Health awareness communications are sent in two steps: generate the list of applicable patients from a database search, and choose the communication method (SMS, Best Health App or letter).
Before patients can receive health awareness communications by SMS or Best Health App:
- The practice must enable Health Awareness communications in Setup > Configuration > Bp Comms
- The patient must consent to receive Health Awareness communications and enrol in SMS or Best Health App in their demographics > Bp Comms Consent.
Health awareness communications from a database search are not intended to replace clinical reminders, which can also be sent by SMS or Best Health App from the Reminders window. Communications from a database search allow a practice to send out messages about a health-related campaign. However, you can choose to create a clinical reminder automatically when a health awareness communication is sent, so that campaign messages can be tracked.
If you tick the option Create a reminder for each patient, any Bp Comms or Letter template you select should not contain Clinical Reminder detail fields. Clinical Reminder fields will not be populated with any data when the template is converted into message text. Best Practice Software recommend that you create a specific template for each health awareness campaign rather than re-use supplied templates.
Patients must be able to contact your practice if they wish to opt out of health awareness communications after they have initially provided consent.
The template field <optout> inserts the text 'opt out' into the message. The default Search Utility template supplied contains the fields '<optout> <usrphone>' to indicate that the recipient can contact the phone number to opt out of receiving future messages.
IMPORTANT In Australia, the Spam Act 2003 prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages. Every commercial electronic message must contain a functional 'unsubscribe' facility. Best Practice Software strongly recommend that all Search Utility templates contain the phrase 'opt out' and your practice number to comply with the requirements of the Spam Act 2003.
To remove a patient from future health awareness communications, untick the Health Awareness option in the patient demographics > Bp Comms Consent. The Spam Act 2003 requires that the request to unsubscribe be honoured in a specific time period (currently five working days).
For more information on practice obligations for patient consent, review the article Understanding Bp Comms Consent.
Select patients for communications
Press Ctrl+S or select Utilities > Search from the main screen to run a database search, using criteria to select patients that you want included in the communications. For example, you may want to search for all patients with diabetes for a health awareness campaign, or search for all patients with asthma, or who are 65 years old or over.
Running a search for Bp Comms is exactly the same as any other database search. See Searching the database for more information.
The example below shows a search by Conditions for patients with 'Diabetes' in past history.
- After you have generated a list of patients from a database search, select File > Mail Merge. The Mail merge screen appears.
- In the Bp Comms tab, select the health awareness SMS template you want to use. See What templates can I use for health awareness communications? for more information.
- If there are patients who will receive a letter, select the Letter tab and select the health awareness letter template to use.
- Tick the Update options to apply:
- Save a copy in each patient's record places a copy of the health awareness communication into the Correspondence Out section of each patient's record.
- Create a reminder for each patient adds a new reminder to each patient in the search results. The reminder will be marked as 'Sent' so you can monitor responses from the patient from the Follow up reminders screen. If you tick this option, you cannot include any reminder reason fields in the message sent.
- Click Select Reminder to choose the reminder.
- If you are not creating reminders from this communication, enter text in the Reason for this communication text area. This text will not be included in the message or letter to the patient, but allows the contact note that is automatically created to be identified.
- If you are not creating a reminder, or are creating a reminder for 'any doctor', select a user from the Show communication as sent from dropdown. This dropdown shows only providers, unless Include all users is ticked.
- Click Send from the Mail Merge window. Bp Premier will confirm that you want to send the selected health awareness messages.
Click Yes to confirm. Bp Premier will:
- Queue SMS reminders for sending.
- Send letter reminders to the designated printer.
- Deduct message credits from your Bp Comms credit.
- Create reminders in patient records (if this update option was ticked).
- Create message and letter records in patient record > Correspondence out (if this update option was ticked).
- Create a contact note of type 'Reminder' against each patient if Create a reminder for each patient was ticked; otherwise, create a contact note of type 'Utilities search'.
Bp Premier will check if each patient has consented to receive SMS or Best Health App messages of type 'Health Awareness'. Patients who have consented and enrolled will be added to the SMS or App total; patients who have not consented will be added to the Letter total.
Show communication as sent from identifies who a communication is being sent on behalf of, and appears in the contact note that is created. This information is not included in the message or letter.
Sending reminders is complete.
I don't want to use the default communication methods
You may not wish to use Bp Premier's default methods for sending health awareness messages. For example, your practice may to prefer to send out letters instead.
- From the Mail Merge window, untick the option you do not want to use.
- The right side of the window will display alternate options for those patients affected. Tick the alternate option you want to use.
- Click Send to send the reminders.