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eConfirmations: Sign up and Set up

Below are the steps to follow to begin using eConfirmations. eConfirmations is a paid service and service fees apply. To set up eReminders, see eReminders Set up.

Webinar: Automated Messages - eReminders and eConfirmations.

General Steps

  1. Update to the latest stable version.
  2. Enable the eConnector.
  3. Set up eMessage delivery method(s):
    To send text messages, sign up for Integrated Texting.
    To send emails, set up Email.
  4. Verify the automated eServices schedule. See Miscellaneous.

eConfirmation Steps:

  1. Sign up for eConfirmations.
    • In version 17.1 and greater, use the eServices Signup Portal.
    • For all other versions contact Open Dental support.
  2. Activate the eConfirmations service.
  3. Define appointment confirmation status settings.
  4. Customize eConfirmation Rules.
  5. Set clinic options (if using Clinics)

Regular email and text messaging are not secure methods of sending PHI. See Encryption of Data in Transit.

Sign up for eConfirmations (Signup Portal)
To sign up, the logged on user must have Full Access (Security Admin permission).

  1. In the main menu, click eServices, Signup to open the eServices Signup Portal.
    • The Basic View tab is active by default when there is only one location.
    • The Advanced View is active by default when there are multiple locations.
  2. If in Basic View, select the clinic first (upper left corner).
  3. Hover over eConfirmations to view service terms and details.



  4. Check the eConfirmations sign up box to turn on the service. If in Advanced View, check the box for each clinic that will use eConfirmations. The Total amounts will update to reflect the new charges.

  5. To sign up for Integrated Texting, also check the Integrated Texting checkbox. The Integrated Texting access fee is included with eConfirmations, though per outgoing message fees apply. When signing up or texting also select the country code and enter a monthly limit. See Integrated Texting: Sign up.
  1. Click Save to save settings. New charges will be reflected within two billing cycles.

Activate eConfirmations

  1. In the main menu, click eServices, then eConfirmations to open the eServices Setup window, Automated eReminders & eConfirmations tab.



  1. Click Activate eConfirmations. The button label will change to 'Deactivate eConfirmations'.

eConfirmation Settings (Appointment Confirmation Status)
Each time an eConfirmation is sent, the Appointment Confirmation Status can also update automatically. Set the default status to apply under eConfirmation Settings. There are four options:

  • Sent: The status applied when an eConfirmation is sent.
  • Accepted: The status applied when a patient confirms the appointment (via the URL link or confirmation code).
  • Not Accepted: The status applied when a patient replies 'Request Phone Call' on the URL link.
  • Failed: The status applied when the eConfirmation fails to send.

The Confirmation Statuses area lists the appointment confirmation statuses available and their Don't Send/Don't Change setting.

  • Don't Send: Appointments with this status will not be sent eConfirmations.
  • Don't Change: Appointments with this status will not have their status updated if an eConfirmation is sent.

To change a status, double click a row to open the Edit Definition window. From here you can change Don't Send and Don't Change settings, status name, and status color.

  • 'exclude when sending' checked = Don't Send.
  • 'exclude when confirming' checked = Don't Change.

Questions and Answers
Q: Can I stop eConfirmations for appointments with a specific confirmation status?
A: Yes, by changing the 'Don't Send' property of the status itself.

  1. Under Confirmation Statuses, double click the appointment confirmation status.
  2. Check 'Exclude when sending'.

Appointments with this confirmation status will be ignored when eConfirmations are sent.

Q: Can I stop the automatic update of the appointment confirmation status when the eConfirmation is sent?
A: Yes, by changing the 'Don't Change' setting for the status itself.

  1. Under Confirmation Statuses, double click the appointment confirmation status.
  2. Check 'Exclude when confirming'.

Appointments with the status will not have their confirmation status updated when eConfirmations are sent.

Examples where this is useful:

  • You want to ignore appointments that are already marked 'confirmed'.
  • You do not want same day statuses to be updated automatically (e.g. those that trigger Time Arrived, Time Seated, and Time Dismissed).

Customize eConfirmation Rules
eConfirmation rules determine when eConfirmations are sent, delivery method, and message text. You can have up to one future day rule per clinic.

