Send SMS Messages from RxWorks

Send SMS Messages from RxWorks

Estimated reading time: 14 min

Short Message Service, also known as SMS, text messaging, TXT or text, is a great way of keeping in touch with your clients. RxWorks has built in SMS capability so you can send text messages to any mobile / cell phone. These short messages can enhance the quality of care you provide to your clients with minimum effort.

The SMS features in RxWorks can be used in a number of different ways, including:

To find out more about these enhanced SMS features, click on the links above.

Preparing To Use SMS

Before you can successfully send an SMS from RxWorks there are a number of setup activities that must be completed first:

  • SMTP Server settings must be configured and working.
  • An SMS account must be opened with MessageNet or provider of your choice.
  • Clients’ cell/mobile numbers must be set as an SMS number.

SMS For Marketing Material

It is good practice to ask your clients how they would like their contact details to be used. Having a mobile number or email address in your records may not constitute explicit permission to use these details for all types of communication.

  • General information about clinic activities, seasonal specials, and events are often considered to be marketing material & may require client permission before sending.
  • Information specific to a patient or client about upcoming appointments, preventative medication refills, and upcoming appointments are usually OK to send without permission.

Discussing how your clients’ information will be used is a great way to establish client contact preferences e.g. prefers to receive accounts in the mail, but is happy to receive all patient reminders and updates via SMS and Email.

Check with your local communications authority about the guidelines that apply to your region.

Setup – SMTP & Email Settings

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the method that RxWorks uses to send email and SMS communication. Your SMTP settings are ‘Global Settings’ – they are used for both SMS and Email sent from RxWorks.
It follows that the email address settings in RxWorks must be set up to allow email and SMS messages to be sent from within the program.

Smtp Settings

In most instances, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will be used for SMTP. Most ISPs have their SMTP server settings available on their website.

If you are already successfully sending email directly from RxWorks then your SMTP server information is already setup.

Not Set Up?

A dedicated Online Manual article is available to assist you with this step as SMTP settings are required for both SMS and Email. If you have not already setup your SMTP details, check out the article on “setting up SMTP Details”.

SMTP Already Set Up?

If you have already setup your SMTP information read on to check your email address information. If you know your email and SMTP settings are all correct (you are already successfully sending email directly from RxWorks) continue down to the next section.

Email Settings

Before you can send or receive SMS messages, a sender email address must be set up in RxWorks. The sender address is used to identify your clinic to be able to send via your SMS provider (Email-to-SMS service).
When setting up an account you are usually required to specify an email address for the new account. The email address used to set up the account becomes the address that the account confirmation is sent to, as well as the main email address for all outgoing messages. You may specify the same email address as the clinic email or you may choose another address.

Using Your Default Clinic Email

By default, the clinic email address is used as the sender address for SMS communication.
To access the default clinic email address, navigate to Options & Setup > J Clinic > Clinic Details.

  1. Select your practice branch.
  2. Select the Clinic Address, Contact & Phone Details tab.
  3. Ensure that you have the practice or branch email address entered.
Using an Alternate Email Address

An alternative email address can be used in place of the main (default) clinic email address if required. If the SMS email field is used, it will override the clinic email address for all SMS communication. This field is rarely required and can usually be left blank.

This field is not required if the email address to be entered is the same as the default clinic email. This field should not be used in branch practices where each branch has a unique email address.

The SMS Email field is part of the SMTP settings window which can be accessed via Task Panel > Email Manager > Outgoing Mail Settings (SMTP).

Setup – Sms For Branch Practices

If your practice is part of a group (multiple branches in one RxWorks database), you may wish to take advantage of some of the extra SMS features offered both in RxWorks and from your SMS provider.

Extra functions may include:

  • SMS messages can include branch-specific information such as the practice name, phone number and address. (RxWorks)
  • Control how SMS replies are handled for each branch. (SMS Provider)
  • Monitor message volume & cost per clinic based on sender email address (SMS Provider)

The extra functions are controlled from your provider control panel when logged into your account. If you plan to configure your SMS service to manage a branch clinic, log into your account control panel and explore the configuration options for account and email management. If you require assistance, please contact your SMS provider.

Setting Alternate Addresses For Each Branch

Your SMS provider uses the sender email address (Clinic Email) to identify the sender, perform billing, and forward messages to your clients. If you wish to set up any of the branch reply redirection features, you must use a different email address for each branch clinic in both RxWorks and your SMS provider account.

To specify a different email address for each branch, navigate to Options & Setup > J Clinic > Clinic Details:

  1. Select your practice branch.
  2. Select the Clinic Address, Contact & Phone Details tab.
  3. Enter the email address for that clinic & save the changes.
  4. Repeat for additional practices.
The SMS email field under Task Panel > Email Manager > Outgoing Mail Settings (SMTP) must be left blank. This setting over-rides the clinic email setting for all branches including the main clinic.

Setup – Phone Numbers For SMS

RxWorks must know which client phone number(s) will be used to send messages to. An SMS number is simply a mobile/cell number that has been nominated as the default SMS number.

Setup An Sms Number For A Client

In most cases your mobile/cell number template is set to enable SMS for all new mobile/cell numbers. If a client’s existing mobile number is not assigned for SMS use, you can easily set it up. To do this:

  1. Navigate to the Client Work Area.
  2. Select the telephone icon next to the ‘HOME’ text field.
  3. Click the Edit button top open the contact details window.
  4. Select the SMS option in the Type list next to an existing mobile/cell number.
  5. Check the box if this SMS number is to be used for AMM (automated appointment, prescription, & reminder messages).
  6. Check the box if this SMS number is to be used for Events (Scheduled message broadcasts using events manager).
  7. Click Save to finish your changes.

You can set more than one mobile/cell number to use SMS on any client. If a client has more than one number assigned then any automatic SMS messages will go to both numbers. To prevent this, set one number to SMS and the second mobile/cell to ‘General’.

If a client declines communications via SMS, simply change the Phone Type back to ‘GENERAL’.
If you have a large number of clients that require the SMS setting to be updated you may wish to have RxWorks perform this task for you. Mass update of your data will incur a consulting service charge. “Click here to talk to an expert”:http://rxworks.com/talk-to-an-expert/ for further information.

SMS Default On New Records

RxWorks can set all new mobile numbers to receive SMS. You can do this through the “Client Options & Setup” area of RxWorks. Simply set the mobile/cell template to default to the phone type ‘SMS’. This removes the need to set the SMS phone type on each new number as it is entered.

To set the template default, navigate to Options & Setup > A Client > Client Address & Contact Details:

  1. Click the dotted box next to the Phone Name drop-down.
  2. Select the cell/mobile template and click Edit.
  3. Change the Phone Type to SMS. Click Save.
  4. This will enable the basic SMS function on all new phone entries where the mobile/cell template is used. Existing entries will remain unchanged.

Setup – SMS Provider Account

When a text message is sent from RxWorks it goes to a service provider that can forward the message through a telecommunications network. You can choose to start an account with MessageNet or your own preferred SMS provider. Read on to see how to setup the provider of your choice.

Setup A MessageNet Account

RxWorks has partnered with “MessageNet”, a third party text messaging provider to handle SMS messaging from RxWorks. Register with MessageNet through the RxWorks program to take advantage of the RxWorks group offers.

To access the link to the MessageNet registration web page follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Options & Setup > J Clinic > Clinic Details
  2. Select your practice branch.
  3. Select the Clinic Configuration tab.
  4. Click the button Register For MessageNet SMS. The RxWorks-MessageNet registration page will open in your web browser.
  5. Fill in your registration details as required. Make a note of the email address that you used to create your SMS account as it may be required for diagnostic testing later.
  6. Select your pricing plan.
  7. Read the Terms & Conditions & click the Submit button to finish the registration.
Important
  • MessageNet will send a confirmation email to the email address you entered in the registration form.
  • Keep your MessageNet account details such as username and password in a safe place.
  • You will need these details to log into the MessageNet Website to make changes to your account setup.
Once you have obtained your customer login details for the MessageNet portal, it recommended that you log in and check the portal settings as outlined in the section ‘About MessageNet’.
You can reach the registration page outside of RxWorks by going to this web address: “MessageNet RxWorks Registration”.

Setup An Alternate SMS Provider

RxWorks 4.5 and upwards allows you to use your own choice of SMS Provider. You will need to contact your provider to setup your account details and obtain the Domain information to send the emailed SMS messages to. Enter the domain information as follows:

  1. Navigate to Options & Setup > J Clinic > Clinic Details
  2. Select your practice branch.
  3. Select the Clinic Configuration tab.
  4. Enter the SMS Provider Name (usually a domain address). Click SAVe.

SMS Provider Checklist For Use With RxWorks

There are certain prerequisites your selected SMS Provider must fulfil to ensure everything works with RxWorks’ software. Use the SMS Provider Checklist below to aid your choice.

Your SMS Provider Checklist For Use With RxWorks

  1. Does the SMS provider implement an Email-to-SMS service?
  2. Is the SMS provider able to accept emails in the format indicated by RxWorks? (See Below)
  3. Mobile Phone No. International Dialling Code Email To Address
    0434 666 222 +61 (Australia) 61434666222@messagenet.com.au
    07421 775 435 +44 (United Kingdom) 447421775435@messagenet.com.au
    085 432 7634 +353 (Ireland) 353854327634@messagenet.com.au
  4. Is the body text of their emails used as the SMS message text?
  5. Does the SMS provider use the email “From” address to identify which account to bill messages to?

Setup – Send Test SMS

On receipt of your MessageNet account confirmation, send a test message to yourself to verify that the system is working. You can perform these steps on your own system client or a test client.

  1. Locate a test client or your own client file in RxWorks.
  2. Check that a Cell/Mobile number exists and is set to ‘SMS’.
  3. Click the message button on the Ribbon Bar.
  4. The Send Message dialogue will open. Note the number that the SMS will send to is shown in the dialogue. Fill in a test message and click the SEND SMS button.

The message should now be sent to your cell/mobile phone. A message may take up to 1-2 minutes to arrive.

Sending SMS Messages

Accessing The SMS Feature

You can send a simple SMS from a number of work areas in RxWorks. The option to send an SMS to a client will only be available if the client has a mobile number configured for SMS use.

All SMS messages sent to a client will appear in the Communications Log on the Client record.
Ribbon Bar

Send an SMS using the message button on the ribbon bar on the client, patient, visit, and financial work areas.

Right Click Context Menu

Send an SMS by right clicking the empty areas of the client, patient, visit, and financial work areas, then select Send Message.

Finish Visit Window

Send an SMS to inform a client of a successful surgery & collection times when you complete a visit record by clicking the Send SMS button.

Clipboards – Appointment Entry

Right click an appointment entry on your appointment clipboards & click Send Message from the context menu.

Sending an appointment confirmation SMS saves your client having to write it down.

Composing An SMS Message

Regardless of where you send the message from, the Send Message dialogue box will open.
Compose your message in the main box section before clicking Send Message.

Send Message Features
  • Character count indicator to help keep messages brief.
  • Select a message template with merge fields.
  • Select multiple SMS recipients if more than one SMS number is configured.
  • Quick access to Message Templates and SMTP settings.
The standard maximum length for an SMS message is 160 characters. Messages longer than 160 characters break into multipart messages. You may need to enable the multipart or long message features in your SMS provider settings to prevent longer messages being cut short.

Sms Using Templates

Using templates can save lots of time by using common merge fields for client & patient names, clinic details and so on. Templates also help keep messages brief and easy to read.

Select a template option from the drop down list to use a pre-formatted message. You can find out more about Message Templates here: “SETUP – Message Templates”

SMS Multiple Clients Using A Query

You can use the results of a database query to send targeted SMS messages to a list of clients. This method is used in conjunction with a Message Template. To send SMS from query results:

  1. Navigate to Reports > F Queries, Mail Merges & Listings
  2. Build your query using your preferred selection criteria.
  3. Click the EXECUTe button to generate results.
  4. Select the Send SMS radio button.
  5. Select an SMS template from the drop-down list.
  6. Click Send Selected SMS Template.
  7. Messages will begin sending as per your message queue settings in the email manager.
Send the query output to a report listing & preview on screen before sending bulk SMS. This is a best-practice check to ensure your intended target audience is correct.

About MessageNet

When a text message is sent from RxWorks it goes to a service provider that can forward the message through a telecommunications network. RxWorks has partnered with “MessageNet”, a third party text messaging provider to handle SMS messaging from RxWorks.
MessageNet fills all the key criteria for a useful and reliable messaging service that interfaces with RxWorks.

Key Advantages Of MessageNet

The key advantages to using MessageNet:

  • Messages can be accepted from an email addressed in the appropriate format.
  • Additional software is not required to be installed.
  • The message is authenticated from the sender’s email address.
  • Passwords are not required to be inserted into the subject line.
  • Multiple users are able to use the account.
  • The content of email messages is included, not just the subject line.
  • If you sign up through RxWorks, MessageNet provides:

  • A promise of no advertising.
  • No termination fees (if you terminate an account, you will still be liable for the remaining account balance, but no termination fee over and above this will apply).

MessageNet has a flat rate of AUD$0.08 cents per message sent. International purchases will vary according to currency exchange rates at the time of billing.

MessageNet Recommended Settings

Use the MessageNet settings guide below to get the best results when sending SMS from RxWorks.

  1. Use the username & password emailed to you from MessageNet to open your customer portal page.
  2. Select Manage Users from admin services.
  3. Click the Username to access the user settings pages.
  4. The username is usually set by default from your initial account setup. You can change this to a more SMS-friendly name if you wish for it to appear at the start of your SMS messages.
  5. Click Edit next to the email address to open the user message settings page. This page contains the most important and useful SMS settings.
  6. Enter the recommended settings using the guide below & click Save.

Email Address

The email address for the primary SMS user must match the practice (or branch) email address that will be used to send SMS messages from RxWorks. If any other address is used, MessageNet will be unable to authenticate and forward the message.

Confirmation Receipt

Error Only – Recommended setting. To prevent your email account from being flooded with confirmation messages, change this setting to notify only if a message fails to send.

