Appointment reminders on your calendar
As well as notifications for booked and changed appointments, you can set up reminders to be sent to patients via SMS/text or email. You can set your reminder and notification preferences on your Reminders page.
Non-two way reminders
The appointment time label is shown in grey when: (a) you have not sent a reminder; (b) when you have sent an email reminder; or (c) when you have sent a one-way SMS reminder - i.e. a reminder that lets the patient know that appointment is in X days, but does not allow the patient to respond.
SMS reminders responses, statuses and colours
When you have sent two-way reminders (i.e. reminders that not only let the patient know that an appointment is in X days, but also lets patients respond to texts and confirm their appointments), the confirmation status is shown on your calendar via the appointment time label. There are four types of patient two-way reminder responses, which are shown on your calendar in the following ways:
|Yes or Y||Green||Confirmed||Patient has confirmed that they will attend the appointment.|
|No or N||Red||Rejected||Patient will not attend the appointment; two-way reminders automatically direct patients to call you to reschedule.|
|No response yet||Yellow||Booked||The patient has not yet responded to the text message.|
|Response sent but not Yes or No||Amber||Check Response||For example, "Thanks for your text - I'm definitely coming." Because the response does not fit the prescribed options, statuses cannot be determined, so you should check the response by going to this appointment on the calendar and reading the response.
Appointment time labels are also coloured amber for non-two way SMS reminders when they indicate that a reminder or notification was scheduled to be sent, but it failed (usually because the email address or phone number is incorrect). You should check the reminder status by going to this appointment on the calendar, then hovering over the exclamation mark icon to review the reason why the reminder or notification failed.
|Not sent||Grey||N/A||No two-way reminder has been sent.|
Confirmations and rejections are correctly interpreted when the first word is either Yes (Y) or No (N). For example, "Yes, I'm looking forward to it" is interpreted as a confirmation", whereas "Thank you for your text, yes" requires you to check the response.
Confirming that a reminder or notification has been sent and/or scheduled
You can check that a particular reminder or notification has been sent or has been scheduled by opening the appointment on the calendar, clicking the Reminder icon (which looks like a bell) and viewing the Appointment Reminder details for the appointment. For each SMS or email reminder or confirmation you can see:
- The date and time that it was sent; or
- The date and time it is scheduled to be sent; and
- If it failed, see the reason why it failed.
If an attempt to send an SMS or email reminder fails, click the exclamation mark next to the Failed status to see the reason why it failed, which are detailed below.
|Reason||Description and action|
|No email address listed||Obtain the email address from the patient and add it on the Appointment Reminder details form, then re-send the reminder. Alternatively you can send it via SMS by clicking the Add Reminder button.|
|No phone number listed||Obtain the mobile phone number from the patient and add it on the Appointment Reminder details form, then re-send the reminder. Alternatively you can send it via email by clicking the Add Reminder button.|
|Invalid phone number listed - [the number]||Check the mobile phone number with the patient and add it on the Appointment Reminder details form, and re-send it. Alternatively you can send it via email by clicking the Add Reminder button.|
|Appointment cancelled||The reminder/notification was not sent because the appointment was cancelled.|
|Insufficient SMS/Text credit balance||Click the Buy Credits button on this form or on your Reminders page.|
Viewing, editing, re-sending, cancelling and adding individual reminders
From the Reminder details form accessed when you click the Reminder icon on the calendar (see above), you can:
- View the reminder/notification: including the full wording with dynamic terms converted to actual words (e.g. [Patient Full Name] becomes John Smith), the actual character count (compared to the estimate seen on the Reminders page) and the number of credit/s used;
- Edit the reminder/notification: including the ability to edit the date and time that the reminder is sent, as well as the wording of the reminder and the mobile phone number to which the reminder is sent (if the reminder is an SMS reminder);
- Re-send the reminder/notification: re-send the same reminder to the same number/email address, which is done immediately when you click the re-send icon - very helpful if the previous attempt failed and you have rectified the issue, or if you have cancelled the reminder previously and now want to send it; and
- Cancel the reminder/notification: cancel a previously scheduled reminder or notification, which is done immediately when you click the cancel icon.
You can also send an individual reminder that has not been previously scheduled for this appointment by clicking the Add Reminder button.
Sending a reminder now
Even when a reminder has been scheduled for sometime in the future, you can send it now by clicking the Reminder icon and then clicking the Send Now button (which is called the Re-Send button when a reminder has already been sent). The reminder is sent immediately.