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Helping Patients with Calendar Subscriptions

Your patient or client mentioned to you that they are having trouble getting their Jane appointments synced with their everyday calendar. How can you help?

First, what might patients or clients be asking you?

Trouble with calendar syncing can actually look like many different things:

  • Cancelled appointments still show up in a synced calendar
  • Booked appointments aren’t showing up in a synced calendar
  • Hitting “Subscribe” in a confirmation email for calendar syncing doesn’t seem to actually work

Why would a calendar subscription not work properly?

Well, it could be one of many things.

Calendar subscriptions are a way that Jane can send information to the calendar app. But once the information is sent, Jane is no longer in control. There are a variety of things that can get mixed up. Some of the most common we’ve seen include:

  • The calendar program does not refresh the subscription often enough. Many of the most commonly used programs refresh only every 24 hours and up to once a week! (On a Mac, you can reset this to refresh every 5 minutes for iCal).
  • The URL for the subscription was copied and pasted wrong or an unknown error has occurred with the URL link.
  • The calendar just isn’t picking up the information Jane is sending. We see this from time to time immediately after software updates.

How to fix it?

Nearly every time we’ve seen a problem with a calendar subscription, the following steps fix it:

1. Delete the subscription.

  • Breaking the connection is going to reset everything.

Using Google Calendar: On the left-hand side of the calendar, you should be able to see a list of calendar subscriptions. Remove any clinic subscriptions by clicking the X:

In the popup window, click Remove Calendar

Using Apple Calendar (on a Mac):

Within the Calendar app on a Mac, right-click (or Ctrl-click) on the subscription and choose the Unsubscribe option:

Apple Calendar (on an iPhone):

Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Subscribed Calendars section of your iPhone.

Then click on the calendar(s) that you want to remove, which should lead you to the screen where you remove them:

2. Set up the subscription again.

Almost no matter what the issue was, breaking the connection and then reconnecting Jane with the calendar usually solves syncing problems.

Jane allows clients to subscribe to their calendar in a few places:

  • Thanks for Booking notification
  • Appointment Reminder
  • My Account (patient-facing side of Jane)

3. Check how often your calendar program receives incoming information.

  • Checking how often a calendar syncs can help you understand if there are any lags in the calendar updates and then make the appropriate adjustments. If syncing isn’t as frequent as you’re wanting, see if you can change the sync setting. For instance, on a Mac, you can change the default sync of every week to every 5 minutes, but Outlook might need manual refreshing to sync more frequently.

In all cases, Jane has the most accurate information available, but it’s up to the program to pick up that information. Deleting the subscription and setting it up again will shape things up straight away!