All Collections
Accurx Plus: Batch Messaging
Batch Messaging: How to use guide
Batch Messaging: How to use guide

A step-by-step guide on how to use Accurx 's premium feature for sending messages to multiple patients at once

John F avatar
Written by John F
Updated this week

Accurx Batch Messaging is a paid-for feature in a premium tier of Accurx Desktop. Learn more about Accurx's paid-for features, including how to get access here.

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

Accurx Batch Messaging allows you to send the same message to a group 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 as a batch message.

Jump to the section you need πŸš€

Types of Batch Message:

You can now send Batch Messages (Simple) and Questionnaires via email, see how you can do this below.

Step 1: Access Batch messaging

If your organisation has access to Accurx Batch messaging, you can find this via the main Accurx menu, simply click on your initials from the Accurx toolbar, and select "Batch Messaging."



Step 2: Click "Send a batch message"

Once you are launched into Accurx Batch messaging (which sits in the browser), to start your first message, click on "Send a batch message."



Step 3: Choose a 'batch type'

Next, you can choose whether to send;

  • Self-book link in batch (full guide for this here)

  • Message - sent as an email, text message or via the NHS app

  • Florey

  • Inhaler adherence SMS series


Message

If you select the message option, these will be sent to the patient as either an email, NHS app notification or SMS (text message).

If an email address is provided in the CSV file you upload (guidance in step 4), we will send an email to the patient.

There will be no fall back to SMS or NHS App if the email address is provided.

If no email is provided, we will send the message as an NHS app notification (see here for more information).

If patients do not have the NHS app installed on their phones or do not have notifications switched on, we will send an SMS message to their phone.

You can choose to select a template. This is optional, you can also just write your own message. Creating and editing templates can be done in your "Manage Templates" section. You can learn more about how to do this here.

You have the option to have an attachment. To do so, click the 'Add Attachment' button and you’ll be prompted to navigate through your local drive to select the correct file to attach. Since different files may have the same name but in different locations, please make sure to check the file name and location on your computer before selecting a file to share with a group of patients.

It is very important that this is a generic attachment as all patients will receive the same document. So please make sure the attachment does not contain any private patient information.

Once you have added the attachment, you will see the name of the document you have attached as seen below. It's good practice to double-check that this is definitely the document you would like to be sent to a group of patients.

If you would like to preview the document you have attached, you can click on the name of the document as seen below and this will open it up. Once you are happy that it is the correct document, you can click 'Add a patient list' to upload a CSV file of patients.

Patients will be able to access the attachments via a link and will need to enter their DOB.

It's important to remember that healthcare professionals and providers are the Data Controller and so have the responsibility to ensure that patients are only receiving documents intended for them. You can read more about your responsibilities when using Accurx as a Data Controller in our Data Processing Agreement (Sections 5 and 6).


Florey

A "Florey" is a structured questionnaire. These are the same Floreys you have access to when texting individual patients using the little green toolbar.

These will be sent to the patient as either an email, NHS app notification or SMS (text message).

If an email address is provided in the CSV file you upload (guidance in step 4), we will send an email to the patient.

There will be no fallback to SMS or NHS App if the email address is provided.

If no email is provided, we will send the message as an NHS app notification (see here for more information).

If patients do not have the NHS app installed on their phone or do not have notifications switched on, we will send a SMS (text message) to their phone.

Note: Any replies to Florey questionnaires sent via Batch messaging will come back to the Accurx inbox of the little green toolbar just like individual Florey questionnaires do.

Learn more about what Floreys are and how they work here.



Step 4: Add a patient list to do this click 'Upload File'

Next, you need to choose who your message will be sent to. This is done by uploading a CSV file of patients to be contacted.

πŸ”΄ Your upload needs to contain the following columns

Your upload needs to contain the following columns

  • EMIS*/**:

    • NHS Number

    • Email address - optional if you’d like the message to be sent via email

  • SystmOne:

    • NHS Number,

    • Telecom Number (Mobile Number)

    • Date of Birth***

    • Email address - optional if you’d like the message to be sent via email

If an email address is provided in the CSV file you upload, we will send an email to the patient.

There will be no fall back to SMS or NHS App if the email address is provided.

If no email is provided, we will send the message as an NHS app notification (see here for more information).

If patients do not have the NHS app installed on their phone or do not have notifications switched on, we will send a SMS (text message) to their phone.

(*for EMIS organisations in Wales, you will need the same columns as SystmOne organisations)

(**Users can add the patient's NHS Number, Telecom Number (Mobile Number) and Date of Birth however, we will not check this against your GPSoc (EMIS) and so, if you use a global reporting platform, patients not registered with your organisation will be sent this message unless removed from the list.)

(***For SystmOne organisations only, 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 do this, take a look here for EMIS and here for SystmOne

Note: Ensure that when you create you CSV file, you exclude patients who you don't want to message (e.g. those who have declined consent for SMS communication, and those who are deceased)

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

Upload a list of patients page


​
While your CSV file is uploading, you will see a loading page while we check the patient demographics (e.g. NHS number and phone number).

