Accurx Appointment Reminders is part of Accurx Plus - a premium set of features. Learn more about Accurx Plus, 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.

The text message 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.

How does Accurx appointment reminders work? 💬

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.

(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 a patient books an appointment

  • Allowing patients to rebook their appointment from their text message

How do we pull patient mobile numbers?

We pull mobile numbers from the Appointment Book (please note this step is not supported by TPP). If the mobile number isn’t available there, our system will then search NHS Personal Demographic Service (PDS). Our final check would be the clinical system.

The patient’s contact details are not always returned from the appointment book, which is why we have alternative methods in place. If the mobile number differs between the Appointment Book and PDS, we’ll use the number listed in PDS as it’s NHSD’s advised source of truth for patient contact details.

If you do notice a mismatch in patient contact details, please report it directly to NHS PDS by contacting them here. The National Back Office is responsible for resolving PDS data quality issues.

What set-up is required? ⚙️

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 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.

One you have this functionality switched on, you can get started following this step-by-step guide or by watching this video. 📹

What about sending other messages in bulk?

Accurx has a 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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