Setting up online appointment system?
November 26, 2013 3:14 PM   Subscribe

So, at my work, I'm thinking of setting up a simple online appointment system for the people we work with (citizens of a given municipality). There are a few questions I have if we go this route.

1) Are there any off-the-shelf systems for doing such a thing?

2) If so, are any open-source/free?

3) Can they interact with a limited set of appointments such that when we notify x number of people, only those individuals are allowed to register/setup an appointment (I am thinking of something like a 4 digit authorization code).

4) If there isn't a full setup, what components might I be able to mix together to achieve something like this?

5) Due to the fact that we also take call-in appointments, I think it best to allow for a limited number of reserve positions for people who do not have good internet access or don't want to use the internet to set up an appointment. What ratio of "reserved-for-phone" spots is a good idea. A moderate portion of our accounts are rural areas, so that might make a difference in the number needed to reserve.

Any other ideas that might help in planning such a system would be appreciated.

Personally, I am picturing something like the individuals receiving a notice to set up an appointment, along with the confirmation code. They go to the website, which has a calendar of the day of appointments, and they can click on the available slots to setup an appointment and type in their code to register. My main concern is that individuals can't just tell their friends about the site and they all rush to register willy nilly (as we send these notices out based upon location/address)... Thus it's important that only the individuals who are authorized to register can register.
posted by symbioid to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am not involved it in personally, but my company uses Schedule Once to schedule appointments, and the team that uses it really likes it.

You might be also able to use Doodle for this. I have not used Doodle in this exact capacity, but I used the free version at my last job to schedule coworkers filling in for the receptionist.
posted by radioamy at 4:34 PM on November 26, 2013

Something to keep in mind is that whatever you choose may need to comply with state & municipal privacy, access, etc laws.

You might want to adopt something internally but publish out a calendar updated x times a week with openings; have a contact form that people can use to request an appt & guidelines for confirming, responding, etc that meet public records & privacy regulations.
posted by tilde at 4:40 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I use TimeTrade for my business and it's scalable for more than one person. Check into it and see if it fits what you need.
posted by Mysticalchick at 7:18 AM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I don't think any of those would work necessarily. Well - I think tilde's might be the most potential solution. Not as efficient as direct and real time, but I think considerations of privacy/access laws is a good point.

posted by symbioid at 10:13 AM on December 3, 2013

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