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Five steps to managing an online appointment service (1 CPD hour)

Dr Osman Bhatti advises on managing an online appointment booking system, based on his experience using EMIS 


Full CPD module


This module offers advice on managing online appointments in EMIS in a stepped guide, covering:

  • Planning and setting up a system
  • Choosing sessions
  • Printing log in codes and training staff
  • Marketing the service

After reading these articles you will be asked to record your learning points and some action points to earn a suggested 1 CPD credit. Below are some suggested questions to reflect on as you work through the module:

1. How many FTE hours are undertaken by your reception staff, and what other work could they undertake if online appointments relieved some of their current workload?

2. Ideally, what kind of online appointments system would you like to set up?


  • How many appointments a patient can book at any particular time
  • The time period in which the appointments can be booked
  • Which slots you want offered to be online bookable
  • Whether GPs can have only their registered patients being able to book appointments with them

3. How could you make sure patients who won’t use the website, such as deprived or elderly patients don’t get overlooked?

4. If you’re not an EMIS user, how much support will your operator offer you?

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