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CHR Webinar: Plan impactful communication throughout the patient journey
CHR Webinar: Plan impactful communication throughout the patient journey
Updated over a week ago

Learn how to:

  • Plan your use of notifications, reminders, and Qnaires throughout a patient’s journey for a specific treatment or type of visit.

  • Configure the text of appointment notifications and reminders.

  • Adjust the timing of automated appointment notifications, reminders, and scheduled Qnaires.

So that you can:

  • Equip patients with the right information at the right time.

  • Collect timely and relevant clinical information.

  • Reduce administrative burden.

CHR experts discuss a number of scenarios to show configuration options and discuss variations they’ve seen in various clinics.

Webinar recording

The webinar audio is available as a text transcript (PDF).

After you watch the recording, please fill out this short survey to help us improve future live events.

Brainstorming board: Planning CHR Appointment Messages

A whiteboard visual to help plan and communicate how you want to send appointment notifications, reminders, or questionnaires throughout a patient's journey.

Decision tree: Configuring CHR Appointment Messages

Follow the flowchart to find where in the CHR you can configure an appointment notification or reminder. Explore the underlined help articles for step-by-step instructions.

Decision tree: Configuring CHR Qnaire Delivery

Follow the flowchart to decide which method of Qnaire delivery works best for you and where in the CHR to configure it. Explore the underlined help articles for step-by-step instructions.

Tips & Tricks: Your webinar questions answered

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions before and during the webinar!

Explore the answers below to learn more about the tips and tricks we shared with the webinar participants.

Table of Contents

Appointment Notifications & Reminders

Update the timing of reminders for specific appointment types

Go to Settings > Scheduling > Appointment Type. Open an appointment type and select the Reminder tab to configure the delivery time, message, and linked Qnaires of reminders for a specific appointment type. For more details, refer to Customizing appointment reminders.

Original Question: Can I increase the default 1 day reminder for some appointment types to 2 days?

Configure SMS notifications to be more mobile friendly

You can configure email and SMS notifications separately so that SMS messages are shorter and easier to read on a mobile device.

Original Question: Are notifications mobile friendly?

Check and update the default reminder and notification text in Settings > Notifications

You can see the default message for all appointment reminders under Settings > Notifications > General Tab > Appointment Reminder.

To view the message, click the gear icon next to Default under the Email or SMS column.

Original Question: What is the "default" message for an appointment reminder? I don't want to overwrite the message. Just add one more piece of information.

Appointment-type-specific reminder messages add to the default reminder, not replace it

The Appointment Reminder notification in Settings > Notifications includes a variable called Reminder Message by default.

The Reminder Message variable pulls in the text you configure in the appointment type’s Reminder tab in Settings > Scheduling > Appointment Type.

This allows you to send multiple reminders with different text for the same appointment type, instead of writing all the possible variations into a single reminder.

Original Question: If I add text to the reminder message body in scheduling settings (in an appointment type), is it added to or does it replace the “default” notification?

The Patient Actions variable includes links to Qnaires and an appointment details button

The Appointment Details button links to your clinic’s online booking site, where the patient can review appointment time, location and may cancel or change an appointment if allowed by the clinic. From here, the patient can also fill out any pre-visit Qnaires or unfinished Qnaires linked to the appointment.

For more details about variables, visit Variables for notification templates.

Original Question: Is the “patient action” variable in appointment notifications and reminders only for Qnaires?

Remove the option for patients to cancel or change an appointment online in Settings > Scheduling > Extra

To disable the ability for patients to cancel or change their appointment, click Settings > Scheduling > Extra. Disable the setting Patient can change appointments and Patient can cancel appointments. For more details, refer to Allowing patients to change or cancel their appointments online.

Original Question: How can we hide the option in a notification for patients to change/confirm their appointments?

The Location Information variable is hidden if the appointment is a virtual visit

The clinic location and map do not appear in the Location Information variable if the appointment is a virtual visit.

Original Question: Will the clinic location be hidden for virtual visits?

Use the Virtual Visit Instructions variable to send joining instructions beforehand

The Virtual Visit Instructions variable included in the default virtual visit notifications adds standard instructions to help a patient connect. To learn more about the variable, refer to Variables for notification templates.

If you want to customize the instructions, remove the Virtual Visit Instructions variable and type your own instructions in the notification template.

