Setting Up Appointment Reminders
Once set up, YAPI's Appointment Reminders automatically remind your patients of their upcoming appointments and integrate confirmations directly into Dentrix, Open Dental, or Eaglesoft. If you're setting up your Appointment Reminders for the first time, use the guide below to get started using YAPI's default settings. Then, if you want more details about customizing Appointment Reminders, check out Customizing Appointment Reminders.
Table of Contents
- Accessing the Reminders Tab to Start Setup
- Setting Your Reminder Start Date
- YAPI's Appointment Reminder Defaults
- Enabling Appointment Reminders
- Testing Reminders
- Related Articles
Accessing the Reminders Tab to Start Setup
All settings for Appointment Reminders can be found within the Reminders tab of Global Setup. To access it:
From the YAPI Dashboard, click the Setup and Manage button and select Global Setup.
When prompted, enter your YAPI password.
In the Global Setup window, click the Reminders tab.
Setting Your Reminder Start Date
While your installer has already set your reminders to start the day you enable them, you can also change your start date if you like. This way, you can set up your reminders now and they'll start on a future date automatically. If you want your reminders to start immediately, skip this step. To set reminders to start on a future date:
In the Reminders tab, click the Edit button under More Options.
In the Options window, click the pulldown menu next to Start reminders/recall on and select the date you want your reminders to start sending out.
Click Ok, then Save. When a popup warns you that all changes won't take affect until you've restarted your workstations, click OK and ignore this for now.
Note: Appointment Reminders and Recall Reminders are controlled by a single start date, so changing the date here applies to both. Neither will be active, though, until you click the Enable checkboxes to turn them on.
YAPI's Appointment Reminder Defaults
During installation, our team sets up our recommend reminders for you. Once you've set your start date above, you can skip to Enabling Appointment Reminders using the default settings outlined below or customize your reminders before enabling.
YAPI's email and text reminders all work on a timeline together so that patients don't receive the same communication every time and are more likely to confirm. Once patients confirm their appointment, they stop receiving reminders until their appointment date, when they receive one final same-day reminder.
Save the Dates
Save the Dates send to your patients the day they book their appointment. By default, YAPI is set to send one Save the Date by email unless the patient books within 30 days of their appointment. If they book sooner, YAPI skips the Save the Date because they'll already be getting other reminders soon.
YAPI sends two reminders via email during YAPI housekeeping:
- 14 days prior to the appointment - Reminds the patient of their appointment date and time but doesn't allow them to confirm.
- 4 days prior to the appointment - Reminds the patient of their appointment date and time and contains a button to confirm the appointment.
YAPI sends two reminders via text at 11AM if a patient hasn't already confirmed:
- 3 days prior to the appointment
- 1 day prior to the appointment
Patients also receive a same-day text reminder regardless of whether they've confirmed or not. This text is set to send 2 hours before their appointment but if their appointment is before 10AM, their reminder will send at 8AM instead. No same-day reminders send after 7PM.
Premedicate Reminders are automatically enabled and send at 10AM the day prior to a patient's appointment. For more about how YAPI reads premedicate statuses and how to make sure your patients receive premed reminders, see Setting Premedicate Text Reminders for Your Patients.
By default, postcard reminders aren't set up. If you'd like to use postcards, see Customizing Appointment Reminders.
Appointment Reminders automatically go out to all patients with an appointment in Dentrix, Open Dental, or Eaglesoft. If you need to exclude appointments for a particular provider, procedure, or operatory, see Excluding Appointment Reminders for a Specific Provider or Excluding Reminders for an Operatory or Procedure.
Warning! If you use a set operatory for cancelled or broken appointments but don't actually break the appointment in your practice management software, you need to exclude that operatory from reminders. Otherwise, reminders will continue to go out for those appointments.
YAPI's text reminders include a link to a Mobile Nanosite that shows more information about your practice and the patient's appointment.
Additional Mobile Nanosite settings like displaying the appointment length, provider name, and practice cancellation policy are all disabled by default.
Additional Reminder Settings
All patients receive appointment reminders.
Reminder Log: YAPI sends one email to your practice each day after housekeeping listing all the reminders when out that day.
When a patient confirms via YAPI, their appointment updates to a confirmed status in your practice management software (Dentrix, Open Dental, or Eaglesoft).
YAPI sends an email to your practice each time a patient confirms.
Mulitiple Same-Day Appointments: Patients with multiple appointments for the same day receive one consolidated reminder.
For same-day text reminders, family members with appointments at the same time receive a reminder together, which is sent to the head of household.
For all other reminders except Save the Dates, one reminder is sent for all family members with appointments on the same day.
Minors: If a patient under 18 doesn't have an email or mobile number in your practice management software, YAPI sends the reminder to their parent instead.
Date Format: For most practices, appointment dates display the day of the week with the date written out (Ex. Wednesday, August 29th, 2021). If you or your IT have changed the Windows calendar settings on your server, though, the Date Format may be different, which is most common with practices outside the United States. If you're unsure, you can your exact Date Format options with instructions in our Customizing Appointment Reminders article.
Early Arrival: Early arrival reminders are enabled but only send automatically for Open Dental offices using the native Time Ask to Arrive or Ask to Arrive Early features. If you don't use these settings or have Dentrix or Eaglesoft, see Setting Early Arrival Appointment Reminders for Individual Patients to set a patient for early arrival reminders. You can also set up early arrival reminders by procedure; for more on this, see Setting Up Early Arrival Reminders for a Specific Procedure.
Enabling Appointment Reminders
If you want to use YAPI's defaults that were already configured at installation, you can enable your Appointment Reminders now:
In the Reminders tab, select the Enable checkboxes boxes under Appointment reminders via email and Appointment reminders via text:
When prompted, you can restart YAPI on your workstations now by closing and reopening the program or wait for YAPI to do this automatically during tonight's housekeeping.
Note: If you want to make customizations and change the default settings outlined above, see Customizing Appointment Reminders before enabling.
Once set up, we recommend testing your system to make sure YAPI's email and text settings are working:
From the Reminders tab, click Simulate.
In the Simulate Reminders window that pops up, enter your first and last name, email address, and mobile number.
Select any provider from the Provider pulldown.
In the Templates section, click the double arrow >> button next to Email. Click the template called "GT - Email Reminder General" and click Select.
Click the double arrow >> button next to Mobile. Click the template called "Text Reminder" and click Select.
Click Send. When a Sending Text popup shows you the content of your text reminder, click OK.
Check your email and phone to make sure both reminders come through. Depending on your internet connection, email client, and phone carrier, these could take just a few seconds or up to 15 minutes.
Note: If your reminders don't arrive within 20 minutes, we recommend trying again with a different email address or phone number. You may have unknown filters preventing messages from coming through. If reminders still don't send, contact us so we can make sure your YAPI email and text settings are configured correctly.
- Introduction to Appointment Reminders
- Introduction to Appointment Reminder Setup
- Customizing Appointment Reminders