This article answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the automation feature in Healthengine Recalls.
|PLEASE NOTE: To access the automation feature, you must have version 220.127.116.11 or higher of our Appointment Connector (AC) software. If you need assistance to update your AC, please contact our Support team by using the 'Help' button in the bottom right corner of your Practice Admin account.|
To jump to a specific question, click on the question below. Otherwise, simply scroll down to see all questions and answers in succession.
- What is the automation feature?
- How does the automation feature work?
- How do I set up the automation feature in my Recalls?
- Will using the automation feature spam my patients with messages?
- Can an automation rule be temporarily paused?
- What happens if a patient books an appointment?
- Can automation be set up for some recalls but not others?
- What if I need to have different automation rules depending on the urgency of the recall?
- What happens when an automation rule finishes all its automatic contact attempts?
- Can the automation be turned off once started?
What is the automation feature?
The automation feature of Healthengine Recalls enables some of the manual processes of handling recalls to be automated. This includes the sending of SMS contact attempts to patients, as well as the queuing of phone call and letter contact attempts.
The result is that your practice only needs to periodically check the 'Calls' and 'Letters' tabs to finalise any phone call or letter contact attempts and the 'To Action' tab to decide what to do with recalls that have completed their automation cycle without the recall being closed in your Practice Management Software (PMS). This significantly reduces the time and effort associated with processing recalls.
How does the automation feature work?
The automation feature works using 'Automation Rules' that are assigned on a per-category basis. If you are unfamiliar with the categories feature of Healthengine Recalls, please view our related article here.
An example of an automation rule is "2 SMS + 1 Letter". In this example, any recalls with reasons assigned to a category with this automation rule would automatically receive 2 SMS contacts and have 1 letter contact queued for sending according to the timeframe settings in your Recalls 'Preferences' page.
There are a few more important things to know about how the automation feature works; to learn more, please view our related article here.
How do I set up the automation feature in my Recalls?
There are 4 easy steps to complete to successfully set up the automation feature for your Recalls system:
- Step 1. Assign a PMS user for automated actions
- Step 2. Assign your urgencies to the 3 urgency types
- Step 3. Assign your recall reasons to categories
- Step 4. Add automation rules to your categories.
Once you complete these steps, you may also wish to review your 'Preferences' to ensure they make sense for an automated solution.
For a detailed guide on completing each of these steps, please view our related article here.
Will using the automation feature spam my patients with messages?
No, your patients will not be spammed with messages as the automation feature has been designed very carefully to avoid this happening. Of course, it really comes down to how you set it up for and use it within your practice. For example, if a recall completes the automation rule and you choose to start the automation rule again because the patient did not book an appointment, and then it completes again and you restart it again, this may lead to the patient feeling spammed. However, this is completely in your control so you are able to prevent that from happening if you wish. All contact attempts - whether manual or automatic - are recorded in the recall history of each recall, so you will have a full view when making such decisions.
Can an automation rule be temporarily paused?
Yes, the automation rules can be temporarily paused, either for an individual recall, or for multiple recalls. To do this, select the recall/s for which you wish to pause automatic sends by checking the checkbox to the left of the patient name, then click on the "Pause automation" button at the top of the screen.
This will pause automatic contact attempts indefinitely, until you use the "Resume automation" button for these recalls. While paused, recalls will sit in the 'To Action' tab. If you no longer wish to perform actions on a recall (permanently), you can use the 'No Further Action Required' button to move it to the 'Synced Recalls' tab.
Both manually pausing and manually resuming automatic sends for a recall are logged in the recall history and as audit notes on the patient file in your PMS.
What happens if a patient books an appointment?
If a patient books an appointment, any automatic contact attempts for their recall/s will be paused, provided that the appointment is within 30 days of the contact attempt being made. If the appointment is more than 30 days from the contact attempt date, the automatic contact attempt will go ahead.
If the patient cancels the appointment, automatic contact attempts will resume as normal. If the appointment date passes and the recall is not marked as completed in the PMS, automatic contact attempts will resume.
Can automation be set up for some recalls but not others?
Yes, since automation rules are assigned on a per-category basis, you can choose which categories you would like to automate and which you would like to process manually. A blended approach works just as well as 100% manual or 100% automated.
What if I need to have different automation rules depending on the urgency of the recall?
Since urgent results often need to be contacted more frequently/persistently than non-urgent results or clinical reminders, we have split out the 'Subsequent Contact Timeframe' setting in your 'Preferences' page to these 3 types (i.e. 'Clinical Reminders', 'Non-Urgent Results', and 'Urgent Results') so that you can set different contact timeframes for each.
However, please note that the same automation rule will still apply across all urgencies since these are based on categories, e.g. an urgent result would still have the same automation rule of '2 SMS + 1 letter' as would a non-urgent result of that same category. The difference is that the urgent result could have less time pass between contact attempts (if that is how you've configured your settings). If further contact attempts are required after an automation rule is completed, you can always restart it by clicking the "Restart automation" option.
What happens when an automation rule finishes all its automatic contact attempts?
After all automatic contact attempts have been made by an automation rule, the recall will appear in the 'To Action' tab for you to manually decide what happens next.
At this stage, you could choose to:
- Restart the automation rule for that recall
- Make a manual contact attempt
- Mark the recall as 'No Further Action Required' if no further contact attempts are needed
- Mark the recall as 'Doctors Attention Required' to request the doctor's input on whether or not to continue making contact attempts for that recall.
Can the automation be turned off once started?
Yes, the automation feature can be disabled at any time by simply removing the automation rule from whichever category or categories you wish to stop automating or by deleting the category or categories if you also no longer wish to have templates automatically assigned and multiple recalls grouped for the same patient.
If you would like to temporarily pause automation rather than completely turning it off, you can select the applicable recall/s for which you'd like to pause automation in your 'To Action' or 'Synced Recalls' tabs and choose the "Pause automation" option. This will result in those recalls appearing in the 'To Action' tab as paused until you are ready to resume automation.
If you have any other questions or concerns that are not addressed by the information above, our friendly Support team will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the 'Help' button in the bottom right corner of Practice Admin to start a web chat or submit an enquiry.