eReminders: Set up
Below are the steps to follow to begin using eReminders. To set up eConfirmations, see eConfirmations: Sign up and Set up.
Webinar: Automated Messages - eReminders and eConfirmations.
- Update to the latest stable version.
- Enable the eConnector.
- Set up eMessage delivery method(s):
To send text messages, sign up for Integrated Texting.
To send emails, set up Email.
- Verify the automated eServices schedule. See Miscellaneous.
- Activate the service.
- Customize eReminder rules.
- Define appointment confirmation status options.
- Set clinic options (if using Clinics)
Regular email and text messaging are not secure methods of sending PHI. See Encryption of Data in Transit.
Activate the eReminder Service
- In the main menu, click eServices, then eReminders to open the eServices Setup window, Automated eReminders & eConfirmations tab.
- Click Activate eReminders. The button label will change to 'Deactivate eReminders'.
Customize eReminder Rules
eReminder rules determine when reminders are sent, delivery method, and message text. You can have up to two rules per clinic (one same day and one future day). If you have previously set up automated appointment reminders, they will list under as rules.
- If using Clinics, select the clinic the rule will apply to. The 'Defaults' clinic is for default rules.
- Click Add Same Day Reminder to create a reminder that will be sent the same day as an appointment (e.g. hours before an appointment).
Click Add Future Day Reminder to create a reminder that will be sent days before an appointment (e.g. 5 days before an appointment).
Double click an existing rule to edit.
- Lead Time: Set how far in advance the message should be sent. Same day eReminders can be sent hours in advance. Future day eReminders can be sent days in advance. Run time may also affect lead time (see eServices Miscellaneous tab).
- Send Order: Determines the delivery method used to send the reminder.
- 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.
- Customize the message text: Enter the text you want in the reminder.
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 eReminders: Place tags in the message text to insert data from the database.
[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.
- Click OK to save the rule.
- 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 eReminders will be grouped together into one long text message or email using a standardized, uneditable template.
Appointment Confirmation Status
Each time an eReminder is sent, the Appointment Confirmation Status can also update automatically. To set the status to apply for emailed and texted eReminders, see Confirmation List Setup.
Questions and Answers
Q: Can I stop eReminders for appointments with a specific confirmation status?
A: Yes, by changing the 'exclude when sending' property of the status itself.
- Choose the appointment confirmation status you use for appointments that should not be sent an eConfirmation.
- In Definitions, Appt Confirmed, open the status and select 'Exclude when sending'.
- Apply this appointment confirmation status to appointments that should not receive an eConfirmation. They will be ignored when eConfirmations are sent.
Example: Patient's appointment spans more than one operatory, so you have scheduled two appointments (e.g. hygiene and doctor). Yet you only want a reminder sent once, not twice. For the later appointments, set the confirmation status to the 'excluded' status. Only one eReminder will be sent.
If using Clinics
These settings are important when using Clinics. They affect both eReminders and eConfirmations.
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.
Click Deactivate eConfirmations, then contact Open Dental support to stop charges on your account.
See eReminder and eConfirmation Troubleshooting.