Question about NextAppointment tag

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Hi everyone,

This is a bit tricky to explain.

We have an SMS reminder setup for our patients with the <<NextAppointmentInPeriod>> tag...  It works perfectly if we're using it in the Reminders window.

However, if, for example, the patient is in the clinic and books their next appointment and we manually send a text with their next appointment, it shows today's appointment rather than the next appointment.

What's the best tag to use instead?


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Posted 3 years ago

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Rachel Bruce

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Hi Meaghan

I send the reminder form the new appointment (which has just been made) as soon as this has been done using <<AppointmentTime(ddd d/m "at" h:nn am/pm)>> and adding a calendar link so the patient can easily add it to their e calendar(s).

I know that's not quite what you're asking but it is a simple work around until you get the tag you are looking for.
Our patients here love it and quite often ask for this instead of an appointment card.
Saving the planet 1 reminder at a time :D
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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Hi Meaghan

The best tag to use for appointment reminders is the <<AppointmentTime>> tag. This tag works when using the SMS/Email Reminder utility and when right-clicking an appointment from the appointment book, and selecting 'Send SMS'. In the case of right-clicking an appointment, the <<AppointmentTime>> tag will identify the date of the appointment you have right-clicked on. This suits the scenario you’ve outlined where you are booking an appointment in the future and want to send a reminder specifically for that appointment. 

I have summarised differences between the 3 main appointment reminder tags in Front Desk below. 

<<AppointmentTime>> - This tag will include the time of the selected appointment when right-clicking an appointment on the appointment book and selecting 'Send SMS'. This tag also supports sending reminders via the SMS/Email Reminders utility and will correctly handle instances where a patient that has two appointments on the same day. This tag is not suitable when sending an SMS directly from the patient file. If you wish to include the practitioner's name in the SMS, use the <<AppointmentPracName>> tag. 

<<NextAppointment>> -  This tag will only include the patient's Next Appointment. This is not suitable if a patient has several appointments in the future, and you wish to send a reminder for the last of those. If you wish to include the practitioner's name in the SMS, use the <<NextAppointmentPracName>> tag. 
<<NextAppointmentInPeriod>> - This tag has now been replaced with <<AppointmentTime>> and is only available for backward compatibility reasons.
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Simone Tenae Thomas

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Is it possible to just send the practitioner's first name, not their whole name? Our Chiropractor was a hyphenated surname and it chews through our SMS credits if we use the <<AppointmentPracName>> tag.
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Steven, Business Care

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Hi Simone

At this stage, we do not have a short-term solution in being able to dissect the practitioner name. In the longer term, we are going to split practitioner name into first and surname fields. What I can suggest is that you have a separate template for this practitioner and rather than use <<appointmentpracname>>, you could hardcode their details, eg. "Dr Jones" or “Tim”. You will then need to remember to use this template when sending SMS reminders for this practitioner. I hope this provides some help.
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Simone Tenae Thomas

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That's what we've done, but with some patients seeing 2 practitioners back-to-back it can be a tedious task some days. 
We'll continue as we have been. :)