While some practices will only utilise the SMS module for reminder messages for their patients and don't expect a reply the majority of those people who utilise the SMS module will be expecting return communication from the patient. In addition to the SMS Reports you can run to review patient responses the below details the methods you can utilise to gather appointment reminder replies.
After a reminder has been sent to a patient, the 'Confirmed' column in the appointment book, should say 'Awaiting Reply'. This means a reminder has been sent, but a reply has not been imported into the appointment book. Once the patient has replied to the reminder and Genie has imported this, the column should display their reply. For example, most patients will reply a 'Y' or 'N'.
Like the sending of reminders, replies can also be automated. To configure this and ensure Genie is checking for replies please go to Appts > SMS Reminders > Setup. In this window, choose the 'Check for Replies every Hour' tickbox and click OK to save. With this option ticked, Genie should retrieve and import the replies into the appointment book automatically every hour.
If you are expecting a reply, or you don't think Genie has imported a reply that you believe is there, you can manually check for these in a couple of ways.
Firstly, you can do this by going to Appts > Get SMS Replies. Genie will then check for the replies and import any if available.
Otherwise, you can do this by going to Appts > SMS Reminders and clicking into the Receive tab. You can then press the 'Get All Replies' button to import any available replies.
Once a reply has been marked as 'retrieved' on the Genie Solution Webserver Genie will no longer attempt to import that reply (it assumes it already has). This can become confusing however though if you have doctors in your practice who utilise offsite logging and have retrieved SMS replies while offsite. These replies will have populated into the Genie installation on their machines but, as the replies have been marked as retrieved, may not populate into the main Genie database back in the main clinic. If you are confident you should have replies but they don't appear to be populating into your appointment book you can force Genie to retrieve all available replies once again (even those previously marked as retrieved).
To do this, go to Appts > SMS Reminders and clicking into the Receive tab. Hold down the Alt/Option key and select the Get All Replies button. Genie should then retrieve ALL replies once more.
You can receive tasks for SMS messages sent to patients or Address Book records if you send the message in one of the following ways:
- Choose to SMS a patient from anywhere other than the Appointment Book such as the patient list, clinical file and the demographic window. This will allow you to send the patient a custom SMS message.
- Right-click on a patient in the Appointment Book / Patient list and select SMS Referring Doctor. This will allow you to SMS the doctor that is listed as the Referring Dr in the patient's demographics;
- Navigate to Open > Address Book and search for your recipient's record. You can then double-click to open the record and choose the SMS icon next to Mobile which will allow you to message this person.
If you receive a reply to the message you have sent to an Address Book recipient or patient via the above options, Genie will generate a task for the user who sent it to alert them.