Parts per Message

Long Messaging – Recommended setting. Some messages may creep over the 160 character limit for SMS. Use this setting to ensure longer SMS’s arrive as one message.

Message Format

Message headers (Frm, Sub, Msg) are enabled in MessageNet by default. These headers are not required & contribute to the message character limit. Deselect all of the header options & enable the plain User & message options.
If the user option is selected, the username shown at the top of this window will be attached to all outgoing messages. This may not be necessary if you have included the practice name in your SMS templates in RxWorks.
An example of the final message format is shown below the check-box options.

SMS Replies

A ‘reply to’ address or phone number is required by MessageNet. In most cases this setting is left as default practice/user email, or directed to a practice mobile phone number.

Practices often prefer clients to telephone to reschedule appointments etc. You may wish to check that your SMS templates include a ‘Please call to reschedule’ or similar message to minimise SMS replies.

Branch Practice Setup In MessageNet

MessageNet uses the sender email address (Clinic Email) to identify the sender, perform billing, and forward messages to your clients. You can manage multiple email users within a single MessageNet account, which is ideal for practices with multiple branches.

Setup is very simple:

  1. Click Manage Users from admin services.
  2. Click the link Click Here To Add New Users.
  3. Enter a new Username (practice name).
  4. Fill in the email message settings as shown in the previous section of this page.

MessageNet offers a number of additional features available from your MessageNet account page. If you require assistance with these features, please contact your MessageNet representative.

Access Messagenet Portal From RxWorks

You can now store your MessageNet username and password in RxWorks and use these to access the MessageNet portal automatically.
Store your MessageNet user name and password in Task Panel > Email Manager > Outgoing Mail Settings (SMTP)

Technical Overview of RxWorks SMS

A brief technical explanation of how SMS is handled by RxWorks and MessageNet is explained below.
When you send an SMS from RxWorks the following occurs:

  1. A user creates a message to a client with an SMS number nominated & clicks SEND.
  2. The message is formatted with the required details of the sender along with the message text.
  3. For Example:
    FROM: info[AT]yourclinicaddress.com (clinic email address)
    BODY: Your message content.

  4. The recipient details are reorganised into a format that can be processed by MessageNet.
  5. This includes automatic removal of leading 0’s and + symbol (precedes country code) from the phone number.
    A phone number such as 0400 111 111 would be reformatted as follows:
    61400111111[AT]messagenet.com.au
    Note that the country code is assigned to the beginning of the number based on the first 3 digits of your RxWorks serial number. If another country code has been assigned t the + sign will be dropped. The international number format will be retained as follows: 645558885[AT]messagenet.com.au

  6. The message is now forwarded to MessageNet using SMTP. The default port 25 is used unless it is specified otherwise in the SMTP settings.

Troubleshooting SMS Setup

Most issues likely to be encountered in SMS setup relates to the “SMTP settings” set in RxWorks or are the result of a firewall or security setting on your server. When troubleshooting SMS issues it is a good idea to examine your SMTP and firewall settings unless you experience the specific issues outlined below.

Example 1

I am unable to send a message via SMS to a single client, but I can SMS other clients OK.

Troubleshooting Suggestion

Check that the client has a mobile/cell phone number present in the extra client phone numbers section of the client page. Ensure that this phone number has the phone type set to ‘SMS’.

Example 2

I am receiving an error message relating to the phone number format.

Troubleshooting Suggestion

Check the phone number that you are trying to send the SMS to. Make sure that the number is formatted correctly for your region.

Example 3

I am receiving a huge number of notifications from MessageNet. Every time I send an SMS I get a confirmation message to the clinic email address.
You can adjust how MessageNet notifies you of messages sent from your MessageNet account page. Log into your MessageNet account and check your notification settings. You may choose to re-direct confirmation messages to another less used email account.

Example 4

My SMS messages do not appear to be getting through to my clients. When I send from RxWorks I do not get any error message to say that it has not been sent.

Troubleshooting Solution

Log into your MessageNet account and check if the messages have registered there. If they have registered, the issue is likely to be located at MessageNet. You may wish to check that your account is paid up or that you have not exceeded your monthly message allowance. If you are not sure, contact your MessageNet representative.
If the SMS has not registered with MessageNet, the messages are likely to be blocked on the server. Check your SMTP settings as per the “SMTP Set up” article. If the SMTP settings are correct there may be an issue with a firewall or antivirus product blocking communications. If you suspect your anti-virus software may be blocking SMTP messages, ask your Hardware Technician to check the Log files for your anti-virus suite for any blocks on the following processes:

  • RxWorks.exe (RxWorksBinRxWorks.exe)
  • RxWorksApp.exe (RxWorksBinRxWorksApp.exe)
  • RxWorks.TaskHost.exe (RxWorksBinRxWorks.TaskHost.exe)
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