How can patient receipt of appointment reminders be checked?

Question: How can prescribers check to see if a patient has received a reminder notification of upcoming appointment(s)?

Context: An automated telephone appointment reminder system was integrated with Connect Care and implemented at the end of January 2020. This calls patients at a preferred number to remind 2-5 days (weekend dependent) before the appointment. It also provides for interaction so that patients can confirm, cancel or request a reschedule. Should a clinic no-show happen, prescribers may want to check the status of any telephone reminders. Patients who have opted-out or who preferentially use MyAHS Connect (patient portal) may not receive telephone reminders.

Answer: There are at least two ways for physicians to check what's happened with telephone reminders.

1. Appointment Desk

Easiest is to open the "Appointment Desk" activity within hyperspace, lookup the patient and appointment of interest, then check for notification details:

  • This can be done within a chart or before a chart is opened.
  • Use global search with the term "Appts" (case sensitive) or find the item in the master Epic menu. 
  • Click on the "Jump" link that appears for "Appts", select (or search for) the patient of interest, and so open the "Appt Desk" activity within the patient's chart.
  • Use the tabbed list that appears in the bottom half of the screen to select either "Future" or "Past" appointments.
  • Select and open the appointment of interest by double-clicking on it.
  • Scan the right column of information in the "Appointment Information" section of the pop-up information screen and look for "Auto confirm status" (appears just below "Referral status". The status will indicate what happened in response to the automated telephone reminder (i.e., "Confirmed", "Answer Machine", "Cancelled", etc.).
  • If there is no "Auto confirm status", then an automated telephone reminder was not sent.

2. Department Appointment Report

If the need is to see the reminder status for a many patients and appointments, then the Department Appointments Report (DAR) Works best. One can save a personalized copy of the DAR, editing the display columns to include one or more appointment status-related columns (e.g., "Patient Communication Preference", "Patient MyChart Status", "Confirmed Appointment", "Appointment Reminder Sent", "ES Phone Reminder Status"). Instructions for doing this are included in the tip linked below.