This article explains what the automation feature of HealthEngine's Recalls solution is and how it works. To learn how to set up automation, please view our related article here. For answers to frequently asked questions, please view our related article here.
|PLEASE NOTE: The automation feature is currently undergoing an early access trial and so is only available to those practices participating in the early access trial. If you would like to participate in the early access trial, please speak to your Customer Success Manager (CSM) who will be able to arrange this for you.|
What It Is
The automation feature enables your clinic to automate certain tasks in Recalls, such as sending an SMS, queuing a phone call contact attempt, and queuing a letter contact attempt. This takes a lot of the time and effort out of processing your recalls as, based on the rules you configure in your settings, the system will automatically work out what needs doing and when. All that's left for you to do is to periodically review your 'To Action', 'Calls', and 'Letters' tabs to complete any outstanding actions.
How It Works
The automation feature works using "automation rules". The "automation rules" are applied to recall categories. If you are not familiar with recall categories, please read our related article here.
An example automation rule is "2 SMS + 1 letter". In this example, the automation rule would automatically send 2 SMS and 1 letter for each recall with a reason assigned to that recall category. The send times of each contact attempt (i.e. the 2 SMS and 1 letter) are based on the settings configured in your Recalls 'Preferences' page.
For example, if your first contact timeframe is set to 14 days before the recall due date and your subsequent contact timeframe is set to 2 days for SMS and 10 days for letters, then the first SMS would be sent 14 days before the recall due date, the second SMS would be sent 2 days later, and the letter would be queued for downloading 10 days later. In other words, this whole automatic process would take a total of 12 days, starting 14 days from the recall due date and concluding 2 days before the recall due date.
While the automation feature will automatically send SMS, it is important to note that it cannot automatically make phone calls or automatically download, print, and send letters. However, it can queue up phone calls and letters for you so that you only have to check the 'Calls' and 'Letters' tab every so often and go through the recalls in those tabs. This reduces time and effort spent deciding which recalls should have call or letter contact attempts made and when.
There are some other important things to know about how the automation rules work:
- Automation rules will continue with all automatic contact attempts regardless of any manual contact attempts made, e.g. if a recall has an automation rule of "2 SMS + 1 letter" and 1 SMS has been sent when a staff member makes a manual SMS contact attempt, the automation rule will still send the second SMS and the letter regardless of this manual contact attempt.
- Audit notes are recorded in the patient record in your Practice Management Software (PMS) for automatic contact attempts in the same way as for manual contact attempts to provide a complete audit history. The PMS user noted against any audit notes for automatic contact attempts is based on the selected user in your Recalls 'Preferences' under the "User for automated recalls" setting. Automatic contact attempts cannot occur until this setting is set.
- Once an automation rule completes (i.e. all automatic contact attempts are completed), the recall will move to the 'To Action' tab in your Recalls. At this point, you may wish to mark the recall as "No further action required" if you are happy to stop contacting the patient or you may wish to mark the recall as "Doctor's Attention Required" if you would like to check with the doctor whether contact attempts should continue. If contact attempts should continue, you can click the "Restart automation" button to restart the automation rule or you can make manual contact attempts as usual.
- You can manually pause an automation rule for an individual recall or for multiple recalls at any time using the 'Pause automation' action button. To pause automation for multiple recalls, simply select all of the recalls you wish to pause in the 'Synced Recalls' tab and click the 'Pause automation' button. This action will be logged as an audit note in the patient record in your PMS.
- You can manually resume an automation rule that has been manually paused for an individual recall or for multiple recalls at any time using the 'Resume automation' action button. Note that recalls which are not paused will not display this button. To resume automation for multiple recalls, simply select all of the recalls you wish to resume in the 'Synced Recalls' tab and click the 'Resume automation' button. This action will be logged as an audit note in the patient record in your PMS.
- In order to assist with appropriate contact to patients, the "Subsequent Contact Timeframe" has been split out into three "urgency types" - Clinical Reminders, Non-Urgent Results, and Urgent Results. This means that you can set your subsequent contact timeframes for each contact type (SMS, Call, Letter) for each of these "urgency types" to ensure patients are being contacted appropriately for their circumstances. The system will use your previous subsequent contact timeframe for all 3 urgency types by default and assign all urgencies from your PMS to the "Non-Urgent Results" type (although recalls with no urgency will be automatically counted as "Clinical Reminders"); however, you can change these settings at any time according to your clinic's requirements in your Recalls 'Preferences' page.
- If an automation rule is removed from a category, any recalls with recall reasons assigned to that category will revert to manual processing regardless of whether the automation rule was completed for those recalls.
- If an automatic contact attempt can't be completed due to missing contact details in the patient record in your PMS, this will be logged as an audit note. After this, the automation rule will try each contact attempt in the rule until it is successful so that the patient is contacted as soon as possible by whichever means possible.
- Automatic contact attempts will only be made between 9am and 5pm in your practice's local time to ensure that patients are not contacted too early or too late in the day. Any contact attempts that aren't completed during this window will be delayed until the following day (e.g. if there are so many automatic sends queued for the same day that they cannot all be completed within that day). At this stage, this timing cannot be changed. If you would like the ability to change this timing, please notify your Customer Success Manager who will pass on your feedback to our Product team.
If you have any questions or concerns about the above information, our friendly Support team will be happy to assist. Simply click on the 'Help' button in the bottom right corner of Practice Admin to start a web chat or submit an enquiry.