Summary: How Reminders work in the Health Myself Portal
Types of Appointment Emails
There are 3 types of notifications related to appointments that the Portal sends to patients:
1. Notification/Details: When a new appointment is booked directly in the EMR by a provider, the patient gets an email with the details 15-30 minutes after the appointment is booked. The delay is to account for the fact that there may be changes to the appointment during the time of booking. This notification will NOT go out if the appointment is in the next 72 hours as to not inundate the patient. Refer to point 3 for what DOES go out.
2. Confirmation/Approval: When a patient self-books through the Portal, this is the confirmation email that goes out to them. It goes out either when the appointment is approved by a provider (if the appointment is being triaged) or when the patient books the appointment (if it's set to be automatically approved and the setting to automatically send the approval email is turned on). Confirmations are always enabled for self-booked appointments and should be received by the patient within a few minutes of booking the appointment.
3. Reminder Email: Regular reminder email that will go out to patients as per the schedule reminder settings (e.g. 48 hours before). There are also last minute reminders that go out. The Portal checks for appointments that need last minute reminders every hour. However, a last minute reminder may NOT go out if an appointment is booked for a time within 2 hours of booking (i.e. 2 hours is the cut off time for last minute reminders)*
*To account for last minute booked video appointments, a one-time reminder can be pushed to the patient in real time. So let's say it's currently 10:00 am. MOA books a video appointment for a patient for 10:45 am today. The patient will not get any automated email with the Join Video Call button. Keep in mind this only applies to provider/EMR-booked appointments. While MOA is booking the patient on the phone, (s)he should tell them: "Be ready x minutes early. You will receive a link to join the video appointment with the doctor in about 40-45 minutes (again, it's currently 10:00 and appointment is at 10:45)". When the provider launches the video appointment, they'll see a message saying: ”The patient did not receive a reminder for this appointment.
Let the patient know you are waiting for them using the form below". They can then (include/change the email address, if needed) and send an email to the patient which will contain the Join Call button.
Schedule vs Appointment Type Reminders
Reminders are configured and can be customized on 3 levels: the clinic level, schedule level and appointment-type-specifc-to-a-schedule level. Customized reminder content can be included on these 3 levels.
1. Specific for appointments on a schedule: for this, go to Settings > Schedules > [select schedule] > Appointment Types & Rules > Edit (beside an appointment name) > General Settings > Reminder Content. This content will go out for only this appointment type.
2. For schedule-wide reminder content, go to Settings > Schedules > [select schedule] > Appointment Reminders > Email Appointment Reminder Instructions. This content will go out with ALL appointments on this schedule.
3. For site-wide reminder content, go to Settings > Site Settings > E-booking > Site Appointment Reminder Header and/or Site Appointment Reminder Footer. This content will go out as part of the reminder for the entire clinic.
“Send Reminders” within the Schedule settings is NOT a master switch, but rather a “catch all”. This means that if Health Myself recognizes the appointment type (e.g. if it was e-booked by a patient online or if it was booked by the clinic and is linked in Health Myself), the Portal will follow the “Send Reminder” setting in the appointment type settings. If the Portal does not recognize the appointment type (e.g. if it has not been configured and linked in Health Myself), it will default to the Schedule’s “Send Reminder” setting.
On the schedule level, additional settings can be customized including:
sending reminders to unregistered patients (this would essentially allow all appointments on a schedule to receive reminders if the patient has contactable info in their chart and consequently their Health Myself profile)**
sending SMS and voice call reminders
if reminders will require patients to confirm appointments (via a blue “Click here to confirm appointment(s)” button in the email)
how many days in advance reminders will go out
which method of reminder will be used (e.g. email, SMS or voice call, if SMS and voice calls are enabled)
**If unregistered reminders are enabled, all patients who have an email address will receive reminders for appointments, regardless of how their appointment was booked (i.e. online through Health Myself or directly in the EMR by clinic staff). However, reminders can be turned off for certain appointments (for example, a virtual/phone appointment), while keeping them enabled for all others. The following is what you'll need to do to turn off reminders for phone/virtual appointments while keeping them for all others:
1. Enable the appointment type ( e.g. "Telephone Appointment") in the Portal. If it doesn't exist in the Portal, please create the appointment type, first in the clinic-wide settings and then enable it for the appropriate schedule(s).
2. In the General Settings of the telephone appointment type, make sure the Location field stays empty and that Display to Patient IS checked.
3. Under Appointment Reminders, make sure that Send Reminder is left unchecked. Click Save.
4. If patients should not be able to see this appointment type in their Upcoming Appointments page, NOW uncheck Display to Patient and Save.
5. Make sure that the Audience settings don't include any patient groups as the audience if you're not making this appointment type available to be booked online. If you would like it to be booked online, you'd include the appropriate patient groups in the Audience settings.
6. Link the Portal appointment to the EMR appointment type.
The Appointment Type settings here will override the Schedule settings for reminders. So patients will receive reminders and notifications for all appointments (whether in the Portal or EMR) except this one.
Similarly, if you want to send reminders only for (a) particular appointment(s), you would disable the “Send Reminders” setting for the Schedule and enable it only for those appointment type(s) specifically applied to the schedule.
Providers and staff have visibility into reminders that go out to patients. Any reminders, and other appointment related emails, are logged in the Notifications tab of the patient profile. In the Health Myself calendar, providers can directly see where a particular appointment stands within the reminder and confirmation process via symbols that appear to the left of the patient name. Their meanings are as follows:
Airplane: Reminder has been queued for delivery
Eyeball (crossed out): Reminder is delivered to patient's inbox but unopened
Eyeball (clear): Patient has seen reminder but did not click blue confirmation button
Check mark: Patient confirmed appointment by clicking confirmation button