Self-Book: FAQs

This article aims to answer some of the frequently asked questions about our new Booking Module features from you, our users!

Hannah avatar
Written by Hannah
Updated over a week ago

Our Booking Module includes all of our Self-Book functionality. This includes the ability to invite an individual patient to Self-Book an appointment, invite a batch of patients to Self-Book a specific appointment type and effectively triage patients by sending a Self-Book link in response to more urgent patient requests

Self Book is part of Accurx Plus - a premium set of features. If you don't have access to Accurx plus you can learn more, including how to get access, here.

Medical Record Integration

I use the Self-Book feature within SystmOne. What is different about yours?

Accurx’s Self-Book feature is super user-friendly and adaptable, giving you the most flexibility when it comes to appointment slot types. There’s no login necessary for patients, meaning it’s quick and easy for them to book in. It also works really well with other Accurx features used by primary care organisations, including Floreys and appointment reminders.

Can patients select which GP/clinician they would like to see? Can we invite patients to book an appointment with a specific GP/nurse/clinician?

Patients can currently only choose the appointment type. This is something we are looking into amending in the future. Practices can set up additional appointment slot types if they wish to invite patients to visit a specific clinician.

A workaround for this would be to set up a slot type for each clinician. For example, create a slot type for ‘Face-to-Face consultation with Dr Example’ and add this slot type to Dr Example's sessions.

How does the integration work? Do I need to set up new appointment slot types for the integration to work?

If you have your appointment slots already set up, all you need to do is select your preferred slot type from the list and your patients will be able to book directly into your clinical appointment book. You’ll just need to ensure that you have some available slots for the next six weeks.

Can I access Self-Book and Batch Self-Book in Wales or Northern Ireland?

GP practices in Wales and Northern Ireland can use our Booking Module if they use EMIS. Please contact us if you’d like to find out more about using the Booking Module in Wales or Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, we don’t currently integrate with Vision.

Do these appointments go towards online booking targets?

At the moment, Self-Book appointments won’t go towards online booking targets. Accurx continues to work with NHS England on how this might work in the future.

Setting Up Self-Book

How do I set up the new slot types?

We have created some short user guides on how to set up new slot types in EMIS and SystmOne. Please click one to find out how to do this for your relevant clinical system! ☝️

I’ve just created a new slot type, why can’t I see it in the dropdown?

As standard, we search your appointment book for new slots or new appointments once every 24 hours. Once you've sent the batch message we'll start checking your appointment book at 30-minute intervals for 7 days while the links are still valid, once the links expire or are fully booked we will go back to searching the appointment book once every 24 hours!

Can we schedule the date and time when we send these self-booking links?

No, sadly this isn’t available at the moment.

How long do the booking links last?

The booking links sent to patients will expire after 7 days.

How far in advance can I invite a patient to book an appointment? Can I reduce/extend this?

You can currently show appointment availability up to six weeks in advance. We know that some practices would prefer less/more than this, and we’re looking into whether we can amend this. We find that six weeks is the optimal time to encourage appointment bookings while keeping DNAs to a minimum.

We have introduced a 12-week window trial for the Flu season, if you'd like this enabled for your practice please get in touch with us on Support using the chat bubble in the bottom right corner

Can I invite patients to book across different practices? Do the Booking Module features work on SystmOne hub units or PCN-wide clinics?

The Booking Module features currently don’t support hub-style working. This is something we are looking to support in the near future. Watch this space 👀 .

Can appointment availability be restricted to a certain time period, for example, only one week of appointments showing as available?

Yes! If you embargo the appointments for that time period, they won’t appear as available to your patients. Appointment slots will only show through the Self-Book link once you mark them as available in your clinical system.

Sending the Self-Book Link

Can I invite patients for a combined appointment e.g. COVID-19 and flu vaccinations together?

Yes! You just need to set up an appointment slot type for a joint COVID-19 and flu vaccination.

Can I upload a list of patients to book into a specific appointment slot type?

Yes! You can do this using our Batch Self-Book feature. This works a lot like accuBook for COVID-19 vaccination clinics, except it integrates with your clinical appointment book and can be used for any appointment type.

Can I offer more than one appointment slot type e.g. a face-to-face or telephone option?

At the moment, you can only offer one appointment slot type per booking link.

Can I use Self-Book and Batch Self-Book for appointments other than flu vaccinations?

Yes, you can use it for other appointments! This functionality was built to support vaccination programmes, but it’s super flexible and can be used for other things too. The only thing to bear in mind is that the SMS costs for these use cases would need to be covered by your practice, local Federation or ICB. This includes those wanting to use it for Polio vaccinations this year.

Can you pre-set the message that goes along with the booking link, rather than typing it in every time? Can I set up new templates for Self-Book and Batch Self-Book messages?

You can use your existing SMS templates, or make new ones, for individual Self-Book messages. This also means you can add a Snomed code to these texts. For Batch Self-Book, we will provide some Accurx recommended templates, which will include messages for flu, polio and COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Can I send a self-book link on the same day that I want the patient to book an appointment?

Yes, we now support booking appointments on the same day.

If I send out a self-book link on Saturday or Sunday when will the patient receive their link?

The message will be sent straight away. We don't support scheduling or any delay in messages for Self-Book links, despite being sent in out of hours or not.

Can I cancel a link have I sent?

Unfortunately, this is not possible at the moment. However, if you open the link and input the date of birth wrong 15 times then this will disable the link. We also would recommend messaging the patient to let them know the link is now invalid.

If this was a batch Self-Book you've sent out you can get in touch with Support using the chat bubble icon in the bottom right corner and we can revoke this for you.

If we have Accurx's appointment reminder product, will a reminder still be sent to a patient who booked via self-book?

Yes, as long as you have the slot type set up in the appointment reminder settings for the slot type they booked into.

How many texts does it take to send a self-book link? Cost-wise is this one or more fragments of SMS costs?

Our Self-Book links are currently set to a maximum of two SMS fragments.

Can you identify which appointment links were not used? Can you see when they have expired?

You can see which booking links expired in your 'sent' folder in the inbox. This may look different in Batch Self-Book, and we’ll keep you updated on this.

What can patients do?

Can patients cancel their appointment via the same link?

The patients won't be able to cancel their appointment through the same link - but they can cancel it through an appointment reminder (if the practice has appointment reminders set up for that slot type).

Are there any measures in place to prevent patients from booking into an inappropriate appointment slot?

Yes! Patients will only be able to book into appointment slots that the practice has chosen to show them. You will choose the specific appointment type before sending a booking link, for example, a COVID-19 booster appointment, or a smear test.

How will we know if a patient has booked an appointment?

There will be a status for the link in the message thread. For batch Self-Book you can also see this in the 'View Details' section of your Batch Message table.

Do patients get a confirmation message when they have booked an appointment?

Yes, they'll get a confirmation message with the date, time and location of the appointment.

Can they decline the invite?

Yes, when sending Self-book links out in Batch, you can choose whether you'd like patients to be able to decline their appointment invite.

If you choose to enable this, the patient will be able to decline via the link in their invite text message. If the patient does decline, a SNOMED code (chosen by you) will be automatically added to the patient's medical record. More info on this here.

Did this answer your question?