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Appointment Reminders: An Introduction

What are Accurx Appointment Reminders, how do they work and how can I start using them?

Katie Clephan avatar
Written by Katie Clephan
Updated over a week ago

Accurx Appointment Reminders is a paid for feature in a premium set of features. Learn more about Accurx paid for features including how to get access here.

What are appointment reminders? ⏰

Appointment reminders are text messages which are automatically sent to patients to remind them about their upcoming appointment.

Face-to-Face appointment reminders will include the date and time of the patient's appointment and, if your organisation has more than one site, the location of the appointment.

Telephone appointment reminders will include the date of the patient's appointment and a 2-hour time window for when the call may take place. This window of time is not currently customisable.

Face-to-face appointment reminder πŸ‘‡

Telephone appointment reminder πŸ‘‡

How do Accurx appointment reminders work? πŸ’¬

Once you have access to this functionality, you can choose which specific slot types in your appointment book should receive automated appointment reminder text messages. (You will be able to do this under the Accurx Manage Organisation page).

Once the slot types are chosen, the little green Accurx toolbar will then start looking for those specific slot types in the appointment book and sending text messages automatically to patients booked into those slot types. The automatic text messages are sent to patients 1 working day before their appointment and can be set up for 3 days and/or 7 working days before also.

(Note: if the appointment is set up less than 1 working day before the appointment, the appointment reminder will be sent straight away)

You can set up different reminder messages for different slot types. For example, a baby imms slot type can have a tailored message to remind patients about bringing the red book and a blood test slot type could also have a message to ask patients to bring blood forms.

Patients are also able to cancel their appointment up to 1 hour before their appointment using a unique link in their text message. This automatically removes the patient from the slot in EMIS/SystmOne. You will not need to monitor an inbox for patient cancellations as this will be done automatically.

Some features we're not currently working on but may in future:

  • Sending a confirmation text when an appointment is booked directly via the EPR appointment book by a user

  • Allowing patients to rebook their appointment from their text message

How do we pull patient mobile numbers?

We fetch the mobile number stored in the EPR (Electronic Patient Record - aka. EMIS, SystmOne, Vision etc) and confirm if the patient has consented to receive SMS text messages. If no number is stored, the reminder will not be sent. Patients who have a code for declined consent in the record, will not receive reminders.

What setup is required? βš™οΈ

Not much! You will be able to set up appointment reminders shortly after getting access. We do not need to set up a gateway PC (one that needs to be switched on all of the time).

Some things to think about:

  • You will need to switch off any other systems that send automatic reminder text messages to patients 1 working day before their appointments.

  • The Accurx appointment reminder system is entirely dependent on slot types so you'll need to make sure your appointment book is set up for this. We do not currently read other appointment details such as location, clinician, session, rota type, slot type settings or slot flags.

Once you have this functionality switched on, you can get started following this step-by-step guide or by watching this video. πŸ“Ή

What about sending other messages in bulk?

Accurx has Batch Messaging software too that can be used to send the same text message to an unlimited number of patients. This includes attaching SNOMED codes or documents to your text message or collecting structured information from a group of patients by sending Florey questionnaires to multiple patients at once! Find out more about Accurx Batch Messaging here.

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