Setting up and maintaining a patient’s reminders 

Estimated reading: 12 minutes

Reminders are a critical aspect of your practice to encourage return visits and promote patient adherence to healthcare recommendations and continue client engagement after visits. 

Before you start

Security
  • Patient Information
  • Patient List
  • Patient Reminders

Setup

Important!

  • Call back notes cannot be edited or voided. A call back reminder with an Open status can be deleted.
  • When modifying a patient’s reminders, verify you are under the correct reminder type tab: Letter or Call Backs.
  • Open call backs will be deleted if an invoice item that is set to satisfy the reminder is added to a saved or posted invoice.

Patient reminder setup and strategy overview

Reminder strategies

A reminder strategy for generating and sending/completing reminders should be reflected in the setup of your invoice items, such as examinations, vaccines, dentals, medications, preventives, etc.

Additional client and patient settings indicate if and how reminders should be sent:

  • Client classification setup and client assignment.
  • Email reminders selection for the client.
  • Patient owner information setting: sets client as a Flagged Owner.

Item reminder setup

There are two basic methods for reminders, sequential or series services, such as vaccinations and exams, or interchangeable services or products such as preventive diagnostics or medications. Reminders are set as one of two types, Letter or Call, with each type having a corresponding report and patient tab location.

Letter reminders are considered ‘external’ that are sent to your clients using reminder formats of postcards, letters, and email. Call reminders are considered ‘internal’ and typically used to contact clients in more immediate situations, such as follow up calls after a surgery or medical visit.

Reviewing patient reminder strategies and setup

Once items are set up for reminders and used for patient invoicing, reminder information is auto populated and updated on the patient record, accordingly. A patient’s initial reminder information can also be manually entered.

Existing patient reminders can be updated as needed or have the due dates adjusted. It is common to need to update due dates when a patient has received healthcare from another facility. However if you find the same reminder(s) need frequent updating on patient records, it may indicate you need to look at you reminder setup to correct any gaps.

Causes for inaccurate patient reminders on file and reporting:

  • Series services are not set to satisfy for earlier series services. Example: The patient misses one of the series. The reminder in that series lingers in the patient record as overdue.
  • Similar/interchangeable services generate their own reminders, but gaps occur in cross satisfying with each other. Example: The patient receives a different fecal test this year and last year’s fecal reminder still showing overdue.
  • Invoiced services or products are not set to generate the next reminder. Example: The last vaccine in the series is not set to generate the annual booster or generating the incorrect type (call back vs letter).

Causes for patient reminders not being sent/received by owner.

  • Invoiced services or products are generating the incorrect type: call back vs letter.
  • The client classification of the patient’s owner, is not set to have reminders sent.
  • The client setting for Email reminders is not selected or not included in the reminder generation file type.
  • The Patient’s owner is not set to have reminders sent. The owner must be flagged to have reminders sent.

Maintaining letter reminders

A patient’s letter reminders populate and update accordingly when the patient is invoiced for items with linked letter reminders to generate and satisfy. This information is used to print postcards, letters or email reminders.

It can also be set to print on the Check-in report, and populates vaccine or reminder bookmarks for documents.

Navigate to letter reminders on the patient, using any of the following:

  • Toolbar > Patient Reminders > Letters tab
  • Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Reminders > Letters tab
  • Toolbar > Patient > New (or Update) > Letter Reminders tab
  • Search Clients/Patients > Patient search tab > New or right-click card > Patient Information > Letter Reminders tab

Add reminder information

  1. Enter the item ID or F2 to search and select from the Invoice Item List.
  2. Enter/modify the due date.
  3. Enter the appropriate Staff ID, if needed.
  4. Click Note, if needed, to enter any details about the manually added reminder. Click OK.
  5. Repeat steps for additional reminders as needed.

Update reminder information

  1. To change a single reminder’s due date, do any of the following:
    • Type over the date using mm/dd/yyyy format.
    • Use up/down arrows to change month/day/year, based on cursor placement.
    • Double-click date field to pick a date from a calendar.
  2. Change multiple reminder due dates:
    • Click the row number to the far left of each reminder.
    • Click Change Date.
    • Select Change date or Increase months, and then enter the new date or number of months accordingly.
      • Use change date to set all selected reminders to same date
      • Use increase months to advance all selected reminders’ date by the same number of months.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Change the Staff ID.
    • Overtype the staff ID and press Tab or F2 to search and select a different staff ID.
  5. Change the reminder note.
    • Click the Note button. Enter corrected note and click OK.
  6. Change the reminder.
    • Click Item ID field and enter new item ID. Press Tab or F2 to search and select a different item.

Delete reminder information

Click the Item ID of the reminder and press Ctrl + D.

Print a patient’s reminder information

  1. Click Print
  2. Select one of the following:
    • Client All Patients > Reminder Letter Report or Reminder Recall Report
    • Selected Patient only > Reminder Letter Report or Reminder Recall Report
    • Health Certificate: This requires document setup and designation in Practice Defaults.

Maintaining call back reminders

A patient’s call back reminders populate and update accordingly when the patient is invoiced for items with linked call reminders to generate. This information can be set to print on the Check-in report and also appears on both the patient’s reminder information and the Call Backs tab of the Daily Planner until the reminder is completed.

Navigate to call back reminders using any of the following:

  • Toolbar > Patient Reminders > Call Backs tab
  • Toolbar > Patient > New (or Update) > Call Backs tab
  • Patient Clipboard > right-click patient > Reminders > Call Backs tab
  • Search Clients/Patients > Patient search tab > New or right-click card > Patient Information > Call Backs tab

Add reminder information

  1. Enter the item ID or F2 to search and select from the Invoice Item List.
    • Enter/modify the due date.
    • Enter the Staff ID of the responsible staff to perform the callback.
    • Click Note button, if needed, to enter any details.
    • Enter recording staff ID.
    • Update the status to Pending or Completed, if applicable. Open and Pending status call backs display on the Daily Planner Call Backs tab.
    • Enter notes or click Select Note to insert a premade note entry, modifying as needed.
    • Click Spell Check and address any spelling errors.
  2. Click OK. Notes are date timed stamped, and added to the patient record when a Pending or Completed status is selected.
  3. Repeat steps for additional reminders as needed.

Update reminder information

  1. To change a single reminder’s due date, do any of the following:
    • Type over the date using mm/dd/yyyy format.
    • Use up/down arrows to change month/day/year, based on cursor placement.
    • Double-click the date field to pick a date from a calendar.
  2. Change multiple reminder due dates:
    • Click the row number to the far left of each reminder.
    • Click Change Date.
    • Select Change date or Increase months, and then enter the new date or number of months accordingly.
      • Use change date to set all selected reminders to same date
      • Use increase months to advance all selected reminders’ date by the same number of months.
    • Click OK.
  3. Change Staff ID
    • Overtype the staff ID and press Tab or F2 to search and select a different staff ID.
  4. Add an additional reminder note
    • Click Note button, enter a note and click OK.
    • Notes are date timed stamped and entered in patient history as part of the call back entry. Notes are not editable.
  5. Change reminder
    • Click the Item ID field and enter a new item ID. Press Tab or F2 to search and select a different item.
    • Only Open status callbacks can be changed.

Delete reminder information

Click the Item ID of an Open status call back reminder and press Ctrl + D. Only Open status callbacks can be deleted. 

Completing a reminder callback

Complete call backs from either the Daily Planner Call Backs tab (when working with call backs for all patients) or per patient from the Patient Clipboard.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Double-click the call back row on the Daily Planner.
    • Right-click patient on the Patient Clipboard > Reminders > Call Backs tab.
  2. Click Note.
  3. Enter the recording staff ID.
  4. Update status to Completed or Pending, as applicable. Pending status call backs continue to display on the Daily Planner and Patient Reminders Call Backs tabs.
  5. Enter notes or click Select Note to insert a premade note entry. Modify the note, as needed.
  6. Click Spell Check and address any spelling errors.
  7. Click OK. Notes are date timed stamped and added to the patient record. Notes cannot be edited.

Repeat steps for additional call backs as needed.

Print reminder information

  1. Click Print 
  2. Select one of the following: 
    • Client All Patients > Reminder Letter Report or Reminder Recall Report 
    • Selected Patient only > Reminder Letter Report or Reminder Recall Report 
    • Health Certificate: This requires document setup and designation in Practice Defaults.
  3. Select one of the other tabs to enter or update additional information or click OK to save and close the patient information window. 

Patient reminder FAQs

A client’s patients have reminders, but they’re not receiving them. 

Verify the following are setup correctly.

  1. Make sure the client’s classification is set to receive reminders: Controls > Classifications > Client.
  2. Verify the patients owner is set to receive reminders: Update Patient > Owners > Patient Owner Information.
  3. Based on how you are sending reminders, check the client’s Email reminders selection on the Client’s information tab.
  4. Ensure the reminder type on the patient is a Letter reminder and not a Call Back. 

A patient was just invoiced for an annual visit with a three-year DHLP vaccine, but the prior DHLP reminder is still showing overdue. 

After invoicing a patient for a dental, there are multiple callback reminders for the same item ID. 

Is there a way to have a default date when adding a reminder? 

We use one of several billing items for a heartworm test, based on the doctor seeing the patient. It seems hit and miss that the original reminder updates.

Additional information

General

Letter reminders

Call back reminders

Related reports

  • Reminder Report
  • Reminder Letter Report
  • Reminder Recall report
  • Invoice Item Reminder Information Report
  • Performance Tracker reminder reports
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