Reminders

Find out how to set up your reminder preferences

Setting up reminders helps ensure that your patients keep track of appointments and that they attend their appointment at the correct time. Reminders and notifications can be sent when appointments are first made, if appointments are changed, as well as at a certain time before the appointment - e.g. 2 days before the appointment. You can also set up two-way reminders so that patients can respond to SMS reminders and confirm their attendance, and also enable automatic top up of SMS reminder credits so that you never run out of credits.

Viewing your reminder preferences

Selecting reminder preferences at a practice level

The Reminders page records your reminder preferences as well as the wording template for text and email reminders. You can access the Reminders page by clicking the Profile tab and selecting Reminders. When you are on any page within your Profile section, click the Reminders heading to take you to the Reminders page. Two-way reminders are available for SMS reminders and not email reminders.

Adding or changing your reminder preferences

You can add or change when reminders are sent and how they are sent (i.e. via text/SMS or via email). To add or change which notifications and reminders you want to be sent, go to the Reminders page and use the preference boxes to select which reminders you would like sent by text message and which reminders you would like sent by email. If you do not require a particular type of reminder or notification to be sent, do not select text or email and leave both preference boxes blank.

Note that text reminders are limited to 160 characters; if reminders are longer than 160 characters they are sent as one reminder but more than one SMS credit is used. If your reminder text stays below 305 characters, two SMS credits are used. You can see an estimated character count for your reminders and actual character count for a particular reminder. There are no charges for incoming SMS responses from patients.

Appointment statuses

There are four types of reminders and notifications:

Types of reminders and notifications
Type Description
New appointment Notification sent when you make an appointment with a patient
Changed appointment Notification sent whenever an appointment with a patient is changed
Pre-appointment reminder Reminder sent to a patient at a pre-selected time before an appointment
Two-way reminder Reminder sent to a patient at a pre-selected time before an appointment, with the ability for patients to respond to the text and confirm their appointment, with the confirmation status shown on your calendar -

After you have set your reminder preferences, click the Save button to save and activate your preferences.

Group and individual reminder settings

Watch video showing how to set group and individual reminder preferences

In group practices, reminder preferences and SMS credits are set by default at a group level, so all preferences are the same for every practitioner in the group and all reminder credits are taken from the one credit card.

To change this so that preferences are set individually and enable different practitioners to have different reminder preferences, click the Edit icon and select Individual, then click the Save button.

Practitioners with Owner level access are able to see each practitioner's preferences.

SMS and email reminder options

Specifying how many days before an appointment that a reminder should be sent

Individual patients' specific reminder preferences report

You can specify how many days before an appointment a reminder is sent - from the Days Before Appointment field, select your preferred number of days, with options up to 5 days. Selecting 1 day means reminders are sent 24 hours before appointments; selecting 2 days means they are sent 48 days before appointments; and selecting 3 days means reminders are sent 72 hours before appointments. You are able to specify different preferences for SMS reminders and for email reminders. For example, you can specify that an email reminder is sent three days before an appointment and an SMS reminder is sent two days before an appointment.

Tick that you want the changed preferences to apply all future appointments if you would like the changed reminder preferences to apply to all future appointments including appointments that you have already booked.

Setting the sender address for email reminders

Watch video showing how to change reminder sender email address

Email notifications and reminders are sent from a HealthKit email address (community@healthkit.com) by default. You can set your preferences so that email notifications and reminders are sent from your email address listed on your Personal page. When you are editing your reminder preferences, select the Practitioner email option in the From email drop-down field, and click the Save button.

You can set uo yuour SMS reminders so that SMS come from your practice name, so that SMS sent from your own practice hanem help ptients know it's from you.

You can set up SMS sender options on remidners by clickin buy - after confirm credit or debit, your preference is set so that your SMS come from your own dedicated number. You can always cancel by clickign the Edit icon, and cancelling now ro cancelling when your credit or debit card expires.

