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Self-Book: How to use Batch Self-Book

A step-by-step guide on how to send a batch self-booking link by text to a group of patients

Hannah avatar
Written by Hannah
Updated over a week ago

What is Batch Self-Book?

Batch Self-Book saves organisation time by reducing the manual steps involved in booking patients into appointments.

With Batch Self-Book, organisations can invite multiple patients to book their own appointments for a given slot type/ appointment type. Invited patients book directly into the organisation's appointment book without the need to call the surgery 🙌

Note: Batch Self-Book only currently supports face-to-face appointment types (not telephone)

Batch Self-Book and Appointment Reminders are integrated with the NHS App. 🎉 This feature will be live for all organisations with access to those features by 1st July.

How does Batch Self-Book for appointments work?

Note: The images shown below may look slightly different to what you see (depending on if you have Accurx plus or not) but the main actions you will need to take will be the same

1. You can find Batch Self-Book either by:

  • Clicking on your initials on the little green toolbar and then clicking on the option which says “Batch Messaging”.

  • Clicking on your initials on the little green toolbar and then “Manage Organisation”. Once the Manage Organisation page opens in your web browser, select "New Batch Message".

3. Click on “Self-Book”

4. Choose a slot type that you’d like your group of patients to book into

You can choose to use a pre-written template or write your own invite message. You can also attach a SNOMED code if you’d like. The SNOMED code will be added to each patient’s record once the text messages have gone to the patients.

After that step you'll have the option to add the decline option. If you choose to enable this, the patient will be able to decline via the link in their invite text message. If the patient does decline, a SNOMED code (chosen by you) will be automatically added to the patient's medical record.

💡 Tips when customising the Decline message 💡

  • We recommend you include the name of the appointment to make it clear to the patient exactly what they are declining

  • It is also important to let the patient know what will happen if they decline so they can make an informed decision

  • An example for flu - If you don't want a flu vaccine, we'll stop sending you invites to book one this year.

Once you are happy with your message, click “Continue”.

3. You will then upload your CSV file of patients.

If you have used batch messaging before, the CSV file set-up is the same.

The CSV needs to contain the following columns:

  • EMIS: NHS Number

  • SystmOne: NHS Number, Telecom Number (Mobile Number) and Date of Birth

    • (Note: For SystmOne, if you would like each patient's text to contain their own name at the start e.g. "Dear Joe" then you will also need patient name as a column too)

If you need guidance on how to create a CSV file, take a look here for EMIS and here for SystmOne

Once you have prepared your CSV, click "Upload CSV" and you'll be able to select the file from your computer to upload.

4. Once you've uploaded your CSV file, you will see a page of which patients were accepted and those that weren't.

  • "can be sent" means these patients have valid NHS numbers and mobile numbers so we can send them a message.

  • "cannot be sent" means these patients do not have valid NHS numbers or mobile numbers so we cannot send them a message.

You can download the list of not accepted patients by clicking on "Download list" - these patients will need to be contacted in another way. (Note: you can also download a list of "Not accepted" patients at the end of the Batch messaging flow too!)

If you're happy with the list of patients you are going to send a batch message to, click "Continue".

5. You will then be shown a summary page which will show the key information before you click send 📫 . Your work here is done!

What will patients see?

After the patient clicks on their link, they will see two options: "Book an appointment" or "I don't want this".

If the patient chooses to click on the "I don't want this" button, they'll be asked to confirm their identity (by entering their date of birth) before they can confirm they want to decline the appointment invite.

If the patient chooses "Book an appointment" they'll be asked to confirm their identity (by entering their date of birth) before they can select their appointment time.

Once the patient has selected the time and date of the appointment they can confirm the booking and they will receive a confirmation SMS 😊

Once the patient books in, the patients are automatically booked into the chosen slot type in EMIS or SystmOne. 🙌

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