Search the OSCAR Documentation
< All Topics
Print

Online Booking

Documentation Copyright © 2022 by Adrian Starzynski under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

Online Booking for OSCAR EMR

Preface

In the realm of digital health tools, a flexible and fully customizable online booking system is the most time-saving solution for doctors and clinics.

EMRs have traditionally been lacking behind in the age of online booking systems integrations. Non-open source EMRs charge hefty fees for access to their API integration (API is the backbone of how third-party systems such as online booking, integrate with EMRs) Since OSCAR is open-source, it has an advantage over other EMRs as it is the easiest EMR to integrate solutions with. OSCAR has a REST API that third-party booking system vendors can integrate with to create an ideal solution for. OSCAR vendors normally do not block access to the API so users can easily set up an online booking integration of their choice (e.g. Cortico), without paying extra to the vendor. Note: there is a setting in the OSCAR property file that needs to be changed in order to enable OSCAR’s REST API functionality. This is an easy change to do and needs to only be done once. The online booking system vendor will normally assist in making this change for you.

Setup

The online booking vendor will need you to create a provider with admin access to your OSCAR system to integrate, as well as the API authentication information.

  • In Oscar Administration>User Management, Create a dedicated OSCAR provider for the online booking vendor (suggested that you name this provider as the online booking vendor so it can be easily referenced in the future)
  • Create a security record, with username, password and PIN for the provider
  • Assign the role to this provider as ADMIN

Make sure you trust the online booking vendor, as once you give them the credentials to your OSCAR system, they have full access and can remove any users or do anything they want on your system. Be very careful and always make sure credentials are secure.
Past this step, normally the online booking vendor will do the rest… this can serve as a reference for you just in case.

  • In the Oscar Properties file, set:
    ModuleNames=REST
    *Note: If you have any other modules, include them separated by comma. Example: ModuleNames=REST,Caisi,OLIS,HRM
  • In Administration>Integration>REST Clients, add a new client. Set the API client name/URI/token lifetime as values the online booking provider gives you.
  • The vendor will want the client key and client secret values. These are also extremely sensitive pieces of information as they are used for the API to authenticate.

Benefits of Online Booking

Benefits of a flexible, intelligent online booking solution that integrates with OSCAR:
*Make sure to look for these features when searching for a bookings system for OSCAR*

  • Drastically reduced call volume: MOAs can focus on other more important tasks than booking appointments over the phone
  • Cost savings for clinics!! Reduce need for MOAs or let them focus on better tasks.
  • Convenience for patients: they can go online to book instead of calling
  • Optimized clinic workflow: you can specify what times are bookable for what reasons in the online booking system
  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Less no-shows as patients can choose their appointment time online, must agree to the clinic’s policies, and they will receive automated reminders for their appointments
  • Control cancellations and appointment confirmations online
  • Telemedicine: choose whether to allow patients to book in-person, phone, video appointments or any combination of these online. Use the booking system’s integrated secure virtual visits platform if you want to offer video visits.
  • Translations: most online booking systems offer translation so patients can use the booking system in many languages
  • Check-in/registration kiosk: the best online booking solutions offer their own kiosk that you can select whether or not to allow new walk-in patients to register, which would create a demographic in OSCAR, or just allow patients with appointments on today’s schedule to check-in and be marked as here. Kiosks will ask the patient to agree to clinic policies and confirm the demographic information on-file is correct.
  • Collect preferred pharmacy information which sets the patient’s preferred pharmacy in OSCAR accordingly: useful for phone or virtual appointments so the doctor already knows where to send the patient’s Rx.
  • Integrate with clinic’s existing website, or use the online booking provider’s own simple access page (useful for those doctors/clinics who don’t have a website)
  • Open about features and support: make sure the solution you are looking for has open
  • One-time booking links configurable for specialist-type workflows: e.g. send patient a link to book a follow-up consultation appointment that is only valid for X period of time and can only be booked with X doctor, which is configurable by the clinician.
  • Works with walk-in clinic workflows: includes a “now serving” and “giving out” number panel, so walk-in clinics can choose to use this so that people can check the wait and number of patients before them online.

Cortico is the system that the author of this article uses for his clinic and recommends. Cortico offers all of the above features, and more.

Previous Lab Admin
Next Schedule Management
Table of Contents