You can also include patient-specific help article links in your template. Virtual Visit troubleshooting (for patients) and Attending a virtual visit with your provider (for patients) are two useful articles in our Education Centre that are written for patients.

❓Original Question: How can I send instructions on how to prepare for a virtual visit to patients?

Link to helpful resources in your reminder messages

When you enter a URL into a reminder or notification template, the CHR converts it to a hyperlink when you press Return {Enter} at the end of the URL.

For example, you could link to educational materials hosted on your clinic’s website or YouTube. You may also consider adding videos to Qnaires or sending messages to patients through the patient portal with a helpful PDF form attached to the message.

At this time there is not a specific “hub” to store educational materials inside the CHR.

Some clinics may create a form template from an educational PDF. Then they can add that form to a patient’s record and attach it to a patient portal message.

❓Original Question: Can we send hyperlinks in reminder messages? For example, instructions on how to prepare for virtual visit appointments? How do you add and store educational material in the CHR?

Use a Patient Full Name variable to differentiate patients who share an email address

For example, instead of the default Dear Patient in a notification, you add a patient data variable after Dear to clarify who the notification is about.

❓Original Question: We are seeing a problem when a family is using only one email address. Please advise how we can differentiate which appointment is for which family member.

Patients can see all their booked appointments in their portal

If you schedule a patient for multiple appointments in one day, they will get separate notifications, but they can see the full list in their portal.

To help them, you can configure the reminder, perhaps for a yearly assessment appointment type, to include a link to the patient portal with a note that they can log into the portal to view the full list of all their appointments for the day.

Another option: you can send a message to the patient advising them to look at the Appointments section of the patient portal. Creating a message template for this message speeds up the process as well.

❓Original Question: Our annual patient assessments are made up of several appointments in one day. How do you send one reminder or message to your patient with all their appointments listed?

There is no 3 week reminder time range

Currently an appointment reminder cannot be configured to send 3 weeks pre or post the appointment. There are 1, 2, and 4 week options. We have shared feedback from the webinar with our product team.

❓Original Question: Can I configure an appointment reminder to send 3 week prior or after an appointment.

Resend a confirmation by changing an appointment’s status back to Requested, then Confirmed

You can change the appointment status to Requested and then change it back to Confirmed. This will trigger an appointment confirmation notification to send again.

❓Original Question: How can I resend an appointment confirmation without deleting and creating a new appointment? For example, I only receive the patient’s email address after the appointment was created.

Reminders are only sent if an appointment’s status is Booked, Confirmed, or Action Required

If a patient reports they did not receive an appointment reminder, it is likely that the appointment status was not Booked, Confirmed, or Action Required when the reminder was scheduled to send.

It is also possible that the system sent the reminder, but the phone number or email address on record are out of date.

It is difficult to say for certain why a patient does not receive a notification or reminder. Contact our TELUS Health support team. They can investigate the cause of a missing notification.

Original Question: Why do some patients not receive those notifications?

To access the patient portal, patients provide identification that matches your records

Depending on the message type, a patient may have to provide a health card number, email address, and/or name that matches your records. This includes capitalization, spaces, and spelling.

If the CHR does not recognize your patient's name, email, or phone number, the patient must contact you and ensure that what they are entering matches what you have recorded.

For Qnaires, you have the option of asking patients to verify their date of birth before accessing a Qnaire. For steps, visit Adding patient identity verification at the start of Qnaires.

Depending on your workflow, you may consider testing new configurations with a test patient record so you can see exactly what a patient experiences with your new messages.

Original Question: When patients receive instructions in an email or sms, what questions are they asked when they want to access information? What does it look like from their computer? Why do some patients report technical issues when they attempt to open a message sent from our clinic?

Qnaire Delivery

Appointment reminders include a link to fill out any incomplete Qnaires assigned to the appointment

If a patient has not completed their Qnaires, any reminders sent before the appointment date include a link to fill out all incomplete Qnaires. This includes the default 1 day before reminder.

Incomplete Pre–Visit Qnaires and Qnaires associated with a past reminder are included. Even if the past reminder wasn’t actually sent because the appointment was booked after the scheduled reminder’s time frame.

If you add a Qnaire to an appointment after booking, the patient is reminded to complete it in their next reminder.

If the default 1 day reminder is not enough time, you can add a single reminder to the appointment so the patient can fill out the Qnaire as soon as possible. For steps, visit Managing appointment reminders for a single appointment.

