Using Patient Communications for Bulk Communication
To include a message to patients through appointment and recall reminders, follow the instructions Customising appointment communications found in the resource centre. In particular, expand the setup instructions in Step 3.
The advice being currently given by NHS England is to add the following:
"Before your appointment please refer to the latest on coronavirus at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/"
NOTE: Email or text messages go out to patients automatically according the patient’s appointments. That is, a message only goes out when the timeframe triggers it. For example, say your notification is set to one week before the appointment; each day, patients with an appointment exactly one week later will receive a notification.
Using Third-Party Email for Bulk Communication
Third-party services require you to add your contacts, and the easiest way to do this is to import them from a file. Dentrix Ascend has a pre-built report that will get you this information and create the file.
1. Go to the Power Reporting page (Home > Power Reporting). Open the Patient category and click to open the Patient List report.
2. By default, the report lists every patient in your database, including those marked as inactive or non-patient. Therefore, you will probably want to filter this list before exporting. To do so, follow the instructions found in Using the interactive report builder in the Resource Centre.
3. Export your list as a .CSV or an Excel file according to the requirements of the third-party service, and save the file to a convenient location for upload to the service.
4. Upload your file to the service according to their instructions.
- Your third-party vendor should provide guidance on acceptable file format or content; for example, Mailchimp will accept as many fields as you want to include, but only requires the email address to work.
- Every patient email is actually the primary contact email. Therefore, duplicate email addresses are expected (for example, when a parent is the primary contact for children who are patients). Before uploading your file, verify that your service can remove duplicates. If not, remove duplicates from the file using Excel or another program before you upload it.