ID #1045

Why are there duplicate visits on some client schedules?

1) Overlapping EZ Schedules

Duplicate visits sometimes occur when two EZ schedules have been created for a client.  To see if this is the case, please go to the services tab of the client profile and examine the Short Term Schedules for the client.  You may find that the duplicate visits have been set up in separate schedules.  This can happen if:

  1. You do not  realize that the requested visits have already been set up.
  2. If the client submits a schedule request a second time with adjusted start/end dates.  When a client submits a schedule request, LeashTime looks for a pre-existing short term schedule (EZ Schedule) with the same date range.  If it finds one, then it does not offer to create a new schedule, but instead lets you edit the existing schedule.  But if the new dates are different, it offers to create a new schedule, which can lead to duplicate visits. 


Deleting the duplicate visits in the EZ schedule editor (or deleting the EZ Schedule itself) is the easiest remedy.


2) Ongoing Schedules and Conflict Resolution

Duplicate visits can occur for several reasons, but they usually occur in Ongoing Schedules (recurring schedules) and they occur for one reason.  Understanding LeashTime's recurring schedules and the conflict resolution page can help you eliminate the problem.

How Ongoing Schedules Work

What makes LeashTime's recurring schedules so useful is that once you set the pattern of the schedule, the system creates new visits according to that pattern every day.  Your Preferences include a setting, Ongoing Schedule Lookahead Period (days), that tells LeashTime how far into the future to create recurring visits.  This period is 75 days by default, but you can lengthen or shorten it.

So let's say that you create an Ongoing Schedule for a client and that your Ongoing Schedule Lookahead Period (days) setting is 75.  Immediately LeashTime will create visits for that client for up to 75 days in the future.  Then, early each morning the auto scheduler creates new visits to keep that 75 day window up to date.  What's more, the auto scheduler will make sure that if any of the visits that should be scheduled inside that 75 day window are missing it will create them.  So, in the unlikely event of a server failure on one day, the visits that should have been created will be created the next time the auto scheduler runs.

How Ongoing Schedules Change

But what happens when you change the schedule?  LeashTime deletes all of the schedule's "untouched" visits in the future and repopulates the schedule according to the updated plan.  A visit is "untouched" if it incomplete, uncanceled, and unchanged.  If you have gone to the trouble to change the service type, the time frame, or some other important attribute of a particular visit, LeashTime figures the change must be pretty important to you and it keeps its grubby mitts off the visit.

Duplicate Visits and Conflict Resolution

But this approach, as safe as it is, causes a problem: duplicate visits.  Let's say that Mrs. Jones has an Ongoing Schedule with a regular Midday Walk scheduled with Susan Sitter.  She calls in one day to ask that Susan walk the dog two hours later on August 12, so you go to her Services tab and change that one visit.  So now the August 12 visit has been "touched", and you want it to remain as it is unless Mrs. Jones asks you to change it again.

A few days later Susan quits, so you have to reassign Mrs. Jones's visits (all created by the Ongoing schedule) to another sitter, John Walker.  So you edit the Ongoing Schedule and swap in John as the sitter to do the work.  Everything is fine, except that the Susan visit set for 1 pm is still on the schedule, and it conflicts with the John visit at 11 am (which is regular visit time in Mrs Jones's Ongoing schedule).

So LeashTime shows you the Conflict Resolution page, a calendar that shows you newly created visits that conflict with pre-existing visits.  These visits can be considered duplicates, although there is usually at least one important difference between them.  When you see the Conflict Resolution page, you should examine it carefully and take the appropriate steps to make sure the schedule is right.  In this example you might see:

   - means that a visit cannot be deleted from the schedule, or a "hole" will be left that the auto scheduler will fill the next time it runs.
  - means that a visit can be deleted from the schedule.
  - allows you to cancel a visit.
  - allows you to un-cancel a visit (appears on canceled visits).

The desirable actions in this case would be to

  1. edit the John Walker visit by clicking on it,
  2. change the time frame to "1:00 pm-2:00 pm", and then
  3. delete () the Susan Sitter visit.

If you have a lot of visits to delete (which should not happen very often) you can click the background of each visit to select it and then click .  And when you have confirmed that the schedule looks right you can click .


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