Generating reminders

Estimated reading: 12 minutes

Find patients with letter reminders in their record that are due in a specified date, as well as specify which clients, species and invoice item types (services only, specific items only, etc.), to include. You can also specify output to print postcards, a phone list or generate a Reminder Service or Word file. 

Before you start

Security
  • Generate Reminders 

Setup

Important!

  • Print the Invoice Item Reminder Information Report to review a list of reminders that each item generates and satisfies to verify that your reminder setup is correct.  
  • Print the Reminder Letter Report for the target date range and make any necessary changes.  
  • If you plan to print reminders in Cornerstone as part of the Generate Reminders process, make sure the applicable reminder cards are loaded correctly in the designated printer in printer assignments. 

Reminder output options

There are a variety of reminder types to choose from the Output information. The type you select determines your output file.

Reminder typeOutput
Two card/Three card/Four cardIf you select one of these Cornerstone reminder card options, at the end of the Generate Reminders process, the Report Preview window appears and allows you to print your reminders immediately.  
Create Word fileSelect this reminder type if you plan to generate reminders using Microsoft Word. At the end of the Generate Reminders process, a namelist file is created that can be used to merge the data into reminders that can be printed or emailed from Word.  
Create phone listSelect this reminder type to create a phone list based on the client’s primary phone number in an AC1 file format (this option is available only if phone list file generation is enabled). Notepad and similar programs can be used to open the file. 
Create Reminder Service fileSelect this reminder type if you plan to generate reminders using the IDEXX Reminder Service.  

How to generate reminders

Access to reminders window and basic steps

Navigate to Activities > Reminder Selection > Generate Reminders.

The sections below provide detailed steps for filtering/making changes to each of the areas of the Generate Reminders window: Date Range, Client information, Species information, Output information and Invoice item information.
Examples:

  • Sending reminders to only the Seasonal Client classification.
  • Sending reminders to only the species of Canine.
  • Sending reminders to those only due for dentals.

If no filtering/changes are needed for any of those areas, follow these steps to quickly generate your reminders.

  1. Enter your date range for the reminders you want to print.
  2. Select your reminder output options.
  3. Click OK to generate your reminders.

Date range

  1. Practice drop-down: This field is available for Multi-location/single database (MLSD) configured practices only. If needed, select a practice from the list to filter specific clients based on their assigned home practice. An option to select All Practices is also available.
  2. From the Date range, specify the Beginning date and Ending date of the reminders you want to print. These dates are the reminder due dates and default to the next month’s date range.
  3. Past Due date: Specify a past due date. The date defaults to the same default date as beginning date. Setting this will include any reminders with due dates that fall between the past due date and the beginning date if the patient also has reminders due that fall in the beginning and ending date range.
    Examples:
    • Reminders are being run for the month of February, 2024. The past due date is set to 11/01/2023. Coco is due for Distemper/Parvo in February and is past due for his heartworm preventative refill, which was due in December. When Coco receives his reminder card for February, it will include the reminder for the Heartworm from December.
    • Otis is not due for any reminders in February, but is past due for his annual exam which was due in January. Otis will not receive a reminder in February, unless the practice also runs separate reminders for the month of January.

Client information

  1. Send reminders to: Make changes only if not sending reminders to all flagged clients.
    • Select All owners to send reminders to those who have the Send reminders selected for their assigned client classification.
      Note: If the patient only has the reminder setting on the patient, those patients will not be sent reminders if All owners is selected.
    • Defaults to Flagged Owners, which sends reminders to owners who have the Send reminders selected for both their patient and their assigned client classification. The client classification that is assigned to the client must be set to send reminders.

  2. Client Classification All classifications set to receive reminders are selected by default. The client must be assigned an classification that is checked for reminders, if using.
    • Click any classifications you do not want to include.
    • Deselected classes will not be highlighted. 
  3. Sort by: Select how to sort reminders. Options include Client Name, Client ID, or Postal Code.  
    • Client Name is the default selection. 
    • Beginning: If only generating reminders for a specific portion of your clients, enter the appropriate starting letter, name, ID, or postal code or F2 to search and select from the associated list.
      • Leave blank to include all that meet previous client selections (send to and classification).
      • Field name and F2 list is based on sort selection. 
    • Ending If only generating reminders for a specific portion of your clients. Enter the appropriate ending letter, name, ID, or postal code or F2 to search and select from the associated list.
      • Leave blank to include all that meet previous client selections (send to and classification).
      • Field name and F2 list is based on sort selection. 

Species information

Make any changes, as needed, if not sending reminders to all patient species.

Selection type: Choose Small, Large, or Individual. Defaults to All. If Individual is selected, click the species in the list to include.  

Tip: If you are using species specific card graphics, use feline species for cat themed cards and messaging, canine species for dog themed cards and messaging, etc. 

Output information

Set the following Output information. Available fields and selections are based on the reminder type selected. 

