When a patient receives an appointment reminder via SMS, they may respond via SMS reply. Depending on the response, HotDoc may recognise and action the response accordingly, or send it to the practice for manual actioning.
This article will take you through what kind of responses HotDoc recognises, as well as how to process responses through your HotDoc Sidebar.
In this article
What SMS appointment reminder replies do we recognise?
When choosing your appointment reminder SMS copy, you can also give the patient the option to reply yes/no, confirm/cancel to the text message alongside a link to a confirmation page.
Reminder replies we recognise:
When a patient replies via SMS in one of these forms, we will not send this response to your Sidebar:
- If the patient replies in the affirmative ("yes", "y", "confirm"), this will be written back to the appointment book to show that the appointment has been confirmed.
- If the patient replies in the negative ("no", "n", "cancel"), this will either immediately remove the appointment from the book or send the request to the HotDoc Sidebar for your team to action, depending on your practice's cancellation settings e.g. if you've turned off cancellations for an appointment type.
Reminder replies we don't recognise:
Sometimes, patients may respond with something HotDoc does not recognise. When this happens, this response will appear in your Sidebar to read and action accordingly.
- EG: If the patient responds with "I feel better now", we are unable to understand the patient's intention and this response will appear in your Sidebar to be actioned manually.
How to action an SMS response in the Sidebar
For reminder replies we don't recognise :
- When a patient replies with a response that HotDoc cannot recognise, you will firstly receive a notification in the Sidebar.
- Open the notification and select Cancel Appointment or Confirm Appointment on behalf of the patient based on their reply. The appointment will then either be confirmed in the appointment book or removed.
- Alternatively, if you are unable to determine the patient's intention through their reply, we would recommend that you call the patient for more clarification. Their mobile number will be shown in the notification for ease of contact.
When a patient replies twice:
If a patient responds to their reminder twice via SMS (eg. If they confirmed, then responded again to cancel) you will receive a notification for the second response in your Sidebar. To action this:
- Open the Sidebar to read the patient's response. We will also tell you if the patient's initial response confirmed or cancelled their appointment.
- Depending on the patient's response, you can dismiss this by clicking Mark as read or you may also need to contact the patient directly by phone to discuss their message: