The Brightsquid Appointment Reminders service allows clinics to configure automated reminders and requests for confirmations to go to their patients via Email and SMS (Text) Messaging. The service must be integrated with a clinic's Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. Once configured the reminders and confirmation requests will be sent automatically based on the timing defined by the clinic's configuration choices. There is no complicated configuration steps in setting up your reminders service, simply follow the steps below and follow the point-and-click instructions. No programming required.
Prior to starting with Appointment Reminders a clinic must first have a Brightsquid account. If your clinic is not already registered with Brightsquid, please contact the Support Department for assistance.
Brightsquid registered users will first connect their EMR with the Brightsquid Reminders service by way of our proprietary integration. Once your accounts are created, a member of the Brightsquid support team will connect with you to provide documentation to integrate the two systems.
Step one in the configuration of your appointment reminders system is the creation of templates for messages that will be seen by your patients.
There are 3 basic types of templates that your clinic can customize and create as many as needed to meet the specific needs of your clinic.
- Email Templates - for messages sent to your patients via traditional email. The content of these messages is non-secure as with any traditional email message.
- SMS Templates - for messages sent to your patients via SMS text message. The content of these messages is non-secure as with any SMS text message.
- Secure Content - the messages specific to the patient's appointment that are displayed to patients only after they verify their identity.
For full details on Managing Message Templates, click here.
Step two in creating appointment reminders is to define the parameters of the reminders, essentially when the reminders will be sent and the details of the appointments in question. In other words, the Who, What and When of the appointments in your EMR.
- Appointment Type - what kind of appointment is this configuration for? This section allows you to define specific reminder configurations for specific types of appointments as defined in your EMR. It can be as a simple as one basic reminder for "All Appointments" or you can very easily configure a different bespoke reminder for a variety of appointments. For example you might have a specific configuration for; First time visits, Surgical Follow Up, Annual Physicals or Flu Shots etc... The only limit is the appointment types defined in your EMR. **See more on this topic below**
- Provider - who is the appointment with? Typically the integration with your EMR will import your Doctors and other clinical staff. As with appointment type, you can configure different bespoke reminders for each provider in your clinic. **See more on this topic below**
- When to Send - when should reminders be sent to patients? Clinics may send a maximum of 3 reminders to patients for each appointment. The timing of the reminders may range from 1 day in advance to 3 months in advance.
Step three in the configuration of reminders is defining which templates, as defined in step one, will be sent to your patients in the timeline defined in step two. There are two different types of messages available to be configured and each may be sent by Email or SMS.
The first section Confirmation Requests defines the message templates that will be sent to your patients who have not yet confirmed or declined their upcoming appointment.
The second section Reminders defines the message templates that will be sent to your patients who have already confirmed their upcoming appointment.
Notes on this section:
- If your appointment configuration is only set to send one message per appointment, the Reminders Messages will not be sent.
- You can use the same templates in both the confirmation requests section and the reminders section if preferred, however this is not recommended.
- If a patient declines an appointee no more reminders for that appointment will be sent.
Step four is to define the Secure Content Message that patients will see when they validate their identity and pass into the Secure section the appointment reminders system. This is the most customization section of the application because here you can show specific information to your patients relevant to the specific type of appointment they have scheduled.
Step five is where you define the final customization to your appointment reminder configuration.
- Notification Priority - select the preferred channel for messages to your patients (Email or SMS).
- Patient Forms - include a standard COVID19 screening questionnaire for your patients to complete prior to their appointment.
- Attachments - any document or file that you want to make available to your patients as part of the Secure Content section of the appointment reminders portal. For example; information on Directions and Parking, Pre Appointment Preparation etc...
For full details on configuration, click here.
Best Practices for Configuration
The Brightsquid appointment reminders service does much much more than just remind patients of their upcoming appointments. Even in the simplest configuration the service will enables your patients to confirm their intention to attend (or cancel) and provides the patients with all the preparation information for their upcoming appointment.
Let's look at two specific areas in the configuration and how the customization settings there can greatly reduce workload on clinic staff, simply by sending information to patients with their reminder, thereby reducing incoming phone calls to the clinic.
This screenshot is an example of the available appointment types as defined in the connected EMR. The specific appointment types will vary based on your clinic's specific EMR setup, but it should look similar to this:
When configuring appointment reminders you can create a custom appointment reminder just for a single appointment type. For example, you might choose to create a custom reminder configuration for "Full PFT." That configuration would include all the information that a patient would need to know prior to their appointment; information and file attachments can be appended to the reminder that the patient will receive. By providing information to the patients about how to prepare for your PFT, or where to park at our office and so on, you can reduce the number of pre-appointment phone calls to your clinic.
This custom information can be added to the configuration in two places.
1--File Attachments - Files like PDF documents and Images (or any other file type) can be added to the configuration at the bottom of the appointment reminder configuration panel (see screenshot).
2--Custom Messaging in the Secure Content Template - In Step one above, you can review the process for creating custom content for the appointment configuration page that describes how to create templates. Simply create your custom template and apply it to the reminder configuration for this specific reminder event.
Remember, you can easily set up as many appointment reminder configurations as needed, the only limit is your imagination. Once the reminders are configured just let them run automatically, you will no longer have to call every patient to ensure their attendance, your clinic will receive far fewer phone calls from patients asking questions about their upcoming appointment type.
This will free up clinic time to focus on more rewarding and fulfilling tasks.
Perhaps most importantly of all, your patients will be better prepared for their appointments and the time they spend with their provider will be more efficient.