Send bulk SMS messages manually

In Communicare V21.1 and later, you can manually send SMS messages to multiple recipients using Telstra Health's SMS gateway (TH Messaging).

The Communications module must be enabled and you must belong to a user group that has SMS Messaging system rights assigned.
To send messages to multiple recipients, Communicare first runs an SMS batch-specific report. Select from:
  • SMS Appointment Reminders - shows all patients with appointments for a selected encounter place between two dates. To send reminders for a single day, enter that date in both the First date to report and the Last date to report fields. Appointments that have been cancelled or started are excluded.
  • SMS Patient Group Members - shows all patients belonging to the selected patient group. Enter a message of up to 160 characters.
Only patients with a valid mobile phone number included in their record will receive the SMS. The following patients are excluded:
  • Patients where Preferred Contact is set to No Contact.
  • Deceased patients
  • Fictitious patients
To manually send SMS messages to multiple recipients:
  1. Select Tools > Send Bulk SMS.
  2. In the Select an SMS query window, select the required query, for example, SMS Appointment Reminders, and click Select iconPreview SMS.
  3. In the confirmation window, click Select iconYes.
  4. Enter the required values in the fields for the selected report and click OK.
    For example, to send SMS appointment reminders for tomorrow, in the Report Parameters window, in the First date to report and the Last date to report fields, enter tomorrow. Limit SMS messages to patients with appointments at your encounter place or with a specific provider if required.
  5. In the Send SMS Messages window, all patients who meet the search criteria are listed. Select all patients to whom you want to send an SMS.Example Send SMS Messages in bulk window

    Patients can be listed multiple times. For example, if they have multiple appointments at an encounter place with one provider or separate appointments with several providers. If there is potentially more than one SMS message for a patient, SMS duplicate warning iconDuplicate is displayed in the Status column.

    • To select all patients, set the selection box in the heading.
    • For a patient with duplicates, to automatically select only the first listed message, click Deselect Duplicates. If a patient has appointments with separate providers, only the first appointment for the day is selected. If you want to send multiple reminders, one for each provider, also select these messages in the list.
    • To find a particular patient, in the Search SMS Messages field, enter the patient ID, name or phone number. Results are refined as you type.
  6. Click Send Bulk SMS.

A new SMS Message clinical item is created in the clinical record of each recipient, on the Detail tab. The status of the SMS message is displayed in the SMS Send Status field, initially with a status of Pending.

The SMS messages are sent when the CCareQueue_Communications service next runs. The message status in each clinical item is updated automatically when confirmation is received that the message has been sent or has failed.

Details of the SMS batch are displayed in the Reports > SMS > Batch Report Details.

Restriction: You cannot delete the record of an SMS sent from Communicare, including from the Detail tab.