Group Messages

    Sending  appointment cancellation messages is a great way to notify patients that an appointment needs to be rescheduled. 

    Note: Sending an appointment cancellation message does not cancel the appointment in your Practice Management System (PMS). 

    Tip:  Many practices wait to cancel appointments in their PMS until the patient calls to reschedule.  In other words, send the cancellation message first and reschedule appointments as the patients respond.

    Note: If the  appointment is not cancelled in the PMS, and the appointment cancellation message was sent before appointment reminders are scheduled to go out, then you must select Do Not Send Message for Appointment Reminders in Vital Interaction. See the instructions at the bottom of this document.

    In Vital Interaction, go to  Tools > Group Messages

    Set the Filters:

    • Begin Time: The date and time for the first appointments you want to cancel/reschedule
    • End time: The date and time for the last appointments you want to cancel/reschedule (pay attention to the Hour and Minute sliders)
    • Doctor
    • Clinic
    • Appointment Type

    • Select the Message Kind...
      • Message Kind = Appt Cancellation

      To search by  appointments, ensure the Appointments tab is selected...

      Tip:  If there are more than 25 appointments, then scroll to the bottom of the table and increase the number of rows that display (up to 250).  This will reduce the number of times you need to send a batch of  cancellation messages in order to reach all patients. If there are more than 250 appointments, then repeat the following steps for each numbered tab at the bottom of the table.

      Select the Appt Cancel Type...

      • At the top of the table, select the cancellation message type that you wish to send.
      • Most practices will see the following message options:   Default, Emergency, Weather

      Note: If you do not have emergency or weather cancellation messages set up or want to customize your message, contact for assistance.

      Tip:  To see your  cancellation messages, go to Tools > CMT > on the Associated Interactive Messages page... Select Message Kind = Appt Cancellation

      Select contact preference...

      Leaving blank will send all available methods

      Select the patients that need to be notified...

      Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select  Cancel Appts and Send Selected Messages.  

      IMPORTANT: Please allow all messages to go out before cancelling the appointments on your system. You can do this by going to Message Reports > Message Log > Cancellation Messages. Since the tool works with active appointments only, cancelled appointments will not receive the cancellation message if no longer active. 

      The messages are loaded and delivered immediately between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM. Any message pushed before 7:00 AM will be queued and be sent until the earliest delivery time, any messages sent after 10:00 PM will be placed on queue and will start going out at 7:00 AM of the following day.

      How to Stop Appointment Reminders From Being Sent

      If the appointments that you need to cancel/reschedule are not cancelled in your PMS and/or want to make sure any reminders are scheduled to go out that day do not, then go through the following steps:

      1) You will want to remove any messages from the queue for those appointments you are cancelling.

      Go to  Message Reports > Messages To Be Sent

      First do the Appointment Reminder Tab, then the Pre Appointment Tab

      Set the Filters:

      Set Appointment Filters to the date and time range of the appointments.  So if I wanted to delete any messages for appointments on 8/4/2017 and 8/5/2017, I would set those as the dates of the appointments.

      Then I would set any other criteria like providers, facility or appt type.

      Next step is to select the range of the delivery time of messages I want to remove:

      Set the Begin Delivery Time and End Delivery Time to the current date time (maybe a few hours before) all the way up the time of the Appointments for which you want to stop messages.  So if today was 8/1/2017 and I wanted to delete any messages scheduled for appointments from now until 8/5/2017.   I would set the Begin Delivery Time to 8/1/2017 01:01:01 AM and End Delivery Time to 8/5/2017 11:59:59 PM.  

      Go to Message Reports > Facility Reports...

      Select the same  appointment date ranges and filter settings used to send the cancellation messages...

      In the Do Not Send Message column (on the right-hand side of the table), place a check mark in the boxes to prevent  appointment reminder messages from being sent to the patients that you are trying to reschedule.

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