If you need to cancel any appointments as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you can set up an automated appointment communication that will be sent to clients when their appointments are cancelled. 

Before you get started, this method of sending an automated message to a client relies on the change of an appointment status within the appointment screen.  You might also want to set up a specific status to allow you to easily identify the cancellations that result from the current situation, which you can do by following the steps here.  You can then also use a status change to that particular status to send your clients an automated message: 

To set up an automatic cancellation message:

Head to Main Menu -> Settings -> Scheduling -> Appointment Communication

Click on New Trigger at the bottom of the screen.

Choose your delivery type, either SMS or Email

If you want to set up both an SMS and an email message, just follow the steps below for one delivery type, then repeat with the other!

If you need to set up a new message template to use, click on the Manage Templates link and follow the steps to add a new template. Otherwise, select the template you'd like to use from the dropdown

If you're adding a new template to use, you might like to advise your clients why their appointment is cancelled and what your contingency plans are or if you are hoping to start holding video consultations in the interim period. You'll need to include the variables ##DATE## and ##TIME## to capture the cancelled appointment details, as shown in the example email template below:

Once you've chosen or created your message template, you can finalise your message trigger.

Within Message:
Delivery method - Email or SMS
Message template - The message you want to send

Within Trigger:
Event - Status Change
Change status to - Identify which status indicates an appointment you have cancelled due to COVID-19.

This shows an example of a message to be sent via email, when an appointment status is changed to Cancelled - COVID-19

Once you're happy with the setup, click Save and the new communication trigger will be added to your list.

Once this is set up, when you change the status of an appointment to your COVID-19 cancellation status, the information you added to the template regarding the cancellation will be sent to patients opted in via either the SMS or email channels.
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