Appointment Reminder Module

We are currently looking for 2-3 beta testers to try out the new Appointment Reminder module for the FreePBX Distro. This is a professional module and is only availiable for the FreePBX Distro. Testers will recieve a free beta copy of the module.

What is it?
The Appointment Reminder module for the FreePBX Distro is a unique way to automate appointment confirmations, cancellations and reschedules. By simply specifing numbers and names to be called the PBX will automatically call at specified times and allow recipients to confirm / cancel / reschedule appointments. The module gives you the flexibility to control all details of the calls from rate limiting to retry attempts and days ahead to notify of an appointment. You have the ability to simply load a CSV list of numbers to call, or even add numbers and names manually. On the fly modifications can be made to any Appointment Reminder list to allow for total flexibility.

Let's take a look at an example
You work for a Doctors Office. Currently you have a full time staff member who spends half of every work day on the phone calling patients to remind them of there upcoming apppointments. You realize that this is inefficient and would like to automate the process. To achieve your automation goal we will utilize the Appointment Reminder module in FreePBX Distro. We will setup our Appointment Reminder to call patients two days in advance of there scheduled appointment and get a confirmation from them. If the reminder is unable to reach the patient it will call again to attempt to remind them. We will also allow the recipient to cancel the appointment or reschedule it directly from the Appointment Reminder call.

Here is the setup
First we will launch the Appointment Reminder module. This module can be found under the Modules / System Administration section. Once you have opened the Appointment Reminder module you will see a screen similar to the following image. Note: Each item is an Appointment Reminder that has already been setup. The first time you launch this module your's will be blank.
AR

The first item that we need to set is the Maximum Calls. This is the total number of concurrent calls that will go out at once. To avoid overloading your call capacity it is suggested to set this to a lower number. In our example we will be setting it to ONE concurrent call.
Next we want to create our new Appointment Reminder. From the right hand navigation menu select the Add A Reminder option.
AR
You will now be taken to the setup screen. This will allow you to specify the options for your Appointment Reminder. For our example here are the settings that we have used.
AR
  • Name - This is the unique name for our Appointment Reminder. We have entered Dr Office Demo.
  • Enabled - We have set this to YES. That means that the Appointment Reminder will run as scheduled. Note: You can easily disable an Appointment Reminder by simply toggling this option to NO.
  • Daily Start Time - Here we set the Time of day that we want the Appointment Reminder to start. We have set our's to 9am.
  • Daily End Time - This is the time of day we want our Appointment Reminder to stop. We have set this examples to 4pm.
  • Max Advance Notice - This is the field that we will use to select how many days ahead of the scheduled appointment we would like to place a reminder call. We have selected 2 days.
  • Retry Count - Here we can tell the Appointment Reminder how many times to retry a recipient if it is unable to reach them. In our example we have set this retry count to two.
  • Retry Delay - We can use this field to specify how long between a failed attempt to retry and reach that recipient. We have set our retry delay to 3 hours. Note that if the 3 hour retry land's after the appointment reminders daily endtime the reminder will be attempted again the following day.
  • TTS Engine - This is the text to speech engine used. Unless you are an advanced use this should be set to the default of flite.
  • Fixed Caller ID - This is the phone number that the call should appear to come from. For our example we are using the Doctor's Office main number for easy identification by the recipients.
  • Caller ID Name - This is the name that should be used for internal reminders.
  • Outbound CID Mode - We can set this to Fixed to use what we have specified or default to use the system default.

Now we need to setup our Call Flow Options. Here are the settings that we used for our example.
AR

  • Initial Greeting - This is the first message played to the recipient. You can record a custom greeting if you would like or use the default however be sure to include a message similar to the following: "This is an Appointment Reminder....". We have elected to use the default.
  • Say Name - Select whether you would like the recipients name to be said. If selected it will use Text To Speech to read the name of the person associated with the reminder. We have set this to yes.
  • Date Announcement - We have elected to use the default announcement which says: "You have an appointment scheduled on...".
  • Say Appointment Date - This is selected to enable or disable the Date announcement from the previous step. We have selected Yes.
  • Instructions - You can use default or custom instructions for the recipient. We have elected the default which say: "To confirm this appointment press ONE, to cancel press TWO, to request you appointment be rescheduled press THREE". You can record a custom message to be played here, however it must follow the outline listed above.
  • Customer Service Extension - This is the destination a recipient is sent to if they select ZERO for customer service. We have routed our demo to our operators extension.
  • Rechedule Behavior - This is what happens if the recipient selects THREE to have there appointment rescheduled. We can elect to either have the call transfered or simply log the action for a call back. We have selected Transfer.
  • Rechedule Extension - This is only used if the Reschedule Behavior in the previous step is set to Transfer. We have our example being re-routed to a queue that contains our scheduling staff.
Daily Report is an automated report sent everyday with the results of your Appointment Reminder. This will show you what appointments have been a success and which have been rescheduled etc.
  • Daily Report Completion Emails - These are the email addresses that will be sent the daily report. In our example we have specified the office manager.
  • Email From - This is the email address that the report will appear to come from.
  • Attach As - You can select either a CSV or Plain Text file.

We will now click Save to save our new Appointment Reminder.