⚠️ Note: If you are uploading a large list, this can take a few minutes.⚠️



Step 5: Review your patient list

Once you've uploaded your patient list, you will see a page of which patients can and can't be contacted.

  • βœ… Can be contacted - means these patients have valid NHS numbers and contact details on their record so we can send them a message.

  • 🚫 Cannot be contacted - means we have a lack of information about these patients so we can't send them a message.

Click this drop-down for a full list of reasons why a patient cannot be contacted πŸ‘ˆ

  1. Contact details not provided β†’ The required contact methods (e.g., mobile number or email address) are missing in the CSV file.

  2. Not a UK phone number β†’ The phone number provided in the CSV file is not recognised as a valid UK phone number (+44).

  3. Mobile number is likely to fail β†’ If we tried to message this number in the last 3 months and the message failed to deliver, we won't contact this number. This only applies to workspaces where this feature is turned on.

  4. Patient deceased β†’ The patient is marked as deceased.

  5. Unable to retrieve contact details β†’ We weren’t able to get contact information for the patient from the clinical system or Patient Demographic Service (PDS).

You can download the list of non-contactable patients by clicking on "Download list".

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



Step 6: Choose to Schedule or Stagger the message

You will be given this option now, if you want to send the message straight away you can simply click "Review". If you want to schedule or stagger you can enter the details on this page.



Step 7: Review and send

On the "Review and send" page, you'll be able to see a preview of the message that will be sent to patients.


Once you've clicked "Send message" your message will be sent to the patients in the list you uploaded.

All messages are saved to the patient's record in your clinical system. 😎

Note: Saving the message takes about 2 seconds per patient, so if you sent a large batch message, check back later if you haven't seen the messages saved yet. Please keep the clinical system and Accurx toolbar open to allow the message to be saved to the record too.


Batch Message delivery statuses

There are a few different delivery statuses displayed below πŸ‘‡

  • Scheduled - A batch message is scheduled to be sent.

  • Sending - A batch message is sending or we're waiting for delivery confirmation.

  • Done - A batch message has finished delivering.

  • Cancelled - A batch message has been cancelled.

  • Saved - A batch message has finished saving to the medical record.

  • Saving - A staggered batch message is saving to the medical record.

More details:

  • Patient list - the number of patients included in the batch message.

  • Delivered - the number of texts and NHS App messages that have received delivery confirmation from the network provider. ❗ Please note: this does not include emails as we do not receive delivery receipts from email providers.

  • Patients without a valid mobile number - the number of patients who do not have the correct contact number. For example, they only have a landline on their medical record.

  • Failed to deliver - the number of messages that did not deliver. For example, the patient's phone was switched off.

If you are using SystmOne, please make sure your Accurx toolbar and SystmOne are open in order to allow saving.

Batch Message paths

To reduce SMS costs and make messages accessible to different groups of patients, batch messages can be sent in a variety of ways - SMS, email and via the NHS App. This is applied to simple batch messages and batch florey questionnaires.

Paths and their priority

  1. Email βœ‰οΈ - This mode of communication is taken as the priority. If a patient's email address is included in the CSV file for the batch message, the patient will be emailed the message.
    ​

  2. NHS App πŸ“± - This is the second path for messages. If a patient has the NHS App installed on their mobile phone, with notifications switched on and there wasn't an email address included in the CSV file, the patient will receive their message via the NHS App.
    If the patient doesn't open their message in the NHS App after 24 hours (3 hours for the Blood pressure 4-day and 7-day home monitoring questionnaires), we'll send a fallback message via text (SMS) to make sure they don't miss it.
    ​

  3. Text (SMS) πŸ“ž - This path for messages is the fail-safe. If there is no email address included in the CSV file and the patient hasn't installed the NHS App or switched on notifications, the message will be sent via text (SMS). The patient will also receive their message via text (SMS) if they haven't opened their message in the NHS App after 24 hours (3 hours for the Blood pressure 4-day and 7-day home monitoring questionnaires)..

Note: Batch self-book messages will always be sent via text (SMS).

This table outlines the different paths Batch Messages can take, depending on the type of batch message and the options that are made available.

Batch Type

Email included in CSV

No email, but has the NHS App

No email, no NHS App

Simple Message

Emailed βœ‰οΈ

NHS App πŸ“±

SMS πŸ“ž

Florey

Emailed βœ‰οΈ

NHS App πŸ“±

SMS πŸ“ž

Self-Book

SMS πŸ“ž

SMS πŸ“ž

SMS πŸ“ž

If you have more questions about Batch Message paths, please start a live chat by clicking the blue icon in the bottom right corner. πŸ‘‰

I've made a mistake and already sent the link. What can I do?

We recognise it's human nature to make mistakes and so, if you have sent a batch message and discover the link has incorrect and/or missing information then you can contact our User Support Team to revoke the link and it's contents.

Click the green message bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of this page to get a fast response from our User Support Team.

However, please note, that once revoked the link can no longer be re-activated.

If you still have any questions or concerns, feel free to chat with us using the green message bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of this page. πŸ‘‰

Did this answer your question?