Using bulk messages to manage vaccination bookings

Gwynneth Derere
Gwynneth Derere
  • Updated

Patchs offers a simple solution to managing your vaccination bookings using our bulk messaging feature. This allows you to easily invite patients to self-book a vaccination appointment.

To do so, just follow these steps.

First, in your clinical system:

  • Decide which initial criteria you wish to filter patients by. For example, all eligible patients over 65 years of age who (i) haven’t had the vaccine and (ii) haven’t refused one. 
  • Using your clinical system’s reporting feature, download the contact details for this patient set. Please ensure that before doing so, you have filtered out those who are deceased or who have refused to be contacted by SMS / email.
  • Help with how to use your clinical system's reporting feature can be found here (EMIS) and here (SystmOne). 

Now, navigate back to Patchs, and:

  • Choose Patchs’ Bulk Messaging feature (from the top of your dashboard). On the Bulk Messages page, click on Create new bulk message.

  • Create your mailing list by uploading the .csv file you have downloaded containing the contact details for this set of patients.
  • Enter a name for the bulk message (this is for your reference. It will not be visible to patients). Now, click Upload CSV file.

  • You will be taken to the Create a new bulk message page. Using the button in the top right-hand corner, opt to create a Self book appointment.

  • Choose the site location, clinic type, and/or the slot type using the drop-down menus. For example, you may choose 'Vaccination Clinic' in 'clinic type' and 'Flu vaccine' in 'slot type'. Then, create an appropriate message. For example, you might write something like:

"Our records show that you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and that you have not yet had one. If you would like the vaccine, please use the link below to book an appointment."

  • Please ensure that you do not delete any of the text in square brackets when creating your message.

  • Now, decide whether you wish to send the message by SMS or by email
  • You can also opt to use the Staggered sending option, which permits you to specify how many days the sending will be staggered over. This can be helpful if you wish to manage how many bookings you receive a day.
  • Finally, you can choose whether to send the message now, or schedule it to send at a later date.

Patient experience

Once you have sent the message, the patient will receive a link to view the content. Please note, we do not include the message in the body of the SMS/email to protect patient privacy. 

The patient can now click on the self-book invitation. This will take them to Patchs, where they simply login to view your message.

In the event that a patient does not have a Patchs account, they will be taken to this page, where they need to confirm their consent and enter their date of birth.

Once the patient clicks the green Submit button, they will be able to read your message and book an appointment using the Appointment Link


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