Manage Recipients
We are now automatically taken to the recipients section. This is where we will specify the recipients of the Appointment Reminder. The first thing you will notice at the top is the bulk upload tool. This is a great way to upload multiple recipients quickly.

First we we need to create our CSV file. We use excel or some other editor to create our file in this format.
AR

Once saved as a CSV we will select Choose File and then select our newly created CSV. Once it is selected we can choose our action which will be the default of appending to an existing list, since our list is blank this new data will be all that is there.

AR

We can now select Upload. If we created our CSV properly we will now see the following data populate under the Recipient List section.
AR
We have properly formated our CSV and we see that all the names, numbers and appointment data is correct! However we now remember that we forgot to add one recipient to our list. We can easily add that recipient in the NEW field.

AR
Simply click save after inputting the additional recipient's information.

AR
We can see that the recipient has been added to our list!

The Appointment Reminder module is the latest new Professional module that will be availiable for the FreePBX Distro. I welcome your feedback in the comments section.
FreePBX: 

Comments

Bullfrog's picture

I was just reading about this new module on your PBXact blog. In our business, we have about 10-12 trucks on the road, going to about 2-3 jobs per day. I was thinking that this would be a great tool to automate the appointment reminders. Although I will need to dig in to an automated method of pulling the appointments out of our scheduling software, I would be willing to test it out for you, even if it means we would have to manually transfer the data. I hope I can help!

-Jeremy

williamfmccarthy's picture

Happy to beta test the module...

Let me know if you are still in need of testers.

Bill

rwf's picture

We have 4 Doctor's offices on our box. They would be glad to test this for you.
Let me know what to do.

Ralph

tonyclewis's picture

Do you guys all use the FreePBX Distro. It will only work on the official Distro. If so than head over to freepbxdistro.org and signup for a portal account if you do not have one yet. Than make sure you have setup a deployment in the portal that you want the software to be licensed to and PM me your deployment ID from the portal and we will license it to that deployment.

Tony Lewis
Schmooze Com/FreePBX
Opening a Bug or Feature request demo video

franklin's picture

Very interested in being a beta site. I have a doctor ready to go. I had Ward Mundy'd Appointment Reminders loaded and working beautifully. Had the Web interface secured by password. Big market for me. Please post a way to send a personal email or phone number. Thanks.

rjoell's picture

Let me know if more testers are needed. Would be glad to assist.

Robert

zeane's picture

ZEANEdigital represents an IT and VoIP solution service provider to many of the State and Federal Healthcare organizations throughout South Africa. We actually have numerous entities, not to mention our own in-house support department, that would be very interested in testing, becoming conversant, supporting and even marketing this module in future. Please do get in contact with myself should you like to consider us for participation. Thanks

>> CEO-ZEANEdigital

~ ZEANE ~
~

~
~ Cape Town - South Africa ~

tbagalini's picture

Hello,
I use the distro and would love to beta test the module.
Thank you!

tonyclewis's picture

We are ready to accept a few more Beta testers now that we worked out a few issues with the intial small group of testers we had. Feel free to email me sales at schmoozecom dot com. Just so I do not get emails on this months or years from now I will take the next 10 emails I get by the end of the month. After that please do not email asking about the Beta as we will be out of Beta.

Please email me your company information and the deployment ID that you have registered in the portal that you want the license for. I will respond back once the license has been added and you can than install the module from the module admin of FreePBX and than update your license file in sysadmin.

Happy testing and thanks for all the response.

Tony Lewis
Schmooze Com/FreePBX
Opening a Bug or Feature request demo video

ebrofall's picture

Hello, I'm wondering if the appointment reminder module can be used by different users(that mind be different companies) each user would login to add his reminders which are not seen by other users under freepbx. Also i would like to know if each
user can add his/her voice file or tts message that only him/her recipients would hear? Basically i wanna offer each freepbx user on my server the privacy to set their appointment reminders that is specific to them only. Thanks!

TJ.Stamm's picture

At this time you can not setup individual appointment reminders for different users. Shoot me an email on this please.

TJ Stamm
Schmooze Com, Inc.
www.Schmoozecom.com

ebrofall's picture

To what address do I send you an email? Thanks.

MrBrando's picture

Is this still in beta. Is the RC ready for download I would like to try it out and or find out how to get the module.

cosmicwombat's picture

If you are running the FreePBX ISO install... I think you need to reg with Schmooze and buy the module at the member portal.

http://freepbxdistro.org/signup.php

TJ.Stamm's picture

You can get the module in the Store.

Register for an account at: http://www.freepbxdistro.org/signup.php?view=register

Once logged into the Portal go to the Store Tab.

If you need any assistance shoot me an email

TJ Stamm
Schmooze Com, Inc.
www.Schmoozecom.com

ricky's picture

PM me your deployment ID from the portal and we will license it to that deployment. xmas pictures

mannycarz's picture

We have over 100 doctor and lawyer offices that could use this. Please add us to this beta testing.

reconwireless's picture

The beta was over a couple of years ago, you can now purchase this module directly in the FreePBX Portal: http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss-signup.php

You can view the full details within our wiki: http://wiki.freepbx.org/display/FCM/Appointment+Reminder

Also you should consider the FreePBX Reseller Program: http://www.freepbx.org/reseller-program

Preston McNair | FreePBX/Schmooze Com, Inc