OutSmart EMR Knowledgebase

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Appointment Confirmations and Reminders

Appointment Confirmation E-mails

The Appointment Confirmation Email is the e-mail that is sent immediately after an appointment is booked, to notify the patient of the time and date of the appointment, as well as any other relevant information you have included in the Custom Confirmation Message.

As opposed to the Appointment Reminder Email, the Confirmation Email is intended as a booking confirmation.  It simply notifies the patient that the booking as been made, and displays any custom information you have specified, like a custom message, intake forms, or document attachments.  The Reminder E-mail is sent a few days before the event to remind the patient of the upcoming appointment.  See details on the Appointment Reminder E-mail for more information.

The Confirmation Email already includes certain default information, such as the date and time of the appointment, the practitioner’s name, the office address, etc.  However you are able to add additional customized information into this e-mail.  This additional information is called the Custom Confirmation Message or the Global Confirmation Message.  This additional information can be customized for a specific Event Type, or it can be set as a global message for all Event Types.  If you do not customize the message for a specific event type, then the global message will be automatically used instead.

Creating A Custom Confirmation Message For A Specific Event Type

Custom Confirmation Messages for a specific event type are set in the Event Manager, when creating or editing the Event Type.  See this article on creating and editing Event Types to learn how to access and create Custom Confirmation Messages for a specific Event Type.  Creating a Custom Confirmation Message includes attaching SmartForms Questionnaires and Documentsto your Confirmation Email, and how to schedule Appointment Reminder E-mails.

Create A Global Confirmation Message Applicable To All Event Types

The Global Confirmation Message will be included in the Confirmation Email by default if there is no Custom Confirmation Message for the specific Event Type that was booked.  The Global Confirmation Message is created as part of the Online Booking Options for your account.  Read the article on Online Booking Setup to learn more about creating a Global Confirmation Message.

Global vs. Event Specific Confirmations

Depending on how you set up your confirmation messages in OutSmart, your patients may get either an Event-Specific Confirmation Package, or a Global Confirmation Package.

What Is A Confirmation “Package”?

A Confirmation Package is a set of information that is sent to your patients when they book an appointment.  If they book online, then this Confirmation Package is sent automatically, but if you book them in your calendar manually, then you will need to send the Confirmation Package when creating the appointment.  Whatever way is used to send the Confirmation Package, it will always include the same information:

  1. A custom Confirmation Message;
  2. Some SmartForm Questionnaires (optional);
  3. Some attached Documents (optional).

Global Confirmation Package Vs Event-Specific Confirmation Package

A Global Confirmation Package is configured in your Online Booking Preferences screen, and is the package that is sent by default whenever any patient books any event at your clinic.  If you do not configure the Global Confirmation Package with any Message, SmartForms, or Documents, then a default confirmation is sent out that is generated by OutSmart.

An Event Specific Confirmation Package is configured in your Event Manager.  It allows you to set up a confirmation package that is more specific to an individual event.

Important: A Custom Confirmation Message is required for both Global and Event-Specific Confirmation Packages to be sent out.

In both the Global and Event-Specific Confirmation Package settings, you have the option of entering a custom message.  This custom message is required.  If you do not specify a custom message of any kind, then the entire Confirmation Package will not be sent out.  No message means no SmartForms and no Documents.

How Does OutSmart Determine When To Send An Event-Specific Confirmation Package Vs. A Global Confirmation Package?

OutSmart determines which package to send based on the Confirmation Message.  If you have entered a confirmation message for a specific event in the Event Manager, then we send the Event-Specific Confirmation Package.  If you have no specific message entered for the event in the Event Manager, then we send out the Global Confirmation Package.  If you have no message in the Global Confirmation package, then we send out a default system-generated confirmation message.

The Event-Specific message, Smart-Forms and Documents make up the Event-Specific Confirmation Package.

The Event-Specific message, Smart-Forms and Documents make up the Event-Specific Confirmation Package.

 

The Global Confirmation package includes the global message, Global SmartForms, and Global Documents. It is configured in the Online Booking Preferences page.

