SMS Patient Reminders

(Matthew T) #1

Has anyone out there successfully implemented SMS reminders? Our clinic can’t swing MedEx right now. I’ve been beating my head against Twilio and Clickatell. I’ve read all the forum posts, copied files from Github , and combed through the PHP. Whatever I try I still get nothing when I run cron_sms_notification.php. If anyone has made the SMS reminders work I would appreciate any input they might have.


(Daniel) #2

Yes. I have a working module that sends SMS reminders to patients and to specified relatives. Although it works, there are still some bugs that I need to work out as well as documentation. The improvement that I am working on is more complete reporting (logging) and also sending multiple messages to different relatives (for children). The tool is working and is currently being used, but there are still more improvements being made. Once complete, I will make it available to the community.

Right now I have the ability to create, edit, delete, and send custom messages to patients depending on the type of appointment. For example, if its a Well Check we ask the patient to show up 20 minutes early to fill out paperwork. If its a sick visit, we ask them to come on time (we don’t want them getting others in the waiting sick). If its a “teen confidential” we don’t send an SMS reminder at all (required by the State of California)

The following reporting tool logs each of the messages sent:

I should have this module finished by the end of the month. Feel free to send me an email if you’d like to know more.

(Matthew T) #3

Sorry Just looked closely at the screenshot…I see clickatel.

//Are you using one of the commercial gateways (clickatell,twillio,tb4)?

(Daniel) #4

Yes, using Clickatell. I will let you know when I have this complete.

(Daniel) #5

I am near completion. There are some modifications I still need to do for usability issues and I am working on the ability to reply to patient’s responses. The users manual will follow my release.

(Matthew T) #6

Great. I worked up a program using twilio. Right now it’s set up for a manual run once a day but I plan to modify it to a cron file soon. I also have to go back and add comments and make sure everything is xss proof. I’ll send you what I have if you are interested. It sends updates based on the SMS time global and updates the patients appointment status to text sent. I’m working on replies as well. I have a webhook that emails replies to me, but I’ve yet to get it to update status to confirmed.


(Daniel) #7

Setting up the cron job is easy. I generally have the cron job running twice a day. I was running every 15 minutes but I had an issue of sending multiple messages. I have added the ability to send two-way messaging , sending messages to multiple handsets per patient, and I use dataTables to help with the interface and usability. Note: I am still in the process of making more improvements and cleaning up my code. It should be made available for public use soon.

Here are some screenshots:

The following screenshot is the reporting tool. Select the date of the appointment and it will show the status of the message. The system this was designed for needed the ability to send messages up to four relatives of the patients since this is for a pediatrician’s office. We do not send SMS messages unless the HIPAA status is a “Y”. Also, the relatives must be listed as a HIPAA “Y” to receive messages. SMS messages are always sent to a patient and their relatives unless the appointment has “Confidential” in the appointment type. In the case of a confidential appointment, no SMS reminder is sent at all.

Clicking on alert will show the history of messaging. It also lists the relatives and HIPAA status. By hitting “reply” the office can respond to the patient. In this particular case the “Recent Messages” shows the history of the last three months.

If you are looking for a particular patient within a date range you can use the dynamic search tool that is a capability of Datatables.

The editing tool has auto fill variables to make creating a custom message for a specific appointment type easy to use. The green area shows what a patient named “test patient” would see. If the end user forgets to put Name, Date, Time, it won’t let you save the message. Once the variable is used, the button highlights in green.

There are more improvements that still need to be made but this project is chugging along.

(EHarmon) #8

Good morning, I wanted to check with you regarding this coding for the patient reminders to see if you have any updates regarding it, thank you, any help is appreciated

(Daniel) #9

I am in the process of moving all my changes to a separate branch. Currently, the sms reminder tool was built for a custom system. I have migrated most of the changes to a unique branch and I am in the process of providing documentation to assist with configuration, setup, and usage. Today will be busy for me but I am hoping to upload a branch to my github account by the end of the week.

(EHarmon) #10

Thank you for that update, that is greatly appreciated

He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God… John 7:47-48

(Matthew T) #11

I’m sorry. I traveled for a class and haven’t been back in the office. I have a program in place that uses Twilio. My clinic decided they prefer to send reminders in bulk once a day so that is the way it’s set up. I’m happy to share what I have if you like.


(EHarmon) #12

Yes, i would like to take a look at that, thank you

He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God… John 7:47-48

(Daniel) #13

Sorry for the delay. I am working on a pretty huge upgrade of a highly customized system that is going live on Monday. once that it running smoothly I will go through the code, have installation instructions, and have assistance on how to configure it.