS. The client making an appointment online with your practice using CTCS has considerable flexibility in defining his date and time preferences.
The CTCS search engine screens all available times for the "Reason" selected by the patient and proposes only the openings that match the client's preferences.
To learn more about "Reason" click here
To see what the patient will actually experience booking an appointment online click here
How does the client define his/her needs?
There are two ways a patient can define the exact reason for his/her next visit to your office:
1) Before selecting any possible date or time, the client has to define the "Reason" for his next visit to your practice. The possible "Reasons" available to the patient are entirely your choice, and there is no limit on the number of "Reasons" (and sub-reasons) you can offer to a visitor scheduling online.
2) The client can leave a detailed memo about his/her request so your office can be informed of any specific conditions associated with the next visit to your office.
To see how the patient selects his needs click here
Does the client have to re-enter data every time?
No. This is one of the great benefits of using CTCS for online scheduling. CTCS keeps track of the client identification database so visitors do not have to re-enter data for every visit.
Using their email or phone number associated with a privacy code of their choice, CTCS will recognize your existing clients and their family members automatically.
Additionally, CTCS allows a person responsible for a family to book an appointment for any family member. So it is very easy for busy parents to schedule appointments for their child(ren) with your practice.
What if one of my clients does not want to use CTCS?
If one of your clients does not want use CTCS to schedule his/her next appointment with your practice, he/she will simply continue to call your office as is customary today. CTCS is just a convenient option, not a mandatory path.
CTCS is HIPAA-compliant, and as such it provides a way to opt-out in any online communication with your clients. Whether by email or text message, the patient can always elect to stop receiving online material from your office.
Moreover, the AppointMaster patient portal, allows patients to be more precise and selectively eliminate or include which of their phone numbers or emails on file may (or may not) receive your online communication. They can even provide additional phone numbers or emails, which you may not necessarily have in your practice management file. This is a very flexible configuration only AppointMaster provides to your patients.
I already have a web site that provides appointment requests, why is CTCS better?
If your web site already offers patients the option of requesting an appointment online, it is likely that these requests consist of simple emails that are sent to you once a patient has completed a form on your web site. These requests only transmit to your practice what the client wants, but do not communicate to him/her the appointment times that are actually available to match his/her needs. It is a one-way communication.
When your office receives this one-way email, your staff has to do all the work CTCS could do for you automatically, such as:
1) Contact the client
2) Understand what the client needs
3) Understand when the client is available to come to your office
4) Search for a compatible date and time in the relevant provider's schedule
5) Propose alternative dates, communicating back and forth until a mutually convenient time for the appointment is established.
The above steps do not include the time you or your client often spend calling back and forth because you cannot reach the patient, or the client cannot reach you, or the client simply has to wait on hold for someone at your office to take his/her call.
CTCS eliminates all these steps since the client does it all online. Once the patient has selected the "Reason" for his next visit, CTCS does the search, proposes the possible dates and gets the client's selection. Almost every time, the client selection actually matches your schedule and internal rules, so there are no phone calls to place or research, discussions, or explanations required. All is done online, with a simple click of the mouse.
Our office already uses a competing reminder system, why is CTCS better?
CTCS is a better solution because:
1) CTCS provides an exclusive, true Real-Time Online Scheduling system that is a unique source of productivity and saving for your office, as well as a very convenient option for your patients to book appointments online.
2) CTCS Online Scheduling integrates directly with your existing web site, so visitor do not experience any discontinuity while booking an appointment with your practice.
3) The reminders sent out by CTCS can easily be changed and customized to become completely specific to your practice. They can include any type of images, messages, and links of your choice.
4) You can select the number, frequency, and type of reminders sent out for each appointment (whether or not booked with CTCS). Your online communication by email, text message or both, becomes highly accurate and efficient.
5) The CTCS unique "Patient Feedback" feature allows your practice to send out satisfaction surveys that are completely customizable and specific to your practice.
Try it free for 60 days!
Does CTCS have any protection against online abuses so I do not get overwhelmed with fake appointments coming from my web site?
CTCS provides several protection against online abuses:
1) Identification To request an appointment online, a client usually has to identify himself/herself, so you will know who is creating multiple fake requests.
2) Ip blocking Although you can provide access to new patients (who are then not necessarily identified in your system), we keep track of the IP address from which the request has been posted. Doing so, we "block" requests sent to your office too fast or too often from the same IP address, in other words, from the same computer or network. So you cannot be overwhelmed with email or requests coming from malicious operators or software.
3) Captcha Optionally, we provide your online scheduling system with a "Captcha" protection, again reducing the possibility of malicious software or operator abuses. This protection consists of requiring a visitor to enter a code he/she can read on an image that has been encrypted and is virtually unreadable by any automatic software.
Remember: CTCS only sends to your office client requests over the web, not actual appointments in your schedule; hence, no actual damage could be done to your system. In a worst case scenario, assuming the above protections would not be enough to prevent a truly determined hacker from sending you multiple requests, you may always contact us and request that we delete the requests, if you do not want to do it yourself.
CTCS is safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant.
Are my data exposed to the Internet?
No. CTCS reads only a tiny subset of the data stored in your practice management software to maintain an up-to-date version of your practice schedule on our servers.
Plus, the channel used to do so is secure and encrypted using industry standard and most advanced technology to ensure complete protection to the few data copied on our secure severs.
Even more, all web interfaces provided by CTCS, whether your practice's control panel or the client online scheduling pages are all password-protected and SSL-encrypted.
Finally, one should remember that although the number of hackers and malicious operators did not decrease much during the last two years, it has not increased much either. During the same period, the number of sensitive web sites and data moved over the Internet has exploded, making any particular web site or transaction less exposed.
Can anyone access my account online?
No. All web interfaces provided by CTCS, whether your practice's control panel to access your account online or the patient online scheduling pages are all password-protected and SSL-encrypted.
Only you can access your online account.You can change your access password at anytime to preclude access to your system by former employees or by those with whom you no longer wish to share such information. If you forget your login information, CTCS can reset it for you.
Does CTCS provide any kind of backup?
CTCS is by nature a backup, since CTCS constantly makes a fresh real-time copy of your practice schedule online.
You have online access to your schedule anytime using CTCS Mobile Access. So if you are traveling or at home, or elsewhere out of your office, you can access your most precious information at a fingertip: your practice schedule.
CTCS Mobile Access also provides a unique capability to text message, email or even call one of your scheduled patients directly.