SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

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Development Project Status: Completed

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Project description: 

This project will enable appointment reminders to be automatically sent to customers via SMS.

  • Reminders will be sent for Pending appointments, at a configurable time prior to their start.
  • Reminders will be sent to customers that have a phone contact with Allow SMS ticked
  • Reminder text may contain merged data from the appointment act e.g.:

"This is a reminder that you have an appointment with Fluffy at X time, X date."



Automatic SMS reminders will be configured by a new field on the Practice:

  • SMS Appointment Reminders - specifies how many hours/days/weeks prior to an appointment an SMS should be sent. A value of 0 indicates that no reminders are sent

Appointment changes

If SMS reminders are enabled, appointments will display two new fields:

  • Send SMS Reminder - determines if an SMS reminder should be sent for this appointment.This defaults to true if:
    • SMS reminders are enabled; and
    • the customer can receive SMSes; and
    • the appointment start time doesn't start within the configured reminder interval
  • SMS Reminder Last Sent - date that indicates if an SMS reminder has been sent for the appointment 

Users can turn off the Send SMS Reminder flag to disable the reminder for an individual appointment.





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Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

Having just been through the exercise of trying to create a macro to do this, I now understand that in a dual or multi-language environment, one needs to be able to have the sms text in different languages for different customers.  This implies that the 'send sms reminder' tick box actually needs to be a pull-down list containing 'none' and a list of macro names to select from.  This in turn implies that just as we have report macros, we will also need 'sms reminder macros'.  However, the available macros should probably be set at the practice and practice location level (just like document templates), rather that via a separate lookup.  That is, one creates/edits the macros via Administration|Lookups|Macros - but sets those available as sms appointment reminder text macros via Administration|Organisation|Practice & Practice Location.

Regards, Tim G

Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

This has been fully funded courtesy of some great mutually beneficial cooperation between two of the most valuable members of our community. Thanks very much!

Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)


some of our mobile numbers are being entered into openvpms with a space in between numbers. e.g. 04xx 2xx 1xx. Is it possible that this could be a problem for recognition of the correct client mobile number when the SMS reminder function becomes part of openvpms?


Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

These will work fine. The code will strip any spaces, hyphens, and brackets, and any characters after the last digit.

Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

We are about to start using the SMS Appointment Reminders and could see benefit in the following:

Currently you can select an Appointment Reminder SMS template on either a Practice Location or Practice basis. We would like to be able to send different reminder templates according to the schedule (e.g. different text for surgery bookings than for consultation appointments) so it would be good to be able to select a template on a schedule basis as well.

We would also like to be able to flag/unflag the reminder at a schedule level based on appointment types. I can see the benefit of this with Euthanasia's where we would not like to send a reminder.

Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

Raised as OVPMS-1718


Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)


Just wondering if the ability to select an Appointment Reminder SMS template on either a Practice Location or Practice basis is now possible? I don't think it is, but just wanted to double check.

If it's not, is it possible to do something fancy to the template where if it's a 'standard appointment' then it gets wording at the end of the text about fasting, but if it's a particular appointment (for us it would be 'hydrotherapy') then it doesn't get those words?

Or am I just making it too difficult?


Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

Hi Greta, at present you can only specify a single template, and it is associated at the Practice level.

If you look in the examples at there is one that demonstrates how you can change the text based on the appointment type i.e.:

expr:if($ = 'Admit - Surgery',

concat("Reminder: East Island Vets Surgery Appointment", $nl,
        expr:var("")," ",
        date:formatDate($appointment.startTime, "short"),
        " @ ", date:formatTime($appointment.startTime, "short"), $nl,
        "Remember: water is OK but no food after 9pm ",date:formatDate(date:add($appointment.startTime,"-1d"), "short"),$nl,
        'If queries phone ', party:getTelephone($location)),

concat("Reminder: East Island Vets Appointment", $nl,
        expr:if(expr:var("") != "",expr:var(""), "is on")," ",
        date:formatDate($appointment.startTime, "short"),
        " @ ", date:formatTime($appointment.startTime, "short"), $nl,
        'If queries phone ', party:getTelephone($location))


It would be much simpler if individual appointment types were able to use their own templates.


Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

Hi Tim,

That's great, I think I can make that work!



Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)


We are now using the automatic sms reminders and we LOVE it. Thanks to Tim G for all the help.

I am wondering if there is a field somewhere for the automatic sms reminders that I can change, so in the client communication it is more obvious that it was an Appointment Reminder SMS (rather than an Ad-hoc SMS) that way we can clearly see which communication is which.

Either automatically changing the Reason or the Subject to 'Appointment Reminder SMS'?

I've practiced on my cat 'Hello' - she had lots of appointment reminders ;)

Re: SMS Appointment Reminders (Automatic)

Its not supported at present, but there will soon be a change where appointment reminders are logged with an "SMS Appointment Reminder" subject and "Appointment Reminder" reason.


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