This article is intended for existing WriteUpp users (pre May 2019) who will be automatically transitioned from the old confirmation and reminder settings to the new automated "appointment communications" functionality following the release of v2.13.
Based on your feedback we've made a whole host of improvements to the way appointment communications are sent to your patients, giving you more flexibility and control over what is sent and when.
Amongst other things, we’ve introduced the ability to:
- Confirm a series of appointments in one confirmation message
- Inform your clients of a change to their appointment
- Let your clients know if their appointment has been cancelled
- Advise clients if an appointment has been removed from the diary
- Advise clients if a series of appointments have been removed from the diary
- Set your own timescales for reminders being sent
- Send multiple reminders for an appointment
Confirmation & Reminder Settings Have Moved
We've removed Confirmations and Reminders from Settings -> General and added a new Appointment Communication tab under Settings -> Scheduling. Here you'll find your existing confirmation and reminder settings, including your templates, moved to the new format and set up as Communication Triggers. :
IMPORTANT: What you see in here may look slightly different to what you had before but rest assured there will no changes to what gets sent and when so if you choose not to use all of the extra new functionality there's nothing for you to do.
More Trigger Events
We've introduced the ability to create your own communication triggers based on the following trigger events:
- New appointment - Non-recurring
- New appointment - Recurring - NEW
- Change appointment date/time - NEW
- Change appointment status - NEW
- Delete appointment - single instance - NEW
- Delete appointment - current and future instances - NEW
- Appointment reminders
To avoid any confusion we haven't added any these new triggers to your set-up, but you have access to the new templates and event triggers to use if you wish. You can use these to set up anything else you'd like to have, including notifying your patients of a change to one of their appointments or perhaps a message to let them know if you've cancelled one.
We've also introduced the ability to create multiple appointment reminders to go out prior to an appointment, and provided a wider range of options for when reminders are sent.
- 1 hour before the appointment - NEW
- 2 hours before the appointment - NEW
- 1 day before the appointment
- 2 days before the appointment
- 3 days before the appointment
- 5 days before the appointment - NEW
- 7 days before the appointment - NEW
Reminders for Changed Appointments
We've also improved the way reminders are sent for changed appointments.
Previously, if you made a change to a patient’s appointment after the original reminder was sent, your client didn’t receive another reminder for the new appointment.
With this release, this has changed. Reminders will now be generated for appointments which have been changed without any additional steps on your part, saving you time and hopefully reducing your DNA rate!
Auto Opt-in for Automated Communications
You'll also notice a change to the way in which you opt-in your patients to receive email and SMS confirmations and reminders.
To streamline patient registration we will now automatically opt-in newly created patients when a mobile number and/or email address is added to their patient record. Any existing patients will retain their current consents in the new "opt-in" format.
The change to auto opt-in should:
- Make it easier to ensure that clients receive the communications you intend them to.
- Reduce the instances where for example, you forgot to consent a patient to confirmations and reminders prior to booking an appointment and they didn't receive their confirmation/reminder. This in turn should improve your DNA/late cancellation rate 😊
You can still of course manually opt a patient out by unticking the relevant box. Previously you had to explicitly click the checkbox to opt someone in, now you just have to click the checkbox to opt them out.
Why did we do it this way? We analysed the behaviour of those clients with email addresses and mobile numbers and realised that in the majority of cases they were opted-in. So, it made sense for opt-in to be the default behaviour.
This change also means that patients created via the mobile app will also now be automatically opted in for reminders if you enter a mobile number and/or an email address when you create them, as will patients created via online booking.
Improved Appointment Modal
You'll also be able to add a mobile number or email address to a patient record when booking an appointment. The diary appointment modal will display what contact information you hold on a patient and give you the option to edit or add information by clicking on Edit Details:
You'll also be able to turn off all communications for a specific appointment by using the "Mute" option:
If you're unsure about what any of the changes mean, you can have a look at the Guide to SMS and email appointment communications, or please don't hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Need More Help?
We understand that not everything is black and white, so if you need some help, click "Submit A Request" ticket and one of our team will help you out as soon as possible.