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Patients aren't receiving reminder emails
Patients aren't receiving reminder emails

Some of the common reasons why a patient would not be getting appointment reminder emails, and how to fix them.

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

If a patient reports that they're not getting reminder emails, there will be a few things to look for! The very first step would be to check the communications log to see if there's any record of the message being sent. If there is, then you know it did make its way out of Cliniko, at least—but we'll need to figure out why it didn't get to the patient!

After that, you'll need to look into a few more things. The following could all be reasons as to why the message didn't reach your patient.

We'll go through all of these reasons below!

First, check the communications log

Do you see a record of the email in your Communications log?

Head to Communications, and you can see (and search through) a full list of all messages that have been sent from Cliniko:

A reminder email will be defined as an Appointment Reminder, and would say "Sent" if it had gone out to the patient:

On the flip side, if it failed, it would have a "Failed" flag:

If either case, if you see it marked as sent in the communications log the patient said they didn't receive it, please grab the communication ID number of that message and send it on over to our support team! Similarly, if you see it marked as failed, please grab the communication ID number and share it with us. We'll be able to assist further.

However, if you don't see a record of a sent or failed email, then check out these possible reasons—one of which is likely to be the reason no messages are being received!

It was sent, but not received

If you do see a record of an outgoing message, like in the above example, it means it has been sent, but we don't know where it ended up—it could have landed in the patient's spam folder, or perhaps it bounced.

If you see that it's been sent, but the patient is reporting it as not being received, please let us know. We'll need you to provide the communication ID number, which you can get if you click the date next to the message:

On the next page, the ID number will be found at the end of the URL, after where it says communications in the address bar:

Copy that number, and send it to our support team—we can assist from this point forward! To send it to us, simply click the "chat bubble" in the lower right-hand corner of this screen. 💬

Again, if you don't see a record of a sent email, it's likely that the culprit is one of the following: reminder emails aren't turned on in the business settings, the appointment isn't linked to a reminder template, the patient has a different reminder preference set up, or the patient has no email address.

Reminder emails are turned off in the business settings

One of the most common reasons that reminders don't go out is because they're disabled in the business settings. (On occasion, you might disable reminders for specific clinics, and it's easy to forget to turn them back on!) To see if this might be the problem, head to Settings, and then Business information:

Select the location that the appointment was scheduled at, and scroll down to the bottom. If Send appointment reminders for appointments at this business is turned off, it means that no reminders will be going out, even if the appointment type is linked to the correct reminder template:

To fix this, you will want to make sure to turn that on, and save the settings! That should (hopefully) fix things up, but if reminder emails still aren't going out, then you'll want to check a few more settings.

The appointment type isn't linked to a reminder email template

If you don't see a record of the message as "Sent" in your Communications log, it's probably the case that the appointment type isn't linked to a reminder template. This may be for just one or two appointment types, or it may be for all of them. Either way, you'll need to check it out!

First, take note of the appointment type that the patient is booked into. Remember what it is!

Then, head to Settings, and Appointment types:

Below the "colour picker" on the appointment type page, check to see if Booking reminder email says "None":

If it does indeed say "None", that would mean that this appointment type doesn't have a related reminder template, and even though this patient has an email address on file and the business has appointment reminders enabled, no reminder email will be sent.

You'll have to select a template from the list (or add a new one). We'll walk you through the steps to get that set up right here! 👍

The patient has a different reminder preference set up

It's possible that this patient has opted not to receive reminder emails whatsoever. At some point, their individual preference may have been modified so that they don't get reminder emails, even though the appointment type is set up to send them, and even though they have an email address on file.

To check this, select the patient in question. Check under Communication preferences. If it say "None" or just "SMS" next to "Automated reminder", like this:

That would explain why no email has gone out!

If this patient is meant to receive reminder emails, you can change the setting by editing their details and selecting "Email" (or "SMS & Email", if you also want them to get SMS reminders) under Automated reminder type:

Save the settings, and this patient will now get those emails! 🤩

The patient has no email address

If all other settings look to be normal, the last thing to check is whether or not the patient has an email address on file.

Select the patient in question. Under Contact information, is there an email address? If there is not, it'll look like this:

To add an email address, edit their details and add it into the "Email" field under Contact information:

Save, and then you'll see that email address show up at the top of their page:

All done! 🙌

Reminder emails are different than confirmation emails. If a patient is not receiving confirmation emails, some different settings will need to be checked. You can learn more about that right here.

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