  1. If using Clinics, select the clinic the rule will apply to. The 'Defaults' clinic is for default rules.
  2. Click Add Confirmation to create a new rule, or double click an existing rule to edit.



  1. Lead Time: Set the number of days in advance of a scheduled appointment eConfirmations can be sent. This value determines the window of time an eConfirmation can be sent (1 - X days). If an appointment is scheduled within the time window, it will be sent in the next batch. For example, if the lead time is 7 days, and appointment is scheduled 3 days before the appointment, an eConfirmation will be sent in the next eConfirmation batch. Run time can also affect send time (see eServices Miscellaneous tab).

  2. Send Order: Determines the delivery method used to send the eConfirmations.
    • To send both text and email messages (if available), check Send All.
    • Or, set the order in which you want to attempt delivery methods. The method listed first will be attempted first. If unsuccessful, the second method will be attempted. If that is unsuccessful, the third method will be attempted.
      - Preferred: Use the patient's preferred confirmation method to send the message.
      - Text: Send text messages (Integrated Texting must be enabled).
      - Email: Send email messages (Email must be setup).

Highlight a method, then click the up/down arrows to reorder it.
Methods marked Not Configured will not be used.

  1. Customize the message text: Enter the message text.
    Text Message: The text used for text messages.
    Email Subject and Body: The subject line and body text used for emails.

    Template Replacement Tags for eConfirmations: Place tags in the message text to insert data from the database. Example of eConfirmation text message
    [ApptDate]: The date of the appointment.
    [ApptTime]: The start time of the appointment.
    [ApptTimeAskedArrive]: The time the patient is asked to arrive.
    [ClinicName]: The name of the clinic (Clinic Setup).
    [ClinicPhone]: The phone number of the clinic. See Time Asked to Arrive.
    [NameF]: Patient's first name.
    [PracticeName]: The practice name (Practice Setup)
    [PracticePhone]: The practice phone number.
    [ProvAbbr]: The abbreviation for the provider the appointment is scheduled with.
    [ProvName]: The provider the appointment is scheduled with.
    [ConfirmCode]: Include the short code 'C' in an integrated text message. Example: Reply [ConfirmCode] to confirm = Reply C to confirm. When patient texts back a 'C', the appointment confirmation status will change to the 'Accepted' status.
    [ConfirmURL]: Creates a URL link the patient can click to confirm their appointment or request a call back.
  1. Click OK to save the rule.

Notes:

  • We recommend testing the rule and message prior to sending. Make sure you meet character limitations, that replacement tags work, and that the message appears as intended.
  • Aggregated Messages: When one or more appointments on the same day share a common patient email address and/or wireless phone number, the associated eConfirmations will be grouped into one long text message or email using a standardized, uneditable template. If a patient responds to the eConfirmation, it will change the confirmation status for all appointments in the message.

If using Clinics
These settings are important when using Clinics.

Allow eMessages from Appts w/o Clinic: This is a general option that applies to both eReminders and eConfirmations when the clinic on an appointment is set to 'none'.

  • Checked: Messages will be sent to all appointments, even if no clinic is assigned.
  • Unchecked: Messages will not be sent to appointments with no clinic.

Default vs Clinic-specific Rules: 'Default' rules can apply to all or some clinics. Rules can also be clinic-specific.

  • To create default rules, select the 'Defaults' clinic, then add/edit the rules.
  • To apply default rules to a clinic, select the clinic, then check 'Use Defaults'. Any customized rules will be deleted and replaced with the defaults. When a rule is set to 'Use Defaults', (Defaults) will show under Type.
  • To create clinic-specific rules, select the clinic, then uncheck 'Use Defaults'. Add/edit the rules.

Enable Automation for Clinic: This box only shows when a specific clinic is selected. It allows you to turn on/off automated messages by clinic.

  • Checked: Turn automated messages on.
  • Unchecked: Turn automated messages off.

Deactivate eConfirmations
Click Deactivate eConfirmations, then contact Open Dental support to stop charges on your account.

Troubleshooting
See eReminder and eConfirmation Troubleshooting.

 

Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432