The availability fallback feature can be enabled in Setup > Online booking > Availability tab > Advanced availability settings:
Due to the fact that sometimes searches on the Patient portal are not successful and they do not return any availability (especially when several filters are applied), we introduced a tool to avoid unsuccessful searches as much as possible.
The availability fallback is a powerful feature that allows to provide alternative availabilities or to collect booking requests from patients in case no availability has been found for the search they have performed.
The purpose of this feature is to encourage patients to complete their reservations by providing them with alternative availabilities (e.g. with a different doctor or in a different location).
When enabling the availability fallback feature, admins can choose between two options: alternative availabilities and alternative availabilities and deferred reservation request.
1. Alternative availabilities
If the first option is selected, whenever a search does not provide any results, patients are provided with alternative availabilities.
Some of the preferences expressed by patients in their search will be removed from the search criteria and a new availability search will be performed.
Example: if no availabilities are found for the selected resource, the patient will see a blue banner explaining that their search has not been successful, but they can check the availabilities of other resources offering the same service.
The availabilities of other doctors will be displayed below the blue banner:
It might occur that no availabilities are found, even when filters are removed from the search. In this case, a message will be displayed informing patients that no availability has been found and suggesting them to contact the center:
2. Alternative availabilities and deferred reservation request
If this option is selected, besides providing patients with alternative availabilities, a 'Send request' button will be available to send a booking request to the center.
To sum up, in this scenario, patients will have two different options:
- Check the alternative availabilities proposed and select one of them (e.g. choose to book with a different doctor or in a different location depending on which filter has been removed from the original search);
- Send a booking request to the center. The booking request will contain all the criteria selected by the patient when they performed their original search.
N.B: The mechanism used for sending booking requests in case of availability fallback is the same used for 'standard' deferred bookings.
As for deferred reservations, booking requests can be collected either via email or via en external URL and it is possible to choose whether to display the reservation summary page or not.