July 17, 2020

Tip of the week: actions

This week we take a closer look at actions. When manual processes are too overwhelming, look to actions to help automate everything from managing reminders to alerting on inventory reorder thresholds.

Tip of the week: actions

Welcome to the tip of the week. This week we take a closer look at actions.  When manual processes are too overwhelming, look to actions to help automate everything from managing reminders to alerting on inventory reorder thresholds.  

What are actions?

Put simply, actions are automations.  They help make sure that all of the administrative tasks relating to the appointment get done automatically.  In other words, they take care of the things that would otherwise have to be done by someone.

Can you give me some examples?

Sure! There are many types of tasks.  For examples, tasks can be used to manage reminders.  The reminder tasks define what kind of reminder should be sent and when it should be sent.  It can even define if the reminder should be sent for the next item in a series (such as for a puppy vaccine), or for a completely different item (such as for a combo vaccine).  

Another popular action is the one that creates tasks.  Tasks are a to-do list for the practice.  Rather than having to remember to call back clients following a surgery, an action can be used to create that task and set it to be due a certain length of time after the surgery is done.  (By the way, tasks are really cool too, and we'll talk about them in the future.)

One last example (because you asked), tasks can automatically generate letters.  Let's say you are prescribing medication and you want to provide your client with information about that medication.  Relying on someone to remember to print out that information is not great - people forget.  Instead, an action to generate the letter can be set up on that medication.  When the medication is prescribed, the letter is created automatically and is available to be included in the checkout documents.  (By the way again, letters and checking out are really important, so we'll revisit them too.)

Nice, so how do I set up an action?

Actions are set up in the inventory item under the "actions" tab.  Clicking on the tab will present the option to add a new action.  From there you'll be able to select which kind of action you want to create.

Actions in an inventory item's profile.

Actions can also be created en masse for multiple inventory items using the "bulk update" feature that is available in the inventory dashboard.

Bulk update can be used to create actions for multiple items at the same time.

Lastly, actions can also be created in bundles.  A bundle will inherit the actions of the items that are added to it, but there are situations where you might want actions to be triggered only when the bundle is used.  If that is the case, you can create the actions in the bundles.

Bundles can have their own actions too.

In conclusion...

Actions are very powerful.  They can take care of automating the kinds of things that would otherwise have to be done manually.  The best part is that once they're set up, you can pretty much forget about them and go about your business.

Cover photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash