Two-Way Text Messaging
Many practices rely on text messages to confirm appointments and send forms and reminders to patients. In addition to confirming appointments, two-way texting is useful to respond to typical questions that a patient might have before or after an appointment. In these cases, two-way text messaging is critical. Some offices also find it useful to use two-way texting to send a brief message from the dentist after each appointment.
Learn how Dentrix Ascend seamlessly integrates two-way texting into your workflow. You can contact or respond to your patients whenever you like.
Replying to patient text messages and initiating a text message conversation
In addition to the automated text messages that your practice sends out to patients, sometimes it is necessary to reply to a question that a patient sends via text message or to initiate a specific conversation with a patient.
Two-way text messaging allows you to reply with custom messages to primary patient contacts.
- Locate the patient (on the routing panel, Appointment Information panel, Patient Information page, or patient ribbon)
- Click the Text messages hyperlink or icon (on the patient ribbon) to open the text message conversation.
- Enter your custom text message in the text message input field.
- Click Send.
Assigning user rights for two-way text messaging
You must have user rights to use two-way text messaging. Team members without the rights will not see the input message field; they will only be able to see the message history and click Done to close the Messages window.
User does not have rights to manage inbox messages
User has rights to manage inbox messages
You, or someone with rights to manage user roles, can grant the right to write and reply to text messages.
- Go to Settings > User roles.
- Click the user’s role in your organization.
- Locate the Other section under the Assigned Access Rights.
- Select Manage inbox messages.
- Click Save.
Important: A green flash message appears confirming that the role has been updated. If the user is currently logged in, they must to log out and log back in for the change to take effect.
Patient unsubscribing or stopping text messages
A patient’s primary contact can unsubscribe by texting "Stop" to the practice.
If requested by the patient, a practice can also unsubscribe a primary contact from receiving text messages.
- Open Patient information.
- Select Preferences.
- Under Text Messages, select No.
- Click Save.
When the patient unsubscribes, the input message field is replaced with a Done button, and a warning message appears, stating that the patient has unsubscribed from receiving all further text messages.
If the patient chooses to subscribe to text messages later, they can text "Start,” or if requested by the patient, you can select Yes as the patient’s text message preference; and the input message field reappears.
Patient phone number is invalid warning message
If your practice tries to initiate a patient a text message, and the patient’s phone number is invalid, a warning message appears, stating that a valid phone number must exist in order to send a message to this patient.
Because there is no valid mobile number that you can send a text to, the text message input field does not appear.
You can update the patient’s phone number by clicking the this patient link, which takes you to the Patient Information page.
Identifying undelivered text messages
When Dentrix Ascend is unable to send a text message, a warning icon appears next to the outgoing text message along with a “Not Delivered” warning.
In this case, you can try to resend the text message at a later time.
Checking text messages from the Patient Connection page
Another way to see the text message history is on the Patient Connection page (Patient > Patient Connection).
- The 10-digit phone number shown on the message sent out from Dentrix Ascend is location specific and is for text messaging only; it does not use the practice phone number. You cannot configure or change this number.
- If you see a red dot with a number in it next to your name, it means there are unread text messages in the Inbox. We recommend establishing an office workflow that includes someone being assigned to reading the messages in the Inbox.
- Currently, this implementation of two-way texting cannot send or receive images, including emojis. It is strictly limited to text.
Just checked and this is not live for me either.
I'll be happy when it's working but there are several inherent problems with the system, which, as completely predictable from Dentrix Ascend is not completely worked out. (They cannot deliver a completely thought out product enhancement, never considering implications from patient point of view or office point of view.).
1) patients who text an office expect the capability of having an immediate conversation. - the only notification of a message is the dot within Ascend itself- if someone at any computer has a different program open on top of Ascend- eg. quickbokks, a different chrome tab, any reader-or their desktop- they will miss every single text that comes in. We have patient's calling the office saying I left a message a while ago and no one's responded (presently not through dentrix anyway because 2 way texting is still not live), simply because Ascend was not the front tab at that time)- how about a windows notification pop up? How did they not think of that?
2) There is still no mobile app (which remains UNBELIEVABLE in 2020) which would allow for mobile notifications. Which mean any after hours apps are never received. There is not even an option for an after hours reply saying something like the office is closed and this message will not be received until we re-open- please call the office to leave a message if this is an urgent matter (even that is a workaround - ideally the ability to respond on the spot should be the norm- but with Ascend we've learned to function with workarounds). People are trained by life to assume if they are texting that they will receive a response. To get nothing implies they are being ignored - how did Dentrix not realize this?
3) Repeating because this is is outrageous- HOW DO THEY NOT HAVE A MOBILE APP YET IN 2020??????? Can anyone think of a single product that (eventually???) has 2 way communication- or even 1 way- without a mobile app to access it and notify of any incoming messages?? Forget about just having mobile access to the calendar- BTW- accessing the Ascend calendar through a browser on a cell phone is one of the most frustrating experiences ever - really it's 2020- Bueller??Buelller?
Who does the beta testing on these features, a 75 year old dentist who still develops film and can't figure out how to use their iphone? ...Seriously.
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