Appointments with incomplete Qnaires have the Action Required status.

Original question 1: Is there a way to have a second email sent, if the patient does not fill out the Qnaires attached.

Original question 2: If a Qnaire was sent to the patient when they scheduled an appointment, but subsequently I realize they needed a different Qnaire and update that in the appointment settings, will the new Qnaire be sent out automatically or do I need to manually send that new Qnaire?

Pre-visit Qnaire responses can be sent to an admin’s inbox instead of the provider

When you add a pre-visit Qnaire to an appointment type or presenting issue, you can select the inbox the Qnaire response is sent to. For steps, visit Attaching pre-visit Qnaires to appointment types or Creating presenting issues (reasons for visit).

Qnaires linked to a scheduled reminder for an appointment type are sent to the provider’s inbox. An admin can review these Qnaire responses by viewing the provider’s inbox.

Original Question: I need some Qnaires to come to the Admin, and not to the Doctor.

Alerts triggered by specific Qnaire responses are sent to the associated provider’s email

At this time admin or staff users can receive emails when a Qnaire score changes, but not when a patient chooses a specific answer. We have shared feedback from the webinar with the product team.

For more detail on how to configure score or answer alerts, refer to Configuring provider alerts based on changing Qnaire scores and Configuring provider alerts based on Qnaire responses.

Original Question: In our Qnaires, we have certain questions that trigger an email to the provider if answered a certain way. We would like to be able to choose who receives that alert realistically, it would be our nurse or admins that would be regularly checking emails.

Customize the messaging sent with your automated Qnaires

When you manually send a Qnaire to a patient from Start/Open > Send Qnaire, you cannot add a custom message.

However, you can customize the messages sent with your automated notifications and reminders that include Qnaires. For more details, visit Customizing notification templates or Customizing appointment reminders for an appointment type.

You can also customize the message the patient sees at the start of a Qnaire. For details, refer to Adding headings to grouped questions in Qnaires.

Original Question: Can we send a message with a Qnaire?

Sending Messages to a Patient

Use Message Patient to send a one-time message.

You can send a secure message to a patient from their chart. From the patient's chart, click Start/Open > Message Patient. For more detail, refer to Sending messages to patients through the patient portal.

Original Question: How can I send a once-off notification to a patient?

Configure standard messages to patients in Settings > Templates

You can use these message templates when you send individual messages to patients from their chart. For more details, refer to Creating message templates.

Original Question: How do we customize and standardize messages to send to patients?

You cannot bulk message multiple patients all at the same time

You can search for patients who meet certain conditions, like age, diagnosis, etc., by using the analytics dashboards and then from the results, open those patients’ charts and send individual messages with Start/Open > Message Patient.

To speed up this process, you can use a message template with pre-set text and patient data variables that pull information from the patient's chart, clinic or provider into the message.

You cannot bulk message multiple patients all at the same time.

Original Question: After I have a list of patients who have met certain conditions, can I message all of them at once?

Patient login codes expire, but notifications do not

Appointment notifications never expire, but the verification code sent to a patient as part of their portal login attempt can expire.

These codes can be extended to a maximum of a week under Settings > Patient Portal > Patient Timeout Duration. For steps, refer to Enabling and customizing the patient portal.

Patients can always access their current and past portal messages by logging into their patient portal.

Original Question: What if the notification expires within three days?

Confirm a patient has read a portal message in Start/Open > Messages

Open the patient chart and click Start/Open > Messages. Search for the specific message and open it.

In the top-right corner of the message, you can view the time the message was sent and the status of the message: Not read by patient or Read by patient: [time the message was read]. For more details, refer to Viewing messages within a patient chart.

Original Question: How can I see when a patient has read a patient portal message?

Check what was sent to a patient in Start/Open > Patient Outbox

From the Patient Outbox in a patient’s chart, you can confirm which Qnaires, portal messages, appointment messages, and more were sent to a patient. For a full list of what items appear in the outbox, refer to Patient Outbox.

You can also use an Analytics dashboard to pull a list of messages that have been sent and read by a specific patients.

At this time you cannot see the content of a Qnaire, reminder, or notification template from the outbox, just the outgoing item’s name. We have shared the webinar feedback with our product team.

Original Question: Where can I see what Qnaires, notifications, or other messages were sent to a patient?

Updated December 16, 2022

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