  1. Reminder type: Select the type of reminders to generate.
    • Two card, Three card, or Four card: Reminder cards print directly from Cornerstone. 
    • Create Word file: Creates a Word file to merge with Cornerstone reminder card templates that are used with Microsoft word.
    • Create phone list: Generates a phone list in AC1 format of client primary phone numbers.
    • Create Reminder Service File: Creates a file to be used with the IDEXX Reminder Service. 
  2. Bulk Rate Permit: Select to include the bulk rate permit stamp on postcards printed from Cornerstone. This option is available for the Two card, Three card and Four card selections.
  3. Distribution type: Select the method or methods to use for distributing the reminders. The type defaults to Mail and Email Reminders. 
    • Mail Reminders Only: Only active clients, without Email reminders selected in their client record, will be included in the file that is created.
    • Email Reminder Only: Only active clients, with Email reminders selected in their client record, will be included in the file that is created.
    • Mail and Email Reminders: All active clients, with or without Email reminders selected in the client record, will be included in the file that is created.
  4. The following options are available depending on the Reminder Type selected:
    • Reminder message: Available for the Two card, Three card, and Four card selections. Select a message to print on postcards printed from Cornerstone.
    • Name field: This option is for word and reminder service files. Specify the path to use for generating the reminder list.
      • This is typically saved in your Cornerstone directory as C:\Cstone\namelist.txt. If necessary, click Browse to search for and select an existing file to replace with the newly generated name list.
      • Note: Both a .namelist.txt and namelist.CSV file are created in the cstone folder. 
    • Include Pet Pictures: If you are using the IDEXX Reminder service, select to include pet pictures on the printed cards.
  5. Reminder information to generate: The information to be included on the reminders automatically displays. What displays and what can be changed, varies based on the reminder type selected.
    • Click any information type you do not want to include. Deselected items will not be highlighted nor included on reminders.  
  6. Number of reminders per card (1 to 9): Change the maximum number of reminders to print on a card, if needed.
    • If you enter 4, up to four reminders appear on a card. If a patient has more than four reminders, a second card is printed.
    • The default of 9 reminders per card is recommended.
      Note: multiple patients for a client will print on a single reminder. 

Invoice item information

Make changes to Invoice item information, if not sending all reminders.

Selection type: Choose Individual, Service, Inventory or All Except. The selection defaults to All.

  • If Individual selected, specify the Item IDs to include.
  • If All Except selected, specify the Item IDs to exclude.

Finish reminder generation

  1. Click OK.
  2. The Generating Reminders status window opens and displays the number of found reminders meeting the specified criteria. The number of cards also displays.

Follow the appropriate instructions below for your reminder output type, then do the following when finished:

  • Repeat steps as needed to send additional reminders or generate a file for a different date range, following your reminder strategy. Example: 2nd reminders with a 2nd notice message.
  • Click Cancel to close window when finished generating reminders.

Two card/three card/four card

  1. Click Ok.
  2. The reminders generate in a report preview. Review as needed.
  3. Divide the card number in the status window by your cards per page to place the necessary number of card pages in your printer.
    Example: If the card count is 100, you will need 25 pages of the 4 card layout, 34 pages of the 3 card layout, etc.
  4. Click Print to print the cards directly from Cornerstone.

Create Word file

  1. Click Ok.
  2. Open Microsoft Word to print or email the reminders using the created namelist file to merge into the reminder template.
  3. If printing cards, divide the card number from the status window by your cards per page to place the necessary number of card pages in your printer.

Reminder service

  1. Select Open IDEXX Reminder Service to open the service now and place your order to have your cards printed and mailed directly to your clients.

    Note: you can also open the Reminder Service from the Web Links menu within Cornerstone.
  2. Click OK to save the file. The reminder service log in window will display, if selected.

Troubleshooting reminders

If the reminders you printed or saved to file are not as you expected, look at some of the following situations and their solutions: 

Did you select to send reminders to Flagged Owners or All Owners?

Flagged owners require both of the following:

  • The client is assigned classification that is selected for sending reminders.
  • The patient’s current owner is selected to send reminders.

Verify the following:

  1. Navigate to Controls > Classifications > Client tab. Select the classification that should be sent reminders and choose Update. Select Send Reminders.
  2. Verify the client is assigned a classification that receives reminders. Change the assigned classification, if needed.
  3. Update the patient and verify the owner is displayed with any percentage ownership in the Patient Owner Information dialog box. Double click and confirm Send Reminders is selected for clients you want included.

Important:

  • Selecting All Owners to send reminders to, requires the Send reminders is selected for their associated client classification.
  • Clients who do not have a classification assigned to them are included in All Owners.
  • Client must be active and a current owner of the patient.
  • Patient must be active.

A pet’s overdue reminders are not displaying on the cards, but has an overdue reminder.

Patient’s reminders are not displaying on the cards and the due dates match the selected dates when Generating Reminders.

The practice information is incorrect.

Additional information

General

Related reports

These Cornerstone reports provide information from the actions outlined in this article. Each report has its own security access under the Reports tab of the Security Setup window.

  • Reminder Report
  • Reminder Letter Report
  • Invoice Item Reminder Information report
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Generating reminders

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