Want to remind clients of their upcoming appointments? Ensure a higher client attendance rate by sending them a reminder a day or so before their appointment! Read on to find out how to set up reminders, and the various reminder types!
Within the Article:
Enable Client Appointment Reminders
To enable reminders that will be sent to an already established client, navigate to the client's profile:
- Go to Clients
- Click their name which loads their profile
- Find the section "Phone & Email"
You should then see all the client's added phone numbers and email addresses aggregated all in one location here. The middle column shows the reminder status for that contact type (either phone or email contact type).
Manage or Edit Reminder Settings
To manage (edit / enable / disable) reminder settings, click the far right button with a square & diagonal pencil through it to edit the specific contact, and either check or uncheck the " Reminders" box to respectfully enable or disable reminders.
Seen below within the red circle (to the right of the red trash can icon) you can click the edit option to edit that reminder type:
Reminder options are as follows.
- Number of days sent in advance: 1 - 5 days
- Request confirmation: adds a button in the email to click & confirm attendance
- Reminder Types: Text or Phone call
- Number of days sent in advance: 1 - 5 days
- Request confirmation: Adds text "Please reply YES to confirm" to the end of the text reminder, or to press 1 to confirm for the phone call
Need to send reminders to someone other than the client?
If treating couples, families, or children/minors and you want appointment reminders to be sent to additional phone numbers or email addresses, simply add those phone and email addresses into the client's profile and set up the reminder for the associated phone/email with the blue [ + ] button at the top right corner of the Phone & Email section, then configure it with your reminder preferences.
Can I change or configure the reminder text?
We try to hold client privacy above all else at TherapyAppointment, and per our security and policy team's recommendations we have taken HIPAA's recommendations of reminder communications and have opted to include the minimal amount of information to convey the reminder message to the client, so customization beyond the basics (IE: like reminder type, number of days advance, as well as confirmations) is not possible.
Customization with reminders such as custom text, or your group or business name or additional information is not supported.
Text reminders follow this formula:
- Base appointment reminder: #Client First Name# has an appointment (virtual if integrated telehealth appointment) with #Provider Title & Last Name# on #Date# at #time# - #timezone#.
- If a practice phone number exists: "Questions? Please call #default practice phone number#.
- If confirmations are enabled: "Reply 'Yes' to confirm.
Text Reminder Preview:
This is an example of a text reminder of a normal appointment with a practice phone number with confirmations enabled
And what a text reminder looks like without confirmations for a virtual appointment for a provider without a practice phone number:
Email Reminder Preview:
To view the reminder history for a particular client, while in the profile on the right-hand menu click the button titled [ Reminder History]:
From there you'll see the following information:
- Date of appointment
- Reminder type
- Sent to (actual email or phone #)
- Reminder delivery date
Reminder Not Sent?
To maximize the chances of a reminder delivery, check to ensure that the patient information is entered correctly:
- Make sure you have the "Reminder Settings" correctly set in the patient's information section.
Examples include the type of reminder selected, and the appropriate information for that kind of reminder. For example: a valid email address for email reminders, a valid cell phone # for text reminders and verify that information with the client.
- The list of appointment reminders is composed very early in the morning the day the day the reminder is supposed to go out.
If you enter an appointment into the schedule after the list is composed, no reminder will be sent because the appointment didn't exist at the time the list was composed. This typically happens around midnight going into the day the reminder would be sent out. For example: if you have 1 day reminders and have an appointment for August 15th, for a reminder to go out on the 14th the appointment would need to be on your schedule by August 13 at midnight going into August 14th.
- Remember that the appointment reminder status is only a listing of the ATTEMPTS to send a reminder.
If the phone isn't answered, or is busy repeatedly, no reminder can be delivered. If the email goes to the Spam folder, or the text message is deleted unread, the system cannot track these problems. Likewise, if a patient feigns not receiving a reminder in hopes of avoiding a no-show fee, we certainly cannot track this. It is best to have a written policy that states that reminders are sent as a COURTESY, but that patients will be held responsible for missed appointments whether or not a reminder is sent. This helps to end disputes about whether or not a reminder was sent or received.
- and within the Client Portal
1. Text Confirmations
Enabling text reminders activates the system to confirm appointments via automated text message.
Selecting text confirmations allows the client to confirm the appointment by replying Yes to the automated text (replying "yes", "YES", "Yes" also works).
The Provider (or staff) can see the appointment confirmation when viewing the scheduled appointment, within the pop-up box when clicking the client's name, like below:
Note: System reminders are hardcoded with certain information to include the least amount of identifiable information as possible per HIPAA recommendations and for client privacy, and they cannot be altered.
* Reminder replies are not delivered to TA (or to the Provider).
2. Email Confirmations
Enabling email reminders activates the system to confirm appointments via automated email message.
Selecting this allows the client to confirm the appointment by clicking the Confirm Appointment button within an automated email. The Provider will see the Confirmed notification next to the client's appointment on the Dashboard.
- Note: The client should not send an email reply to the no-reply email address, sent via the system.
- Relay the importance of calling your office directly if needing to reschedule or cancel.
3. Client Portal Confirmations
Clients can also sign into the portal to confirm their appointments.
From the Dashboard, they'd click Confirm:
- When a client confirms an appointment through the reminder, their name will no longer be listed on the Dashboard within the 'Unconfirmed Appointments' section (bottom left section on the Dashboard). Otherwise, they will still appear as 'Unconfirmed' in the Dashboard view.
- Determine an individual appointment confirmation status by clicking on an appointment from the Schedule (or Dashboard).
- The appointment will appear as Unconfirmed if a client has not yet confirmed through the enabled reminder system.