eReminders and/or eConfirmations Setup
Before eReminders or eConfirmations can be set up and activated, the following is required:
- Update to the latest stable version.
- Enable the eConnector service.
- Set up Email and/or Integrated Text Messaging.
Below are the general steps to set up each service.
- Activate the service.
- Customize rules (message text, delivery method, send time).
- For eConfirmations, set default confirmation statuses.
- If using Clinics, set global and clinic-specific options.
- Verify the 'send' window for all automated messages (Miscellaneous).
Notes: eConfirmations is a paid service and service fees apply. See Fees for Software, Support, Services.
For setup help, view the Webinar: Automated Messages - eReminders and eConfirmations
Activate eReminders and/or eConfirmations
A Setup Wizard is available to activate eConfirmations and/or eReminders, or you can activate each service manually.
In the main menu, click eServices, then eReminder or eConfirmation.
If you have previously set up automated appointment reminders, they will list under eReminder and eConfirmation Rules.
Use the Setup Wizard: The wizard guides you through activation of one or both services. Simply click Setup Wizard and follow the message prompts. The steps may differ depending on your workstation's configuration. See eReminder and eConfirmation Setup Wizard for step-by-step guidance. Once the wizard is complete, you can still customize eReminder and eConfirmation rules and set default eConfirmation status options.
Manually Activate eReminders:
- Click Activate eReminders. The button label will change to 'Deactivate eReminders'.
- Customize or add eReminder Rules (message text, contact method, lead time).
Manually Activate eConfirmations:
- Click Activate eConfirmations.
- A message will show indicating that fees apply. Click OK to acknowledge the fees. The button label will change to 'Deactivate eConfirmations'.
- Customize or add eConfirmation rules (message text, contact method, lead time).
- Set default confirmation status options.
Set up Rules
Rules determine the message text, when it is sent, and the method(s):
- eReminders: Up to two rules per clinic (one same day and one future day).
- eConfirmations: One future day rule per clinic.
Note: Regular email and text messaging are not secure methods of sending PHI. See Encryption of Data in Transit.
- If using Clinics, select the clinic. The 'Defaults' clinic is for default rules.
- Click Add Same Day Reminder to add a rule for eReminders sent the same day as an appointment (e.g. hours before an appointment), OR
Click Add Future Day Reminder to add a rule for eReminders sent days before an appointment (e.g. 5 days before an appointment), OR
Click Add Confirmation to add a rule for eConfirmations sent days before an appointment.
Double click an existing rule to edit.
Below is an example of the default future day eReminder rule.
- 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. eConfirmations can only be sent days in advance. Run time may also affect lead time (see eServices Miscellaneous tab).
- Send Order: Prioritize the contact methods used to send the message. 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 (if Email or Text Message). See Edit Patient Information window
- Text: Send text messages.
- Email: Send email messages.
- Send All: Send both email and text messages.
Highlight a method, then click the up/down arrows to reorder it.
Methods marked Not Configured will not be used.
- Customize 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 both eReminders and eConfirmations: 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.
[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]: Include a URL link the patient can click to confirm their appointment or request a call back.
- Click OK to save the rule.
- We recommend testing the rule and message prior to using it for patients. Check to make sure you meet any character limitations, that all replacement tags work, and that the message appears as intended.
- To verify the run times for all automated messages see eServices Miscellaneous tab.
- If using clinics and a rule is set to use 'Use Defaults', (Defaults) will show under Type. If the rule has been customized, it will not show.
Aggregating Messages: When one or more appointments on the same day share a common patient email address and/or wireless phone number, the associated eReminders or eConfirmations will be grouped together 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.
Appointment Confirmation Status
An appointment's Confirmation Status can automatically change when an eConfirmation is sent and/or received.
Confirmation Status Options: The status options can be customized in Definitions, Appt Confirmed.
Two options are specific to eConfirmations:
- Exclude when sending: When checked, appointments with this status will not be sent an eConfirmation (e.g. use for statuses that indicate an appointment is already confirmed or an eConfirmation has already been sent).
- Exclude when confirming: When checked, appointments with this status will not have their confirmation status updated when eConfirmations are sent (e.g. use for statuses that indicate an appointment is already confirmed).
Updating Confirmation Status: Under eConfirmation Settings, set the confirmation status to apply in each situation:
- Sent: The confirmation status applied to the appointment when the eConfirmation is sent.
- Accepted: The confirmation status applied to the appointment when a patient confirms the appointment (via the URL link or confirmation code).
- Not Accepted: The confirmation status applied to the appointment when a patient replies 'Request Phone Call' on the URL link.
- Failed: The confirmation status applied to the appointment when the eConfirmation failed to send.
There are several options that apply if you are using Clinics.
Allow eMessages from Appts w/o Clinic: Determines whether or not messages are sent to appointments with no clinic. This is a global preference that affects both eReminders and eConfirmations.
- Checked: Messages will be sent to all appointments, even if no clinic is assigned.
- Unchecked: Messages
will not be sent to appointments that have no clinic.
Per Clinic Options: A clinic dropdown shows above the eReminder and eConfirmation rules. Select a clinic to define options specific to the clinic.
- Clinic-Specific vs Default Rules: Rules can apply to all clinics, or be clinic-specific. Select the 'Defaults' clinic to create default 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.
- Enable Automation for Clinic: This box only shows when a specific clinic is selected in the dropdown. It turns automated messages on or off by clinic. Check to box to turn on; uncheck to turn off.
Deactivate eReminders or eConfirmations
eReminders: Click Deactivate eReminders. The message will
eConfirmations: Click Deactivate eConfirmations, then contact Open Dental support to stop charges on your account.
See eReminder and eConfirmation Troubleshooting.