Complete Solution for all Staff Members
While VetLinkSQL, like many cloud hosted applications, can be accessed on a mobile device such as a phone, it brings a number of security issues with it due to the full application being exposed to say, casual or locum staff. To solve this problem we have developed our VetLinkSQL Mobile App that has many advantages when compared to having the entire application rendered onto a small screen. That App has the ability to work offline with only basic and essential features for field Vets. It also has numerous security options thereby mitigating breach issues for the main corporate application database. Regardless, users have been asking for a FREE solution for appointment tracking – read on to find out how you can achieve this using Google Calendar.
There is no doubt that almost every staff member at every practice would enjoy fast and easy access to their workload and appointment schedule without having to log in to the entire application off a mobile device such as a phone. For an equine or large animal Vet, having almost live access to their next appointment would also be very desirable. For companion animal Vets on break, say at lunch before their next shift, knowing when to turn up would be quite a nice touch. Syncing each staff’s appointment calendar to one of their Google Calendars provides an excellent FREE solution!
Easily Set Up
First, you will need a Gmail account. If you have one then that’s great. If not, or you want a separate new one, it is easy to set up and it is free. Once you have set this account up, these are the simple steps you need to follow to have your VetLinkSQL system (Ver 5.1k and above) sync appointments to your Google calendar that is easily accessed on your phone via the free Gmail App on both Apple and Android devices. To see if you are on the correct version of VetLinkSQL, simply click (at the top of your screen) - Help / About.
If not already done, enable email under Options | Setup | Misc | Internet Options
Under Options | Setup | Diary | 1: Options - under Email Appointment to Staff tick Send Automatically
Go to Options | Pick Lists Setup | Diary | Diary Profiles | Pick a Diary then select Diary staff appointments to be emailed from and set Send Email to Staff to Yes.
Make sure the staff email address on the staff record is set to the email address linked to the calendar they want updated
Set Auto Email Appointments for each staff in their staff roster for the diary they want appointments emailed from. This can be one or many
You are done! When an appointment is now created or changed in VetLinkSQL, an automated notification will update the corresponding Google calendar.
Notifications & Reminder Suppression
In case each and every diary update notification and / or reminder annoys you, please follow these steps to select your preference(s).
If your inbox is getting cluttered with notification messages, Gmail does allow you to set filters where you can auto archive emails based on a set of rules. This is best done from a computer. Log into your Gmail account and go to the COG (Gear / Wheel symbol) on the top right and select Settings -> then click Filters and Blocked Addresses tab -> click Create New Filter. In the filter, set the From Address to the clinic email ID set in VetlinkSQL (under setup), and set the Subject keyword to VetLinkSQL Appointment, tick has attachment and then click continue. On the next window tick skip inbox (archive it) and then update filter.
On a computer, to turn off the calendar sending a notification to your email before each appointment open the Google Calendar -> Under My Calendars on left hand side, click more options (option with 3 dots) next to the calendar name and select Setting and Sharing -> on left hand side click Event Notifications and then set the General Notifications as per your requirements.
Follow this link for a description of the feature set.