How to work Cancellation Requests on the Appointment Worklist

Cancellation Requests

Overview

Vital Interaction Appointment Reminder messages typically prompt the patient to respond with CONFIRM or DECLINE/CANCEL.  We then update the Message Status for the appointment in Vital Interaction.  The best way to review up-to-date information is to work with the Vital Interaction  Facility Reports.

If  Two Step Cancellation Requests are active, the DECLINE response option (a button in email messages, a cancellation link for text messages) is replaced with a CANCELLATION link.  When the CANCELLATION link is selected, the patient is directed to a Patient Portal where they validate their identity by entering their Name and Date of Birth along with an optional Reason.  Upon successful submission, the appointment status is marked as DECLINED in Vital Interaction and the request is placed on the Appointment Worklist for follow up.

Auto Cancel Option:  Some practice management systems allow Vital Interaction to automatically cancel the appointment from the provider schedule.  In this case, the only follow up task is to reschedule the patient and mark the Cancellation Request as completed.

Manual Cancel Option:  Other practice management systems do not allow Vital Interaction to automatically cancel the appointment from the provider schedule.  A scheduler should manually cancel the appointment and reach out to the patient to reschedule the appointment.

Important Note:  If you don't know which option you have, please contact your Vital Interaction account manager or a support team member.


The Patient Workflow:

Step 1:  The patient receives an Appointment Reminder message and selects the Cancel Link option.

Not pictured: Two-step for the phone is now available. The patient simply dials in their birthday to confirm

Step 2:  The patient is taken to the validation site below.  They enter:

  • First Name - required
  • Last Name - required
  • Date of Birth - required
  • Reason - optional

If the patient successfully enters the personal details that we have on file, then the request is successful.  They receive this message:

If the information the patient enters doesn't match our record, then the request fails.  They receive this message:


The Scheduler Workflow:

Two things happen when a patient successfully submits a Cancellation Request.

  • Vital Interaction Users are alerted by email notification (optional) and an alert is indicated in the Vital Interaction site
  • The Cancellation Request is logged on the Appointment Worklist

Note:  The Appointment Report is located in Vital Interaction > Appointments > Appointment Worklist (you'll need to be in the Modern View )

Each Cancellation Request is listed in the Appointment Listing (apply Filters to refine the listing). You can also select which columns display in the appointment listing.

To change the order in which the columns show on the appointment listing, simply drag and drop to where you need them to be.

Note:  The filters you select are retained from session to session.  You may need to clear them if you need to see all messages again.

Notice that you can filter by Provider, Location, Practice, Sent/Received On (we even distinguish between the date of appointment and date of request), Appointment Type, Status, and Outcome. When you set a filter, our system will automatically remember that and it will be waiting for you next time you log in.

For many EMRs, we can automatically remove the appointment from your schedule (please email us to check if your EMR is among those, or if we can work with you to make it one). If this is the case, you will see the requests arrive in your list marked "COMPLETED." Often, the only thing left to do for you is to reschedule them. (If so, skip to the next section)

If we do not have the necessary integration with your EMR, we have a solution to that as well. The requests will come to you marked "PENDING" instead. As you remove them from the schedule, you can clear away your "PENDING" list to be certain that you have made the free spot available for other patients to fill. 

All possible statuses include PENDING, COMPLETED, INACTIVE. The outcomes include CANCELED, NO CHANGE, RESCHEDULED, SCHEDULED. These can be mixed, matched, and filtered for in the way that is most useful to your practice's needs. 

In both cases noted above, you will find the "Notes & Attachments" button very useful. There, you can see the "reason" (noted above) for the cancel. There you will find useful hints, like when the patient might want to reschedule, or if they will not need to reschedule at all. Current users note that this is a huge time saver over manual calls. 

Review the Reason Comment by clicking the Note Icon in the Notes & Attachments column

Select the Actions menu to complete the follow-up tasks for this appointment

Patient Chat (beta)

The easiest way to reschedule patients is going to be our patient messaging feature. 

On the list of your cancellations, go to the far right of the patient that you want to reschedule and click "Actions." From the drop-down, click "Messaging." 

From here, you can begin typing a message for this patient (First, remember to check the "Notes & Attachments" to see why they canceled and if they let you know when/if they can reschedule). This arrives on the patient's phone as a text that they can reply to. 

If you need to exchange any PHI, we have a button to click that sends the patient a consent form

Note:  If Automatic Cancellations are not enabled, then you must manually cancel the appointment from the provider schedule and select the x Cancel Appointment action.

The goal of this workflow is to identify patients that need to cancel and/or reschedule an appointment, complete the task, reschedule if needed, and remove the request from the Appointment Worklist.


Things to Note:

When a patient successfully submits a cancellation request, the appointment is marked as DECLINED in the Facility Reports, but the appointment is CANCELLED in the Practice Management System (if automatic cancellations are enabled).

Upon the next data upload (which generally takes place overnight), the appointment status is updated to  Cancelled/Rescheduled in PM System in the Vital Interaction Facility Reports.

The appointment details and history will be retained in the Facility Reports > Log section.

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