Hints and Tips - Notify - How to change the text of an SMS within your Campaigns

Since the pandemic, many of our NHS customers have been using their Outpatient Appointment Reminder systems to send out 1 way SMS(Texts) to patients for reminders and instructions for their hospital appointments. (Did you know we also support 2 way SMS as well? I’ll talk about that another time). These would typically provide details of the appointment and instructions on how to contact the correct department if there were any issues in attending.

Notify can be a scary beast, especially if you don’t administer it regularly. Still, it’s not as frightening as it first looks, and in this post, I will show you how you can update your Notify Campaigns SMS text (This is not just for Outpatients, this process is for any of the Notify applications).

Changing your Campaigns SMS Text

Access your Notify Application

First, head over to Notify. Log into Liberty Converse > Click on your Settings Cog in the top right and go to > Notify, and then ensure you select the Notify Application you want from the dropdown list.

if you want a shortcut, go to https://servername/notify (where servername is the name of your Liberty Converse server.)

Edit your SMS Text

Next, select the Campaign you want to edit the SMS text of. I have a campaign called 1 Way SMS South OAR in this example.

Click into the Campaign> Select the Group you want to edit > Go to Settings > at the bottom of Settings, you will see the SMS Text, which you can update and save.

Done; you have successfully updated the text of your SMS reminder. :partying_face:

Things to note

Before you rush off, I should point out a couple of things. In the text I used for my reminder.

NHS REMINDER NO-REPLY: [Entity Name] – [Appointment Type] at [Appointment Site] [Appointment Location] on [Appointment Date] at [Appointment Start Time]. If you cannot attend, please call the Outpatients team on 01442953782. Please check the letter you were sent for any special requirements relating to your appointment.

You will notice some elements in [ ] (square brackets). These are attributes taken from the entity (patient) data your organisation provides the Notify system. These are used to personalise messages using the data stored in the system. Each system setup stores different attributes, so please check the attribute names imported into your system.

Next, think about the length of the SMS you are sending. The total number of characters for 1 SMS is 160 (including spaces and punctuation). Use the example above; a patient may receive the following.

NHS REMINDER NO-REPLY: Jonathan Redsell – Physiotherapy at Netcall Hospital Physiotherapy Department on 02/03/2022 at 10:35. If you cannot attend, please call the Outpatients team on 01442953782. Please check the letter you were sent for any special requirements relating to your appointment.

The total number of characters sent is 292, which would result in sending 2 SMS texts. In most modern phones, this would display as a single text. However, if the patient were using a Nokia 3310, the above message would come through as two messages. Not an issue in the grand scheme of things, but it is essential to know that this may not display on all phones the same and, of course, will mean you being charged for 2 SMS’s rather than one (still cheaper than a Did Not Attend though).

Finishing off

  • In short, to change your Notify Campaigns SMS text, Go into the Campaign and select the Group (each Campaign can have different groups, think of these as different groups of people you are contacting). Go to Settings and update the SMS Body.

  • Based on your requirements. You can enable attributes using the [ ] or add a blanket text for all patients.

  • Keep your messages as short and informative as possible, avoid Unnecessary statements such as Not attending your appointment costs the NHS £160 as this can confuse patients.

Questions? Please let us know.


Jonathan Redsell