HotDoc Recalls is a system that handles both Results and Clinical Reminders and allows you to securely send SMS messages to patients if they have an upcoming recall in their patient file.
Survey data shows that SMS continues to be a preferred contact method for patients when it comes to receiving information from their Health Provider. In addition, clinical reminders handled through HotDoc can:
- Automate your contact attempts with SMS messages, replacing manual calling and saving your staff time and effort
- Save your clinic money on sending letters as sending SMS is more cost efficient
- Update the patient record automatically with the HotDoc contact attempts, saving time and effort to create a manual note for accreditation
- Encourage your patients to make a booking with their usual practitioner to follow up on their reminder, increasing patient engagement
This guide covers the essentials of setting up your clinical reminders to be handled by HotDoc. If you are setting up or learning how HotDoc Recalls works for the first time, you will be required to complete all sections below.
Once complete, you will be able to let HotDoc automatically send SMS Recalls to your patients who require a booking for their clinical reminder and understand how HotDoc Recalls works to enable this.
In this article
1. The Patient Experience
|Before setting up HotDoc to send your clinical reminders, we recommend that you first review the journey from a patient point of view. See What does the patient see when they receive a Clinical Reminder SMS?|
We understand that using an automated SMS recalls system may be a different experience for your clinic and patients. Reviewing the patient journey will allow you to be in control as you will always know what to expect. A strong sense of the patient journey will also enable you to educate your staff and patients, as well as preempt any concerns or questions.
Alongside the patient journey outlined in the link above, it's also helpful to know the following:
- HotDoc sends SMS recalls from a 'sender' that is either a generic sender name (such as Your_GP) or a shortened version of your clinic's name. The sender name is not a mobile number so as to ensure your patients trust the message that they have received. In the case of the example below, the sender is called 'GenMedical':
- HotDoc sends the SMS to the mobile number listed on the patient record associated with the clinical reminder.
- The message copy we use in the SMS refers to a 'health message' rather than the exact clinical reminder that the patient is due for. We have found that this language is most effective for increasing patient engagement with the SMS.
We recommend you share the above with your wider team so everyone is informed and ready to assist with any questions you may receive from your patients.
2. Review your settings
Now that you know how your patients will receive their clinical reminder, we can start to review the Recall settings associated with your HotDoc account.
It's important to review the default Recall settings to ensure you are happy with when HotDoc sends out your Recall SMS communication. Here you can also set age restrictions that would help protect the privacy of teenagers.
To access your Recalls Settings, log in to your HotDoc Dashboard and navigate to Recalls > Settings
Please review the following settings:
- Confirm the time of day and the days of the week the SMS messages are to be sent out. See Configuring when your Recalls will send to learn more.
- Confirm if you would like HotDoc to restrict sending messages for patients of specific ages. See How can I stop Recalls from sending to specific age groups? to learn more.
- Confirm if you would prefer to respect your Practice Management system's opt-in status for SMS communication. If you believe your patient database is not up to date (or that updating SMS opt-in settings is 'a work in progress') you may decide to allow HotDoc to send to all patients regardless of the opt out status in your clinical software. Patients can still opt themselves out and you can opt-out a patient out of HotDoc Recalls.
- Select if you would like to show the practitioner's name in your Dashboard view. This is shown internally only and we generally recommend that you turn this feature on as it's helpful for your daily workflow.
3. Understanding how HotDoc syncs a Clinical Reminder
|By default, HotDoc will sync any unresolved clinical reminders with a due date that falls between four weeks into the past and two weeks into the future. We refer to this time frame as the Sync Window|
When a doctor adds a recall into a patient's record, this is usually entered with a recall reason and a due date.
If the recall reason is unresolved and has a due date that sits within the sync window, we will bring it into the Dashboard for actioning. Alongside this, HotDoc also syncs and displays the following:
- Patient name
- Recall Reason (as outlined in the patient record)
- Due date
- Mobile number
- Date of Birth
- Doctor performed (if linked correctly)
- Patient's next appointment date
Example of a clinical reminder synced into the HotDoc Dashboard
4. Review your Template Groups
|Template groups are HotDoc's way of knowing what kind of communication to send to a patient for their clinical reminder reason. HotDoc recommends checking each of the templates in the list to confirm you are happy with them before sending.|
Now that you understand how HotDoc syncs clinical reminder reasons into the Dashboard, you are now ready to review your Template Groups.
As unresolved clinical reminders sync into your Dashboard, becoming familiar with your template groups will allow you to control what gets sent to your patients. Awareness of your template groups will ensure the right message is communicated and will assist in encouraging the patient to make a booking.
See How to edit, add and remove Clinical Reminder Templates to learn how to optimise and manage your Template Groups.
Example of Template Groups in the HotDoc Dashboard
5. Assign your reasons
If a reason is not assigned to a template, a Recall SMS will not send and your patient will not be notified of their clinical reminder.
See How to assign a reason to a Template Group to learn more.
Once your templates are all in order, it's time to start assigning reasons to them. If a reason is not assigned to a template, it will remain in the To Action screen and will not send any notifications to the patient:
Example of a reason (Immunisation) in the To Action screen which has not been assigned to a template
You can assign actions from either the To Action screen or within the Template Group page. You will usually only need to assign a reason once. Moving forward, all clinical reminders with that same reason will then follow the settings of the template group it is assigned to.
6. Mark Recalls as Done
Before you start to send out your Recalls with HotDoc, you may want to take stock of where you are up to with your current clinical reminders workflow. This is to ensure you aren't sending SMS messages to patients who have already been notified manually by phone or other means.
To assist with this step, we recommend using the Mark as Done feature if:
- You have already contacted a number of your patients and do not want to send them an additional message through HotDoc
- You have the odd recall that does not need to be actioned or sent an SMS by HotDoc
We recommend selecting all recalls that do not need to be notified by HotDoc and batch actioning them together to save time. To learn how to do this, see Clinical Reminders - Batch Actions.
Example of the Mark as done button within a HotDoc Recall
7. Educating and training your Team
|As with anything new, education is key to ensuring a higher patient engagement rate. The more you promote the system to your team, the more comfortable they will feel with using it.|
Congratulations! You have now fully setup and learnt how HotDoc Recalls handles your clinical reminders.
With more patients being informed by HotDoc Recalls, you will not only save time and resources, but find more patients coming back as making an appointment that suits their schedule is easier to do.
To educate your team and ensure they are ready for HotDoc Recalls:
- Please ensure they are familiar with the following guide so they know how to manage your clinical reminders moving forward: Clinical Reminders - workflow checklist
- Make sure your reception team are across HotDoc Recalls so they can assist with educating your patients by showing them the videos and resources here.
- A case study for using Recalls for your clinical reminders can also be accessed here.
To educate your patients and to ensure they are informed about HotDoc Recalls:
- Place HotDoc Recall posters up around the clinic and ensure reception are handing out our Recall cards to patients. You can request additional posters from the HotDoc team or print additional resources here
Go ahead and check out our HotDoc Recalls Support centre for further resources and to search for frequently asked questions.