Automated Patient Appointment Reminders
TherapyNotes features integrated appointment reminders, allowing you to notify your client of their upcoming appointment via email, text message, or phone call. Reminding your clients in advance of their appointments helps to dramatically reduce your no-show rate and decrease related expenses.
During your 30-day free trial of TherapyNotes, all automated appointment reminders are completely free.
The role of Practice Administrator is required to enable or disable the patient appointment reminders feature for the account. Once the feature has been enabled, users with the roles of Scheduler or Clinician (for assigned patients) can customize appointment reminder settings.
To enable appointment reminders and configure default appointment reminder settings:
- Click the User Icon > Settings > Patient Appointment Reminders
- Select the Enable TherapyNotes Appointment Reminders checkbox.
- In the Default Patient Settings dropdown in the section labeled Types of Reminders to Send, choose the default method by which appointment reminders are sent:
- No reminders unless enabled on individual patient's Patient Info tab
- Email Only
- Text (SMS) Only
- Text (SMS) and Email
- Text or Automated Call, and Email
If you decide to use email reminders, choose which email address should receive any replies to automated email appointment reminders from the dropdown in the section labeled Email Reminder Settings. In this section, you may also choose whether to address clients by their legal first name or their preferred name as entered in the individual's chart. If you decide to address clients by their preferred name, this option will remain as a default.
If you decide to use automated phone call reminders, enter the phonetic spelling of your practice name in the Spoken Practice Name field in the section labeled Phone Reminder Settings. This is how your practice name will be read in phone call reminders.
Each client may receive appointment reminders according to their individual preferences. This may be helpful for clients who likely read text messages but rarely check their email.
To customize appointment reminders for individual clients:
- Click Patients > Patient name > Info tab
- Click anywhere on the Patient Information box to edit
- Verify that the client's contact information (Mobile Phone, Home Phone, Work Phone, Other Phone, and Email Address fields) is correct, and choose whether they have consented to have messages (either voice or text) sent to each of their phone numbers using the dropdown to the right of each field. Note: TherapyNotes will never send voice or text message appointment reminders to a client's Work Phone. This field is for your reference
- In the Preferred Phone dropdown, select which phone number should be called when automated phone call reminders are enabled
- By default, the Appt Reminders dropdown is set to Practice Default Setting (Text/Call and Email). Select a different option from this dropdown to override the practice default
Please note: If a client's Mobile Phone indicates that text messages are OK, and Text or Call, and Email is selected from the Appt Reminders dropdown (or Text or Automated Call, and Email is selected as the practice default), TherapyNotes will always attempt to send a text message first. If delivery of the text message fails, then an automated call is attempted to the Preferred Phone.
Appointment reminders may be further customized for each one of your client's contacts. Sending appointment reminders to contacts can be valuable in many situations, from ensuring everyone in a family therapy session receives a reminder of an upcoming appointment to sending reminders to parents or guardians of a minor client.
To send appointment reminders to a client's contact:
- Click Patients > Patient name > Info tab
- Click anywhere on the Contacts box to edit
- Select an option from the Appt Reminders dropdown. By default, this dropdown is set to No Reminders
Note: Similar to patient appointment reminders, to send a text message to a contact, their number must be entered in the Mobile Phone field. If the Mobile Phone field is blank, and Text or Call, and Email is selected in the Appt Reminders dropdown, a phone call message will be sent to their Home Phone.
About Email Reminders
Email reminders are sent between 60 and 24 hours in advance of the appointment and are completely free.
The automated system will stop sending email appointment reminders to clients whose email has bounced or who have opted out. To opt back in to email appointment reminders, ask the client to visit https://www.therapyportal.com/portal/subscriptions/.
About Text Message (SMS) Reminders
Automated text (SMS) reminders are sent between 28 and 2 hours in advance of the appointment, between 8:30AM and 9PM in the practice's time zone, and cost $0.14 each.
Note: To allow time for changes when an appointment is scheduled, reminders are queued to be sent 1 hour after the appointment is created in TherapyNotes. Therefore, if an appointment is created for 2 hours from the current time, for example, the text message would not be sent because the appointment is outside of the reminder window.
Only mobile phones can receive text message reminders. Clients can opt out of text appointment reminders by replying "STOP" to the message. Clients can opt back in to text appointment reminders by texting "START" to (215) 515-9997.
About Phone Call Reminders
Automated phone call reminders are sent between 24 and 2 hours in advance of the appointment, between 8AM and 9PM in the practice's time zone, and cost $0.14 each.
Home and mobile phones can receive voice message reminders; the automated system never calls work phone numbers. If the client does not answer, the automated service leaves a voicemail and repeats the following message twice: "This call is to remind you about your appointment <day> at <time> with <Practice Name>. Please call our offices at <practice phone> if you have any questions or will not be able to attend. If you would like to disable appointment reminders by telephone, please talk to your clinician."