The Global Confirmation package includes the global message, Global SmartForms, and Global Documents. It is configured in the Online Booking Preferences page.

Appointment Reminder Emails

The Appointment Reminder Email is the e-mail that is sent shortly before an appointment is booked, to remind the patient of the time and date of the appointment, and to ask them to confirm that they have received the e-mail and will be attending.

As opposed to the Appointment Confirmation Email, the Reminder Email is intended to remind the patient of an upcoming appointment, and to ask them to confirm their attendance.  The Confirmation e-mail, by contrast, is sent immediately upon booking the appointment.  See details on the Appointment Confirmation Email for more information.

The Reminder Email already includes certain default information, such as the date and time of the appointment, the practitioner’s name, the office address, etc.  The Reminder Email cannot be customized in the same way as the Confirmation Email, because it’s purpose is simply as a reminder.  You can however choose how many reminders to send, and when to send them.  See the article on Creating and Editing Event Types to learn how to setup Appointment Reminder Emails for each Event Type.

The Reminder Email is ONLY sent for events that have a specific status.  Statuses of “Booked“, “Pending” and “Left Message” will trigger Reminder emails, but all other statuses will not.  So if you find that your reminders e-mails are not going out, check the status of your event.  All events default to a “Pending” status when created, so you should not have to do anything extra to get a reminder to be sent.

Setting Up Auto-Reminders

Event reminders are configured in the Event Type Manager, within the Calendar Module.

In order to configure auto-reminders for your events, you need to configure your Event Types.  This is done with the Event Manager.

The Event Manager is located within the Calendar Module.  With the Event Manager, you can create or edit event types for use in the Calendar, as well as configure your reminders for that specific event.  Each event can have it’s own reminders configuration.

Where Is The Event Manager?

To open the Event Manager, first open the Calendar Module by clicking on the purple calendar icon in the top toolbar at the right.

Click on the Calendar Module icon in the top main toolbar to access the calendar on any page.

Click on the Calendar Module icon in the top main toolbar to access the calendar on any page.

Once the calendar is loaded, you will then click on the “gear” icon just above the calendar at to the right of the day, week, and month view buttons.  This will open a small menu.  Click on the Event Manager in that menu.

Click on the ‘gear’ icon, then click on Event Manager.

Click on the ‘gear’ icon, then click on Event Manager.

You will now be able to see the Event Manager area.  It is in this area that you can create and edit events and their configurations.

Note To Admin Staff:  If you are logged in to an Admin account, you will see an additional Practitioner Selector in the Top Toolbar for this page.  This will allow you to select for which practitioner you are creating or editing events.  It is important to ensure you have selected the correct practitioner before proceeding with the rest of this tutorial.

Adding An Auto-Reminder To An Existing Event Type

To edit an existing Event Type, first access the Event Manager screen.  Once there, find the Event Type you want to edit.  To search for your Event Type, you can use the search bar located to the top right of the list of Event Types in the Event Manager.

SmartND OutSmart EMR Event Manager Search

Type in the name of the event you want to search for if you have a lot of events in your account.

Once you locate the Event Type that you want to edit, click on the edit event button in the leftmost column (Actions) of the Event Manager table.  This will oped the Event Type Editor, where you can make changes as described earlier in this article.

Click on edit to modify an event type, or delete to remove an event type.

Click on edit to modify an event type, or delete to remove an event type.

When the editor opens up, look at the bottom left of the editor window, and you will find the auto-reminders configuration there.

Configuring reminders.

Configuring reminders.

Important Note:  When creating new events, you must first save the event.  Only after you save the event, and the re-open it for editing, can you configure reminders for that event.

Important Note For Practitioners:  We strongly advise that you include a reminder disclaimer in your consent forms.  There are many reasons that a client may not get a reminder, some legitimate, and others not so much.  For example, a reminder e-mail might go to their spam folder, or they may have unsubscribed to your e-mails, or they forgot their e-mail password, etc.  It’s important for your clients to know that reminders are a courtesy that you extend to them and that they are required to attend their appointments regardless of whether or not they receive a reminder.

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