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AutoRemind - Set Up and Use Overview

AutoRemind is an automated patient appointment reminder system that works directly with the MacPractice Scheduling ability to send patient reminders of upcoming appointments. Once AutoRemind is set up and a preferred method of contact for the patient is established, patients are sent reminders or confirmation requests for created or updated appointments.
 
The AutoRemind Guide is written with the understanding that AutoRemind has been purchased through MacPractice Corporate Sales and the AutoRemind registration process is complete. Additional information on using AutoRemind can be found through the AutoRemind Help Site. Questions can be directed to AutoRemind Support at support@autoremind.us.

Setting up AutoRemind

This section assists in setting up MacPractice to send reminders to sync with AutoRemind. AutoRemind is set up within various areas of MacPractice, which we'll cover below.

Preferences

Upon registration, AutoRemind will supply a portal Username and Password. These credentials will be added to the MacPractice Preferences, where the AutoRemind templates are fetched and added to the MacPractice database. You can find Preferences in the MacPractice Menu in the top left of the MP window.

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In the AutoRemind section of Preferences, enter the AutoRemind Username and Password as provided by AutoRemind. Next, click the Login To Portal button to log in to the AutoRemind website. Click the Fetch Templates button to download the AutoRemind Notification templates from the AutoRemind server to the templates in References.

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The AutoRemind Preferences panel contains these additional settings:

  • Default Notification Profile: Select a type from the AutoRemind Notification Types available in References to set a default for all new patients. You may want to return to this drop down once you've set up your AutoRemind Notification Profiles in the next section of this article.
  • International Phone Prefix: The default option "1" can be changed for location.
  • Auto-fetch Status Updates: This option checks AutoRemind's servers every hour for status changes such as appointment confirmations.
  • Set AutoRemind status to Confirmed when MacPractice status becomes confirmed: When enabled, an appointment status set to Confirmed in MacPractice will message AutoRemind's servers to cancel the confirmation message. A regular reminder will still be sent.
  • Web Services URL: Never adjust this URL without instruction by AutoRemind or MacPractice. 

AutoRemind Notification Profiles in References

AutoRemind Notification Profiles determine what, when, where, and how AutoRemind notifications are sent, which can then be assigned to particular patients for use. Once the notification templates have been fetched from AutoRemind Preferences, they will appear in the AutoRemind Notification Profiles node in the References ability. 

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To create an original AutoRemind Notification Type, select AutoRemind Notification Type in the References sidebar and click the green plus button. You can set the name for this new AutoRemind Notification Type and save the record.

From the main MacPractice window, click the plus button in the upper right hand corner and select a template from the menu, then click the OK button. Repeat this process to add multiple templates to the AutoRemind Notification Type. 

With the AutoRemind Notification Profiles created, set a Default Notification Profile for all patients in the AutoRemind panel of the MacPractice Preferences. 

Display and AutoRemind Statuses in the Schedule

The Schedule ability can be adjusted within the Appointment Display node to show the AutoRemind Statuses as unique colors. A color scheme will change appointment colors as the AutoRemind Manager syncs.

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In the Schedule ability, click the Appointment Display node to access the Colors tab.

  • Area: Set the area of an appointment to display the AutoRemind Status in the Area box, labelled "Specify how each area is colored."
  • Colors: The Colors box displays the AutoRemind Statuses (Confirmed, No Reminder, Not Successful, Sent-No Confirmation Requested, or Sent-Pending Confirmation) along with the current corresponding colors. The Other item display the Apple color palette to select any color.
More information on adjusting the Appointment Display is available in the Schedule documentation.
 
AutoRemind settings can also be overridden through the Schedule's Resource columns by unchecking the Use for AutoRemind checkbox for a resource. With the box unchecked, appointments scheduled within the Resource column would not receive reminders. A video demonstrating this process is available on the AutoRemind Help Site. More information on Resources is available in the Schedule documentation.

AutoRemind Profile in the Patients Ability

In the Communication tab of the Patient ability, you can set an AutoRemind profile that governs what methods will be used to send AutoRemind notifications to a patient. This is set to "Preferences Default" for all  patients initially, but will contain all the Notification Profiles that have been added in the References Ability > AutoRemind Notification Profiles.