Setting your practice name as the sender for one-way SMS reminders (optional)

Watch video showing how to set your practice name or have a dedicated number to send text reminders

You can choose to set your practice name as the SMS reminder sender, rather than a randomly generated mobile number. Setting your practice name as sender helps patients know immediately that the SMS reminder is from you. This is available for one-way SMS reminders.

In the SMS/Text Additional Sender Options section of your Reminders page, click the Buy button next to My Practice Name. After you confirm your credit or debit card, reminders are automatically sent with your practice name as the sender. Your practice name is taken from your Group Name on the Settings page.

You can cancel this option by clicking the Edit icon and selecting Cancel Now or Cancel on expiry (if you want to cancel this option when your credit or debit card expires).

Purchasing a dedicated number for one-way and two-way SMS reminders (optional)

You can purchase a dedicated phone number through HealthKit which is only used to send out reminders for your practice, so that the phone number cannot be used by other services that also use our SMS gateway provider, such as hairdressers, mechanics or other medical practices. Patients can save the number in their phones, and you will know that your reminders come from the same number and not different numbers. You purchase the dedicated SMS phone number through HealthKit and you cannot use your own mobile phone number for sending.

In the SMS/Text Additional Sender Options section of your Reminders page, click the Buy button next to Dedicated Number. After you confirm your credit or debit card, reminders are automatically sent with your dedicated SMS reminder number as the sender.

You can cancel this option by clicking the Edit icon and selecting Cancel Now or Cancel on expiry (if you want to cancel this option when your credit or debit card expires).

Changing from one-way to two-way SMS reminders

To change from using one-way SMS reminders (that do not allow patients to respond) to two-way SMS reminders, you need to do three things:

  1. Click the 2-way Reminders check box on your reminder preferences;
  2. Tick that you want to apply the change to all future appointments; and
  3. Go to your wording for SMS reminders, and confirm that it is correct. You should remove the wording that says 'Please do not reply to this message'. You do not need to add wording that they can reply to the message because "Reply YES to confirm or call [your phone number] to reschedule" is automatically affixed to all two-way SMS reminders.

You are now set up for two-way reminders.

Patients' individual reminder and confirmation preferences

If a patient's reminder preferences differ to the rest of your practice, you can tailor their specific reminder preferences on their General page.

If you do have patients that have specific reminder preferences, the number of patients with specific preferences is listed under the Preferences section of your Reminders page (it is left blank if there are no such patients). Click the link to see a list of the specific patients that have preferences and to see what their preferences are.

Purchasing text reminder credits

Enable Auto top up to ensure you always have SMS credits left

Text reminders sent to mobile/cell phones cost $AU0.22 per 160 character text message sent (text messages with more than 160 characters cost more than 1 SMS credit) and are highly recommended for pre-appointment reminders. If you use two-way SMS reminders, there are no charges for receiving incoming SMS responses from patients.

To purchase text reminder credits, click the Buy Credits button. Enter the value of reminder credits that you would like to purchase, and the system tells you the number of text reminders can be sent for that credit amount (for example, $30 gets you 137 texts reminders). Complete your payment details, and click the Add button to confirm purchase. Your payment details are also added to your Settings page.

Automatic top up of reminder credits

You can set reminder credits to automatically top up when there are 10 reminder credits left, thus ensuring that you always have enough credits for reminders to be sent without you needing to check how many reminder credits you have left.

Auto top up is initially disabled, and you can enable it by clicking the Modify button. In the Amount field, enter the amount that you wish to be automatically added when you have 10 reminder credits left. Click the Enable button to enable Auto top up.

Viewing, editing and tailoring your reminder, notification and emailed invoice wording

Watch video showing how to tailor the wording of your SMS/text and email reminders

You can view, edit and tailor the wording of the following text and email notifications and reminders:

  • New appointment notification;
  • Changed appointment notification;
  • Appointment reminder (including the two-way reminder instructions affixed to the reminder text);
  • Emailed invoice email wording; and
  • The look and feel of email reminders (see this video), including the ability to add hyperlinks in email reminders.

