This article will help you understand SMS (text message) broadcasts and how to work with them in eBroadcast.
You can use SMS broadcasts to send and schedule messages to patients to promote a service or product, inform about changes in office hours, or send season’s greetings.
Note: It is not recommended to exceed 500 messages per day or to send messages to more than 100 recipients in one broadcast. Exceeding these numbers may put your messages at risk of failing or being flagged as spam.
To perform the following procedure, open eBroadcast and select Broadcasts.
- Click Create and select SMS broadcast.
- Click edit (top-left) and give your SMS broadcast a descriptive name.
Note: The broadcast name is for office use only. Your recipients won’t see it.
- Add recipients by manually typing mobile numbers in the Recipients field or select them from a list. See Select SMS Message Recipients.
Note: The patient’s privacy is preserved as recipients see only their own mobile number in the To field.
- Type your message up to 160 characters.
Note: Messages that exceed 160 characters will count as two text messages.
Tip: You can use the Insert Fields drop-down to populate the message body with patient name and facility information. See Merge Fields.
- Click Send. The system may take up to 90 seconds to process the message before it enters the queue.
Note: Any incoming messages or replies will be forwarded to the email address entered during the Swift SMS Gateway sign up. The incoming message email can be managed in your Swift SMS Gateway control panel under the Number Management tab.
- To save the message as a draft for later, click Save.
- To schedule the broadcast, check the Schedule box, set the Schedule for date and time, then click Schedule (top-right).
- With an SMS broadcast open, click Recipients.
The Select recipients window opens.
Note: Only patients who have a mobile number in their patient file can be selected, and by default, patient records with the Subscribe to notifications by SMS box checked are displayed. To list both subscribed and unsubscribed SMS patients, check the Show all box.
- Check the box next to the patient’s names or check the Select all box to add them to the recipients list.
Tip: To search for a patient, check the Show all box, type a few letters of the patient’s name or mobile number in the Search field, then click search.
- Click Ok.
- With an SMS broadcast message open, position the cursor anywhere in the message body.
- Click Insert Fields, select In Body, then select a merge field to be inserted.
Note: The merge field is inserted with the field name enclosed in chevron brackets << >>. Be sure not to accidentally remove any part of the merge tag including brackets and spelling of the field.
Note: Once a broadcast has been sent, it cannot be edited.
- Select Drafts, Scheduled.
- Double-click on a broadcast or click Edit (far-right).
- Make changes, then save, send or schedule the broadcast.
- Select Drafts, Scheduled or Completed.
- Click Delete (far-right).
- Click Yes when prompted.
Rename Completed Broadcast
- Double-click any saved, scheduled or completed broadcast.
- Click edit (top-left).
- Enter a new name, then click Save.
Review Broadcast Statistics
- Select Completed to show a list of completed broadcasts including the message Sent date, Broadcast title, Subject, whether it was sent Via SMS or Email, # of recipients and the user it was Created by.
- Double-click on a completed broadcast to display additional details such as recipients information, and delivery status.