To set the Preferences Default Notification Profile, navigate to the MacPractice Menu > Preferences > AutoRemind, and select from the choices in the "Default Notification Profile" drop down.

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The Notification Profiles look at the type of Destinator, and then uses the corresponding information in the Patient Ability > Patient Tab. If that information is lacking on the Patient Ability, no notification will be sent. For example, if a Notification Profile is configured to send a SMS (Text message) to the patient's Mobile Phone, a Mobile Phone number must be set in the Patient Ability/Patient Tab for that person to receive a SMS message.

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Using AutoRemind

If you've set up everything according to the previous section, you can start using AutoRemind. As an appointment is created from the Schedule, you'll need to confirm that the patient has the AutoRemind checkbox enabled in the Appointment Detail window.

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In order for AutoRemind to send notifications, a AutoRemind Notification Profile must be selected under the Patient tab within the Communication sub-tab. Whichever methods are used by the Notification Profile will also need to be filled out in the Patient Ability > Patient Tab. For example, if the Notification Profile is set to send an e-mail reminder and a text message to the patient's mobile phone, the E-mail Address field must be complete, and a Mobile Phone number must be entered for an E-mail or a text to be sent, respectively.

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When the appointment is saved, the AutoRemind process is triggered as set in the AutoRemind Notification Type menu and will await confirmation or reply status. As long as the Phone number, Email address, or Text account information is entered for the patient, a reminder will be sent. If the AutoRemind Notification Type does not match the patient's contact information, no reminder will be 
sent. 

AutoRemind Manager

The AutoRemind Manager is used to submit unsent reminders and update the status of sent reminders.

You can access the AutoRemind Manager on the MacPractice Server by holding the option key on the keyboard while clicking the Managers ability icon on the toolbar. Within the Managers sidebar, click the AutoRemind node.

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The AutoRemind Manager can be filtered to locate and sync reminders as needed. It is laid out very similarly to our reports in the Reports Ability, where filters are organized at the very top allowing you to find particular appointments for specific providers and offices.

First, you'd select the filters you'd like to set, then you click the Apply button in the upper right hand to display all the appointments that meet the filter criteria.

The available filters are:

  • Providers: Filters the results by the Appointment Provider.
  • Offices: Filters the results by the Appointment Office.
  • Start/End Date: Filters the results by a date range in which the appointment occurred.
  • Hide No Reminders: When checked, appointments for which no reminder was assigned will also appear within the results.
Note: If the Phone number, Email address, or Text account information is not entered in the Patient tab, no item will appear for that patient.

The Results Table contains all the matching appointments and reminders that are found when clicking the Apply button. The table has the following columns:
  • Sync: When checked, the reminder result will be included in the Sync process.
  • First/Last/Birthdate/Phone/Email: The patient demographic information as set in the Patient tab.
  • External ID: The Patient ID.
  • Appointment Date: The date the appointment occurred.
  • AutoRemind Type: The AutoRemind Notification Profile set in the Patient tab within the Reminders sub-tab.
  • AutoRemind UUID: The AutoRemind Universally Unique Identifier.
Check any reminder result within the Sync column, or check the Check All box to select each result. Click the Sync button to initiate the AutoRemind/MacPractice Sync and fetch reminder updates. MacPractice will also automatically sync every few hours. If there are changes, the Schedule's AutoRemind Appointment Display status scheme will update.
 
Utilities in the Manager
Additionally, AutoRemind settings can be applied globally with Database Utilities, which update all existing appointments or patients.  At the bottom of the AutoRemind Manager, you'll find two Database Utilities.  
  • Update Notification Template: This utility will update all patients with one AutoRemind Notification Type to a selected type. This utility can be used after setting up AutoRemind Notification Profiles to apply the notification settings to existing patients.
  • Update AutoRemind Checkbox On Appointments: This utility will check the AutoRemind checkbox for all existing future appointments in the database. This utility can be used after setting up AutoRemind within MacPractice to apply the appointment settings to existing appointments.

A backup should always be created before running a Database Utility.

AutoRemind Recall Notifications

You can read more about AutoRemind Recall Notifications in this linked article here.

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