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Multiple time zones: an overview

View calendars and reports in multiple zones to offer convenient appointments.

Rachel Harkness avatar
Written by Rachel Harkness
Updated over a week ago

Tired of the headache that comes with scheduling appointments for patients or team members in different time zones? With advanced time zone support, tasks like scheduling appointments are now a breeze! You can easily view your calendar in multiple time zones and offer appointment times that work for your patients.

For example, when scheduling telehealth video consultations, you can now quickly set up your own calendar to view both your time zone and others, removing the confusion and complexity from finding the best appointment time.

Even if your team is spread out across multiple locations, advanced time zone support ensures everyone is on the same page. To get started, you'll need to set up a few things in your account.

🚨 Keep in mind, while setting the time zone of a business location is possible, selecting a new time zone for an existing location will change the displayed times for all past and future records! This includes appointments, reports, and invoices! So, please proceed with caution. 🚨

In this guide, we'll cover the following:

Enable multiple time zone support

Before you can set different time zones for your locations, an Administrator will need to enable multiple time zone support within the account settings.

To do this, head to Settings and click on General settings:

Under Location, you'll now see an option to enable Advanced support for multiple time zones:

Tick this box and once you Save settings at the bottom of the page, your account will support multiple time zones. From here, you'll want to set your locations time zones, update practitioner availability settings, and change your communication templates so they include placeholders for the location's time zones.

Disabling multiple time zone support will reset location and user time zones back to the time zone of the account you've selected.

Set location time zone

Once multiple time zone support is enabled, by default, all existing locations will be set to whatever your account's time zone is. This would be the time zone that's set up in the Settings → General settings.

Changing the account time zone will not change the time zone for individual locations, however, if you need to change a business’ time zone:

  1. First head to Settings → Business Information (under Our clinic):

  2. Select the business or clinic you’d like to update by clicking “Edit information” under the relevant location:

  3. Below the business address, you'll find the “Time zone” field:

  4. Use the drop-down menu to select the appropriate time zone:

  5. Save your changes by clicking “Update business”:

  6. Repeat this process for the remaining locations and you’re all set 🎉

How time zone is displayed

Once a time zone is selected for your locations, you’ll see several changes throughout Cliniko.

If no time zone is set for your locations, we’ll use your account time zone or user time zone throughout Cliniko. This includes Invoices or communications to Administrators.

Where time zones are used

If a different location time zone has been set, you’ll now see the time zone displayed and used in the following areas:

  • Appointments page

  • Patient details:

    • Appointments list

    • Account Statement

  • Online bookings (unless patient time zones were enabled and selected)

  • Cliniko reports:

    • Payment Summary report

    • Practitioner Performance report

    • Referral Sources report

    • Practice Revenue report

    • Practitioner Revenue reports

    • Patients Without Upcoming Appointments report

    • Daily Payments report

    • Recalls report

    • Missed appointments report

    • Upcoming Birthdays report

    • Appointments schedule report

    • Patients by Total Invoiced report

  • Invoices (unless a separate user time zone was set)

    • Issue date

    • Time used to record the invoice

    • Invoice emails to patients and 3rd parties

  • Payments

  • Patient Communications (reminders, confirmations, and cancellations)

  • Cliniko Integrations

    • Xero: when syncing Invoices, we’ll use the location's time zone for the invoice close date. Additionally, Xero Batch Sync uses the location's time zone when calculating “invoices created after” date.

    • MailChimp: when syncing patient and booking information, the Latest Appointment Date will be displayed in the location’s time zone for the appointment.

Certain reports will now have special time zone drop-downs. These drop-downs contain the current user’s time zone and the time zones for the account’s locations. The time zone drop down affects the time zone used during report generation or the time zone in which the reports’ times are displayed.

However, if all of your locations are set to the same time zone, you will not see a time zone option/drop-down.

Where user time zone is being used

While you can set a time zone for each location, some users or practitioners may have a different time zone selected in their profile settings. This can be changed via Settings → Users & Practitioners:

If a separate user time zone is set, instead of the location’s time zone displayed, you’ll now see the user time zone in the following areas:

  • Dashboard messages

  • Viewing payment details (recorded time will still be in the location's time zone)

  • Appointment placeholders (unless a separate patient time zone was set)

  • Product stock adjustments

The appointments page by default will show the location's time zone, but if you prefer to see the appointments in your user time zone, make sure to select "Your time" in the time zone drop-down on the calendar.

Practitioner availability

You can also control which time zone is used for Practitioner availability (which affects the start and end time that is opened on the calendar, so that patients can book appointments with you). This can be done by clicking the Edit your practitioner settings button within a Practitioner’s user profile:

On the next page, scroll down until you see the Practitioner availability section. You will be able to select if you want your availability to be set up using the business’ time zone, or the practitioner’s time zone:

Once you make your selection, make sure to save your changes by clicking Update practitioner at the bottom of the page.

Add time zone placeholders to your communications

Now that you’ve updated your time zones, we highly recommend updating your placeholders within your communications (for example: appointment confirmations, reminders, and cancellations). This will ensure that your patients receive communications with the appropriate time zone indicated.

Each patient can have a patient time zone set up in their details. The patient time zone will be used instead of the location’s time zone if selected within their patient details or during online bookings.

To add time zone placeholders within your communications:

  1. Head to Settings, and then Appointment confirmations and/or Appointment reminders and/or Appointment cancellations (note that you'll need to update all of your communication templates individually. So if you have reminders and confirmations that go out to patients in different time zones, be sure to edit each of your templates!).

  2. From here, select the template you want to edit.

  3. When editing the content of your template, select the APPOINTMENT drop-down:

  4. Within that drop-down, you'll now see a number of options that end with WithZone:

    These are the placeholders that you'll want to include in your templates. For example, if you want your patients to see what time their appointment starts in your location’s time zone, select the StartTimeWithZone placeholder:

  5. To view an example of your communication, click View Sample at the bottom of your template’s content:

Once completed, you're all set! No need to create various templates for locations with different time zones as the placeholders now handle that for you 🙌

If you have any questions on time zones, feel free to reach out to our support team—we're happy to help! 🤗

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