There's a good chance that you want a little bit of "buffer time" in between when the next appointment is available, and when someone can actually book that appointment.
For example, you probably don't want someone booking a 5:00 appointment on Friday at 4:59 p.m., especially if you're ready to head off and relax for the night!
This is where the "lead time" feature comes in! There are two places you can specify the lead time for an appointment:
We'll cover both of these below!
Set the lead time required for online bookings (online bookings settings)
☝️Note: what's set here will be the "default" lead time, unless you explicity override it by selecting a different lead time in each individual appointment type's settings.
To set the default lead time, first head to to Settings, and then Online bookings:
Select a timeframe from the menu under Lead time required for bookings:
Once you've selected your lead time, save your settings, and you'll be good to go! 👌
Setting the lead time for online bookings (individual appointment type settings)
To override the default lead time, you'll want to first head to Settings, and then Appointment types:
Select an individual appointment type from the list, and scroll down to Lead time for online bookings:
It will default to "Use online bookings settings", but you can change it by selecting a new time from the drop-down menu:
Be sure to save your settings!
How do lead times work?
Lead times indicate the amount of time between now and when a patient sees the next available appointment.
For example, let's say you have appointments available between 1 and 5 p.m. If you have your minimum advance time set to "1 hour", and a patient is looking at your bookings page at 12:59 p.m., they would see 2:00 as the next available time (as that would be at least one hour away). If you had it set to "Now", that same patient would be able to see the 1:00 appointment, and potentially book it—and unless they were right outside your clinic, or you had all the time in the world to sit around and wait for them before they arrived, this probably wouldn't be too desirable!
There's a lot of cool stuff you can do with online bookings. Learn more about setting them up and customising your settings right here!