You can view the text of each type of reminder by hovering your mouse over the view icon (which looks like a magnifying glass) next to each notification or reminder preference selector. Watch this video to see how to do it in action.

You can edit and tailor the default wording for each reminder or notification to the needs of your practice. Click the Edit icon at the right of the page to access the reminder editing page, which is the page where you can see the existing wording for all reminders and notifications, sent by text and sent by email. If you have never edited a reminder or notifications, the default wording is shown. You can edit the wording using the dynamic fields on the right where required. For example, if you use the + Patient Full Name (i.e. the patient's full name) field in the wording of a reminder, the reminder dynamically includes the full name of the patient for whom the appointment is made, no matter who the patient is. Note that two-way reminders by default affix "Reply YES to confirm or call [your phone number] to reschedule." at the end of the reminder, which you can tailor to your own needs.

You can also tailor the formatting of email reminders including by adding bold, italics and text colour. You can also add hyperlinks.

Click the Save button to save any changes you make, and any changes you have made are applied to future reminders (unless you have customised a specific reminder for a specific patient's appointment.

Automatic appointment locations in your reminders

By using the dynamic term Appointment Location, HealthKit automatically selects the appointment location that appears on the calendar, so you do not need to type out individual locations in your reminder wording. HealthKit's reminder process automatically selects the location, including for appointments at your practice locations, home visits as well as appointments at organisations' addresses and other addresses.

SMS reminder length, character estimate and preview

Preview your reminder

For SMS reminders, a character count estimate is shown at the bottom right of the wording field. You can view a preview of the SMS reminder by clicking the Preview button, which shows your SMS reminder with Test Patient as the patient name. Character estimates and previews let you know and manage how many SMS credits are used by your SMS reminders, so you can edit wording where required. Note you can get an actual character count for an individual reminder by going to the relevant appointment on the calendar and viewing the reminder for that appointment). Reminders with over 480 characters (i.e. 3 credits) are more likely to be rejected by telecommunications providers, so it is strongly recommended that you keep characters in your reminder wording below this level.

When a reminder or notification type is not needed

If your practice does not require a particular reminder or notification, or does not require it to be sent in a particular way (e.g. by email), do not delete the wording. Instead, make sure that the preference is not selected on your reminder preferences on the previous page.

Sending a one-off text to a patient

Main article: Sending one-off reminders

You can send a one-off text to a patient from the General page of their profile.

Confirming that reminders are being sent

Creating a reminder report
Viewing a reminder report

There are two ways that you can confirm that a reminders are being sent:

  1. On the calendar, if you want to confirm that a particular reminder for a particular patient was sent; and
  2. By running a reminder report on the Reports page, if you want to confirm that your reminders as a whole are being sent.

For a particular reminder

Main article: Viewing a particular reminder

You can confirm whether a particular reminder for a particular appointment was sent by opening the appointment and clicking the Reminder bell to see the reminder status. If the reminder failed, you can see the reason why.

For reminders as a whole

You can confirm whether reminders as a whole are being sent by running a Reminders report on your Reports page. You can also use the Reminder Report to view a list of reminders with a particular status (e.g. all failed or all confirmed reminders) or of a particular type (e.g two-way reminders or appointment change notifications).

To run a Reminders Report, go to your Reports page under your Finances tab, and select Reminders. You can then refine the report by selecting from specific parameters including dates sent, for a particular practitioner, status (e.g. scheduled or failed), type (e.g. email or SMS) and sub-type (e.g. notification, reminder, two-way reminder, etc). Click the Run button to see the report (practitioners with Personal Access can only run a Reminder report for themselves).

On the Reminder Report, you can see the type of the reminder, the date of the appointment (and which practitioner the appointment is with), the date the reminder was sent and was scheduled as well as the reminder status and recipient details. From the Reminder Report, you can go to:

  • The appointment in the calendar by clicking the appointment date;
  • The patient's profile by clicking the patient's name; and
  • The actual text of the reminder by hovering over the Help icon (which looks like a question mark) after the recipient's details, you can see the actual text of the reminder.

You can save, print or export the report.