Appointment Reminder Troubleshooting
Automatic appointment reminders are a great timesaver. However, the delivery timing and send hours can be confusing. Let’s review some common issues you may encounter with appointment reminders and how to avoid them.
Don’t Multi-Tab Browse
The Scheduler tool uses auto-save functionality, therefore, it is not recommended to use multi-tab browsing while using any of the Scheduler features. The use of multi-tab browsing can cause the auto-save feature to behave unexpectedly or fail.
Complete Reminder setup before using reminders.
Appointment reminder delivery times are always approximate as reminders rely on system settings and the 3rd party delivery service WebPT uses to deliver the reminders. The actual send time may vary based on the factors outlined below.
- Limited Send Hours: Due to the Telemarketer Harassment Legislation implemented by the FCC, reminder calls can’t be sent after 9:00 pm or before 8:00 am.
- Tip: You can adjust your clinic’s send hours to limit the hours when reminders are sent using the Earliest/Latest Call drop-downs in your Reminder Settings. However, any rules violating the legal requirement above will not be honored.
- Processing Queue: All reminders are processed through a queue system which makes the timing of delivery dependent on the reminder’s position in the existing queue. Because WebPT Support can’t view the queue, we can’t provide information on delivery status or timing.
- Delivery Lead Time: We recommend setting a Delivery Lead Time of 2 days or longer. Delivery Lead Times of less than 1 day before the appointment is scheduled increases the unpredictability of reminder delivery.
- Rescheduling or changing appointments within the set Delivery Lead Time window can have an unpredictable effect on the reminder delivery process including creating duplicate reminders.
The Appointment Reminder Delivery time is not exact and may fluctuate based on how the Appointment Reminder Setup is configured for Delivery Lead Time, First Call, and Last Call. To help you understand how these fluctuations may appear we’ll review a couple of scenarios below.
Scenario One: Appointment reminder delivery is not expected to be exact.
The Appointment delivery lead time reminder is set to 1 day (24 hours) before any scheduled appointments and the call period availability is set between 8:00 am (First Call) and 5:00 pm (Last Call).
The patient has an appointment at 3:15 pm on 4/1.
In this scenario, the Appointment reminder will be delivered before 6 pm on the day before the scheduled appointment. Delivery times are approximate and do not require the system to deliver the reminder at or before 3:15 pm on the day prior to the appointment. It only requires the delivery before 6 pm on the day before the appointment which is when the reminder setting is set for the Last Call.
Scenario Two: Appointments scheduled outside the First Call/Last Call period (before the first call or after the last call as noted in the Appointment Lead Time in the Appointment Reminder Setup).
The Appointment delivery lead time reminder is set to be issued 1 day (24 hours) before the scheduled appointment and the call period availability is set between 8:00 am (First Call) and 4:00 pm (Last Call). The patient has an appointment at 4:15 pm (outside the call delivery period) on 4/5.
In this scenario, the Appointment Delivery time has a conflict with the delivery because the appointment was scheduled outside the call delivery period, which pushes the reminder out to the next day after 8:00 am. So instead of receiving the appointment reminder the day before their appointment (4/4) before 4:00 pm, they’ll receive the reminder after 8:00 am on the day of their appointment (4/5).
Patient reminders are not being received by the patient
When a patient reports reminders are not being received, check to ensure Add patient reminder is checked on the patient's appointment and verify the phone number and email information is correct.
- Click on the specific appointment in the Appointment Calendar.
- Click the Edit action button.
- Confirm the Add Patient Reminder is checked.
- To ensure the patient's email or phone number is correct in the patient chart. Click Patient Info.
- Then review the phone and email contact info.
- Confirm the Apt. Reminder drop-down is selected under the Phone contact. Or confirm the Apt. Reminder checkbox is selected for the Email contact.