Set up Bp Comms for SMS

This article explains how to configure Bp Comms for SMS messaging, which has some configuration elements that do not apply to the Best Health App.

Obtain SMS user name and initial Bp Comms credit

You may already have performed this step as part of your initial setup of Bp Premier.

Contact Best Practice Software to register. Best Practice Software will ask you to complete and return a form. After processing the registration form, Best Practice Software will supply you with an SMS user name to enter during Bp Comms setup and your initial code to top up credit.

Configure Bp Comms for SMS

  1. Select Setup > Configuration from the main Bp Premier screen. Select the Bp Comms tab.
  2. Configure Bp Comms

  3. Click Configure SMS at the top to open the SMS Connection Information screen.
  4. SMS connection information

  5. If your network uses a proxy server to access the internet, tick the I use a proxy when connecting to the Internet checkbox, and enter the Proxy name, Proxy port, Proxy username, and Proxy password. If you are unsure whether your practice uses a proxy, your IT support can assist.
  6. Enter the SMS user name you were assigned.
  7. Change the Default SMS alpha tag: field if desired. See Change the default practice alpha tag for more information.
  8. Click Test Connection to test the SMS connection. If the connection is successful, click OK to return to the Bp Comms screen.
  9. Click Save to save your Bp Comms settings.

Change the default practice alpha tag

You have the option to change your practice's default SMS alpha tag from the SMS Connection Information screen. An alpha tag is text displayed in place of a phone number when the patient receives an SMS. Changing the default alpha tag may help to ensure messages from your practice are more easily recognised by your patients.

Alpha tags will only display for non-appointment SMS messages. If you choose to change your practice's default alpha tag, appointment messages will still display a phone number to the patient rather than text.

Bp Comms alpha tags have a limit of 11 characters, and cannot contain special characters, except for hyphens.

In the SMS Connection Information screen, click Disclaimer to view the SMS Alpha Tag Disclaimer. If you change the default SMS alpha tag, you must ensure that the new alpha tag complies with the disclaimer.

Add a location-specific alpha tag

If your practice has multiple locations, each location can change their alpha tag individually if required. The default practice alpha tag will display in SMS messages if a location-specific alpha tag has not been set.

  1. Select Setup > Practice details from the Bp Premier home screen.
  2. Select a location from the Practice locations list and click Edit. The Location details screen will appear
  3. Add your location-specific alpha tag to the SMS Alpha Tag: field. As per the default practice alpha tag, ensure you comply with the SMS Alpha Tag Disclaimer.
  4. Click Save.

NOTE  The SMS Alpha Tag: field will not be available unless the practice is configured for BpSMS.

You can now record consent and enrol patients to receive SMS messages.


If you are having issues sending messages, particularly automated appointment reminder SMS, check the service you are using to manage Bp Comms.

Are you using Bp Link or Bp Service?

Bp Link is a Windows process that was used in Bp Premier versions Summit (642) and Lava (754). Best Practice Service (or Bp Service) is a Windows service that was introduced during Lava (SP1, 801). For practices running Lava SP1 and later, Best Practice Software strongly recommend that Bp Service should be used to manage SMS messages.

IMPORTANT  A very small number of practices may still need to use Bp Link because of unique requirements, such as multiple imports of patient files. All other practices should use Bp Service instead.

However, Bp Link is not automatically retired when upgrading your version of Bp Premier. It is possible that both Bp Link and Bp Service are running at the same time, which can cause problems with SMS. Best Practice Software recommended that you remove Bp Link from startup and configure Bp Service to start automatically instead.

Stop Bp Link

Go to Setup > Configuration > Links and untick Load Bp Link on startup.

Untick Load Bp Link on startup

Check if the Bp Link icon is sitting in the Windows System Tray. The icon is a small bird.

Bp Link bird icon

Right-click the Bp Link icon and click Exit.

Click Exit to stop Bp Link

Use Bp Service

Go to Setup > Configuration > Bp Service and tick Use BP Service for sending automated appointment reminders. See Set up Bp Service for more information.

Is Bp Service running?

Type 'services' into Windows search and click the Services app to view all Windows services. If you cannot see the Services app, you may not have sufficient user permissions to view it.

Find the Best Practice Service and ensure the Status is 'Running'. If Best Practice Service isn’t running, right-click and select the Startup Type to 'Automatic'.

Set Bp Service to start automatically

If Best Practice Service is running, right-click the service and select Restart. Confirm the service started successfully.

NOTE  If Best Practice Service fails to start automatically, or continues to stop for no reason, you may need your IT services provider to investigate why.

Last updated 04 September 2020