How to use Batch Messaging in Community Healthcare Organisations.

A step-by-step guide on how to use the Batch Message feature for sending messages to multiple patients if you're a Community Organisation.

John F avatar
Written by John F
Updated over a week ago

if you'd like to make use of our Batch Messaging module within your organisation then get in touch with our user support team and they'll point you in the right direction.

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 (a separate Accurx plus feature) as a batch message.

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 SMS

As a community healthcare organisation you will only have access to send an SMS Batch Messaging.

An "SMS" means you write your own regular text message. Patients will not be able to reply to these.

If you select SMS, 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. Learn more here.

You can also add an attachment. This is optional.

To do so, click the 'Add Attachment' button and youโ€™ll be prompted to navigate through your local drive to select the correct file to attach.

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.

โ—๏ธ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.

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. The link expires after 28 days.

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).

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

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.

๐Ÿ”ด Your upload needs to contain the following columns

  • EMIS*: NHS Number and EMIS number**

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

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

(**Users can add the patient's NHS Number, Telecom Number (Mobile Number) and Date of Birth in addition to their EMIS number however, we will not check this against your GPSoc (EMIS) and so, if you use a global reporting platform, patients not registered with your practice 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 ๐Ÿ”ด

Note: Ensure that when you create a CSV file, you exclude patients who have declined consent for SMS communication.

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

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).

โš ๏ธ Note: If you are uploading a large list, this can take a few minutes.โš ๏ธ

Step 5: Review your patient list

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

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

  • "Not accepted" 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 will be able to download a list of "Not accepted" patients at the end of the Batch messaging flow too!)

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 all together you can simply click "Review". If you want to schedule or stagger you can enter the details on this page.

If you want to learn more about schedule and stagger please have a look at this article here ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

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. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

โš ๏ธ 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! โš ๏ธ

Batch message Delivery statuses

There are a few different delivery statuses displayed below ๐Ÿ‘‡

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

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