How to Use Group Messaging for Scheduling Patients

Practice schedules are always changing for a number of reasons. And when schedule changes occur, calling and rescheduling patients can be a very time-consuming task.

How does your practice handle patient rescheduling when, for example, you must suddenly cancel all appointments for the entire practice due to bad weather? How many resources does it take to reach all of your patients in time?

Not having a time-saving solution in place can put your staff in a stressful scramble to reschedule patients.

That’s where group messaging comes in. It can take the sting out of rescheduling patients—particularly during times when appointments need to be changed on very short notice.

A Streamlined Group Messaging Solution

Vital Interaction is here to help your practice save time and improve efficiency, enabling you to deliver even better patient care.

While having to reschedule appointments is unfortunate, I’ve been lucky to help many customers use our Group Messaging tool to let patients know their appointment needs to be rescheduled—all using just one, simple interface.

This streamlined tool allows you to notify patients of a cancelled appointment through any chosen method, whether it be text, email, and/or voice call.

What’s more: Date, location and provider filters help you easily identify the list of appointments you need to reschedule.

Designed with Your Needs in Mind

With built-in message themes designed for various circumstances requiring appointment changes, like bad weather or emergencies, patients will receive a notification in mere minutes.

Need something specific? No problem, you can create your own Quick Message, which sends just as easily as the pre-built themes. Then, you simply wait for patients to call you. Easy enough, yeah?

Need to delay an appointment but not cancel? We can do that too!

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to send group messages to reschedule patients.

Sending Cancellation Messages

Step 1: Pick your filters.

Pick the date and time of the appointment. You can even narrow this list down by clinic, doctor, and/or appointment type.

Pick your filters

Step 2: Pick your message-sending preferences.

You can either “Select All” patients or custom select certain ones.

Vital Interaction offers default, emergency, and weather cancellation templates, any of which you can select under the “Appt Cancel Type” drop-down menu.

Pick your message sending preferences

Once you’ve chosen your preferences and template, you’re ready to click send!

After your message has been sent, the appointment status will change, which is useful for keeping track of what was sent.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not cancel appointments; this is done in your practice management system.


Keep track of what was sent

Sending a Quick Message

Time is valuable, and things happen. With that said, what happens if there is bad traffic in the area or a broken elevator in your building?

Appointments may not necessarily be cancelled, but through our Quick Message tool, you can go the extra mile and easily notify patients about these inconveniences via text, email, and voice. Pretty cool, yeah?

Step 1: Create your message.

Write the message you’re needing to send out, and click “Create Message.”

Create message

Step 2: Select your custom message.

Now, simply go back to the Group Message tool, and pick the usual filters, just as you would with a cancellation message. This time, however, you’ll use the Custom Message under “Preferences.”

Select the type of custom message you want, and send it to your selected patients.

Select your custom message

 

Sending Messages Re: Changed Appointment Times

If you need to delay or move up appointments, you can use the Group Message tool to modify appointments up to four hours before or after the original appointment time and to notify patients of their new appointment times.

Step 1: Choose your message type.

Select “Appointment Delay” in the “Message Kind” filter.

Select your message type

Step 2: Select message recipients.

Each patient may be individually moved up or delayed with different times. Upon selecting the time filter, select patients by clicking “Update Appointment Time.”

Below, for example, I’ve moved Chris G’s appointment up by 30 minutes while I’ve delayed Chris Test’s by 30 minutes.

When you’re done updating the times, select the patients you want to send the message to and click “Send Message to Selected Patients.”

Select message recipients

Messaging Support

These dynamic messaging tools are a standard component of our Automated Patient Interaction System that we hope you find helps save your practice time and effort when having to reschedule patients.

You can visit our  VI Support website to find other helpful messaging information. And if you ever need assistance with your messages, we are always a quick email away at support@vitalinteraction.com.

The next time you’re confronted with a big schedule change, consider using the Group Message tool to quickly reach all patients needing to be rescheduled.

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