How do Time Zone’s work through the Medical API?

Medical API banner graphic for drchrono electronic health records app software

This is a question that was just asked on our Medical SDK / API group

I just created a patient from my home (UTC -8) on an account set to UTC-5. When I retrieve the patient via the API, the updated_at date is UTC-5. I changed the account to UTC-8, and it still returns with UTC-5.

How do I know which timezone the dates returned by the API use? This is especially important when formatting the “since” parameter, I know which time zone I used in UTC but don’t know which time zone you expect it in. Will it always be UTC-5? If not, what would I change in my account to change the timezone used by the API?

Are there any plans to update the API to use all UTC dates or includes the offset in the timestamps?

We don’t store and don’t return time zones, see the data types documentation.  The server returns the same timestamp (without time zone) you’re passing it, again without time zone.

However, if you update a patient through the user interface (UI), which timezone is used?

account settings for timezone in drchrono EHR app

It’s the time zone the doctor set in the Account Settings. We do convert scheduled_time in the doctor’s time zone.  Internal timestamps are using the server’s time zone, which is EST.

You can learn a bit more about Time Zones in our developer group here.

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