New features for appointment alerts and MyChart

Interactive text reminders are now live

Interactive text reminders are now live

Appointment reminders

Interactive text and email reminders went live on March 7. It allows patients to confirm or cancel their appointments directly from the text or email reminder, saving the time of calling in.

  • Text reminders: Patients can now confirm or cancel directly from the text message reminder.
  • Email reminders: Patients now have the option to cancel directly from the email. The option to confirm is not currently available in the email alerts, but it may be added in the future.

In either case, the confirmation or cancellation flows directly into Epic. The planning team has already received positive patient feedback about this easy-to-use feature.

Interactive phone call reminders are anticipated as a future enhancement, in which patients will (for example) press 1 to confirm or press 5 to cancel an appointment from their phone call reminder.

Location clarification: Currently in progress, reminders are being optimized to make locations more clear and reduce the occurrence of patients arriving in the wrong location.

Additional language options will be available in appointment alerts for patients who have identified a preferred language other than English. Many of the visit reminders will have full translations for Spanish. And for several other languages, a tagline will be added in the preferred language at the bottom of the reminder, directing them to Interpretation and Translation Services for more assistance.

Direct scheduling

Return patients with a MyChart account can schedule many of their own appointments through MyChart, depending on the service and visit type.

The following areas are now fully live with self-scheduling functionality:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • All outreach clinics, including pediatric outreach

The following areas currently have some visit types that patients can schedule themselves, but more visit types will be added soon:

  • Family Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • UICMS locations

Medicine Specialty Clinic and other specialty areas will also be adding this capability for their patients in the near future.

Other recent enhancements

  • Patients can now create a MyChart account themselves without an activation letter.
  • Patients will receive a real-time notification as soon as an appointment is scheduled for them. They may change these notification preferences in their MyChart account.
  • They can get two types of appointment reminder instead of just one: email (a newer option), letter, text message, and/or phone call.
  • More enhancements to come

Questions? Contact Jean Prahm at jprahm@healthcare.uiowa.edu or 7-7822.