Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders


We use Automatic SMS Reminders that are sent to all clients on all schedules every day at midday for the following day (so long as their appointment wasn't made within the previous 6 hours).

I've been asked to set up an extra set of SMS reminders for clients in just one of the schedules - as we have a lot of no-shows in this department. These SMS's are to be sent immediately after the appointment is made. So clients will get an SMS when they are making the appointment and another one at midday the day before their appointment.

Is this possible?



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Re: Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders

This isn't supported. In the OpenVPMS 2.1 release, macros will be able to access the selected appointment in Workflow - Scheduling, and the task in Workflow - Work Lists.
This will enable you to:

1. click on the new appointment in Workflow - Scheduling
2. click SMS in the customer summary
3. enter the macro (e.g. @confirmappt) and have it produce an SMS like

   Fido's appointment at Vets R Us is confirmed for 10:00 on 22/2/19.
   Please call us on 912345678 to if you need to change the appointment.

This will work for emails as well i.e. you can:
1. click on the appointment
2. click the customer's email address in the summary,
3. click the Run Macro button, and enter the @confirmappt macro name

For emails, you can also use an email template that references the appointment, so you can send confirmation emails with branding etc.

We haven't produced any sample macros as yet, so if you have any suggestions we can incorporate them.




Automatic SMS Appointment Reminders


How do you edit the Appointment Reminder SMS Templates?

Wanting to include. "Roadworks on Hunter St. Access clinic via Leahy St off Vogel Rd."


Re: Automatic SMS Appointment Reminders

1. Go to Administration - Templates

2. Select Appointment Reminder SMS Template in the Type dropdown, and click Find

3. Edit the template used for your practice location

4. Paste the following in the Expression field:

concat(expr:if(expr:var('') != '', concat(expr:var(''), "'s"), 'Your'), ' appointment at ' , $,' is confirmed for ', date:formatDate($appointment.startTime, 'short'), ' @ ', date:formatTime($appointment.startTime, 'short'), $nl, 'Call us on ', party:getTelephone($location), ' if you need to change the appointment', $nl,
'Roadworks on Hunter St. Access clinic via Leahy St off Vogel Rd.')

Note that this will likely produce an SMS longer than 160 characters, so make sure you can send multi-part SMS messages, introduced in OpenVPMS 2.0

Re: Automatic SMS Appointment Reminders

Thank you. tanderson

I shortened sms to Access via Leahy St due to roadworks, so it shouldn't go over 160 characters.

expr:if($ = 'Surgery',

concat("Reminder: ",expr:var(""),"'s admission for surgery on ", date:format($appointment.startTime,"dd/MM")," at 8am. ",$nl, "No food only water from 8pm on ", 
 date:format(date:add($appointment.startTime,"-1d"),"dd/MM"), " No Reply SMS"),

concat("Confirming ",expr:var(""),"'s appointment on ", date:format($appointment.startTime,"dd/MM")," @ ", date:formatTime($appointment.startTime,"short") , $nl,
        "Please phone ", party:getTelephone($location), " if you wish to reschedule.Access via Leahy St due to roadworks.No Reply SMS"))

Re: Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders


We're quite interested in emailing out appointment reminders for the next-day's appointments and look forward to 2.1 and it's ability for macros to extract the appointment information.  This should work quite well for us.

The question has been posed to me, however as to whether we can see when the appointment was made so as not to send a reminder to someone who just booked today or maybe even yesterday.  Greta mentioned in the opening note above that they do not send SMS reminders for appointments booked within the last 6 hours.  Being able to determine when the appointment was made sounds like something we could really use. 

Just wondering how that was done? I haven't been able to discover a means for accessing a creation or last-edited time, and so was wondering how this info is being found. 

Thanks for your help,

Kamloops, Canada

Re: Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders

Automatic appointment reminders were introduced in OpenVPMS 1.9. You don't need the new macro support in 2.1 to use it.

See How To - Appointment Reminders for an overview. The Appointment Reminder Sender is the job that determines if reminders should be sent or not.

Re: Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders

Hi Tim,

My read is that both of those references refer to SMS reminders, whereas we're looking to send email reminders.  We have no SMS provider.  So the 2.1 macro seems to be a reasonable approach I thought.  

But any way to access the appointment creation time?  Even adding it for display in the Edit Appointment dialog would be sufficient.



Re: Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders

Sorry - I misread your post. There is no support to access the the appointment creation time as this information is not stored.


Re: Immediate Automatic SMS Reminders

Hmm... OK.  SMS is not really an option here in Canada because like cellphone calls, messages get charged both incoming and outgoing. No one wants an unsolicited reminder SMS jacking up their bill. We'll wait for 2.1's email macro and as a work-around, only send reminders 3 or 4 days ahead so as not to pick up recently made appointments.   



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