Instant booking: what is it and how does it help?

This article will explain the benefits of having instant bookers assigned to your departments and some of the configuration options you have to support instant booking in your organisation and department


Allowing workers to instantly book into shifts means they're more likely to apply for shifts through the App, without the need to wait around for approval. Our data shows that staff who have instant booking turned on for a department are 17% more likely to book repeat shifts into that department and overall have a much more positive user experience.

They will know they're available for that shift and book straight in, adding it immediately to their planner of bank shifts within the Patchwork app. It also alleviates a small admin burden for operational staff of having to go through shift applications and approve or reject workers, resulting in filling shifts much sooner, and freeing up resources to focus on additional activities.

We recognise that most departments within the organisation have their trusted workers, who regularly take up bank shifts. This feature is ideal for them and can be configured to specific individuals whom you deem appropriate to have the ability to instant book. 

How to make a worker an instant booker

  • Login to Patchwork Hub.
  • Select a workers name from
    • The navigation menu - Staff > View All Staff where you will see view all staff - and search for the worker you want
    • Or via the workers name from any assigned shift
  • From the worker profile modal, navigate to the "Booking Preferences" tab
  • From the Instant Book Department/Unit section, simply add the name of the department/unit you would like to add to the worker
  • Click here for a full how-to guide on how to assign an instant booker.

Department configuration

In order for a department to accept Instant bookers, a toggle for that department needs to be activated.

An admin with the correct permissions can edit a department and turn on the toggle "Auto approve shifts if clinician is associated to department"

This will allow any worker who has the department assigned to their instant booking department in their profile to be able to instant book shifts via the app.

There are additional feature toggles that can be configured to allow staff to be able to book up or book down grades via instant bookers, as a default these are not enabled, but can be assigned on a department by department basis, based on local needs.

Ideal Instant booker candidates

Within Patchwork insights you can easily report on workers who have completed multiple shifts in a department who would make ideal candidates to have instant booking capabilities added to their profile.

IE if a worker has completed more than 2 or 3 shifts in a department, it is safe to assume that the department trusts this person to work there again, and can have the department added to their booker preferences to speed up bookings in the future and hopefully fill more shifts without the need to be approved every time.

The best insights report to use for this on the Bank Overview Dashboard > Instant Booker Candidates Tab - click here for quick access. This report will show you a full list of workers and how many shifts they have completed in the past 3 months, making it an ideal way to see who would make an ideal instant booker candidate.