Bp Comms templates

A Bp Comms message template is a combination of fixed text and dynamic fields in which data like patient names, doctor names, and appointment times are inserted from the database. Bp Premier supplies several standard templates that you can modify, or create your own.

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How many characters am I allowed?

When creating a template or sending a message, Bp Comms allows up to 500 characters. If a template exceeds 160 characters, Bp Premier will warn that the message may require multiple SMS credits when sent.

Bp Comms character limit warning

Remember to factor in the potential length of your field data when the message is created, for example, if a patient or doctor's name or the appointment type has many characters.

Should my template indicate if a reply is required?

Bp Premier only expects and actions replies from messages of type 'Appointment'. Patient replies to any other Bp Comms message types (such as clinical reminders) are not actioned or stored.

The supplied message templates for all types except 'Appointment' have 'do not reply' appended to the body. If you create new message templates, Best Practice Software recommend including similar short text to indicate that a reply is not required.

If you are creating templates for Health Awareness communications from the database search utility, Best Practice Software recommend including 'opt out' text in your template text. See Send health awareness communications for more information.

Replies are viewable from the Contact notes window. See Add and review contact notes for more information.

You can set the reply phrases that Bp Premier will accept as valid replies. See Set up reply keywords for more information.

Can I create new template types?

No, you can only edit the supplied templates or create new templates. New template types may be added in future versions of Bp Premier. You can't modify the Type of a supplied template.

The following table lists the template types and where they are used in Bp Premier:

Template Type



When sending appointment reminders manually from the appointment book or automatically from the Bp Service.

Clinical Reminder

When sending clinical reminders.

Patient Record

When sending SMS messages from the patient record via Bp Comms > Send Patient Message.


When sending a message from the Inbox or Follow up Inbox.

Search Utility

When sending a message from the Database search window.

What data is available to insert?

The available fields on the right hand side depend on the selected Type. The field name indicates the type of information: for example, <PtSurname> indicates patient surname, <ApptLocation> indicates the practice location where the appointment is.

Create a template

You can create as many message templates as you need.

  1. Select Setup > Configuration from the main Bp Premier screen. Select the Templates icon.
  2. Bp Comms template configuration

  3. Click Add on the right. The Add Bp Comms Template screen will appear.
  4. Add BpComms Template

  5. Enter a Name for the template and select the Type of template from the dropdown.
  6. The template type determines the functions in Bp Premier from which the template can be selected. For example, templates of type 'Result' are intended for selection when sending messages from the Inbox and Follow up Inbox screen, because those messages will relate to patient investigation results.

  7. Type your template text into the text box.
  8. The fields on the right hand side will be substituted with information when the reminder is sent. Double-click on a field to insert the field where the cursor is positioned in the template text.
  9. Select Set as default template for this template type to automatically select this template when a new message of this type is created. You can change the template before sending a message.
  10. Tick Template text can be edited before sending to allow a user to modify the template text before sending. If this option is not ticked, users will not be able to modify the message text from the template.
  11. Note: Your practice should carefully consider which templates are editable by users before sending. Templates should align with your practice's guidelines for patient-practice communications. If you allow editing, you cannot guarantee that the message will conform to those guidelines. You may wish to allow editing only for messages of type 'Patient record', for example, where tailored messages may be required.

  12. If you are creating a new 'Appointment' template, tick Appointment template expects a reply if the patient is expected to reply and update the appointment book.
  13. Click Preview to view how the text will appear on a mobile device. If the message looks OK, click Close and Save to save the template.

Set up reply keywords

From Indigo SP1 and later, you can specify which keywords in a patient reply to an appointment reminder will automatically update the appointment book.

  1. From the main screen, select SetupConfigurationAppt Reminders tab.
  2. Appointment Reminders Configuration

  3. Both of the checkboxes under Appointment attendance automation must be ticked to enable appointment updates by SMS reply.
  4. Click Configure appointment attendance replies to open the Automatic Confirmation Options window.
  5. Automatic confirmation options

  6. Tick Confirm or decline appointment when message begins with a keyword.
  7. Tick Confirm or decline appointment when message contains a keyword if you want a keyword to be accepted if it appears anywhere in the reply.
  8. Click Add next to the Confirm list of keywords. Type a new keyword and click OK to add the keyword to the list. Keywords are limited to 20 characters at most.
  9. Add as may Confirm and Decline keywords as you need.
  10. Keywords are only accepted as an exact match of whole words, even if you tick Confirm or decline appointment when message contains a keyword. For example, if you accept the keyword 'No', words like 'not' or 'nope' will not automatically update the appointment book. If a patient includes both Confirm and Decline keywords in a reply, the appointment will not be updated.

  11. Click Ok to save your keywords and return to the Configuration window.