Outbound Patient Messaging Functions

Staff will be able to use Outbound Patient Messaging to;


  • Search for a patient in the Engage client to send a message to,
  • Attach questionnaires to messages for patients to complete.  For patients with long term conditions requiring annual reviews a coded IMH questionnaire could be sent to the patient to complete prior to their face to face review.  This would reduce the amount of time a patient is required to be seen in practice for their review and provide the clinician with valuable information prior to the assessment.
  • Invite patients to add photo(s) or documents to an existing Engage Message
  • Clinical codes embedded within the questionnaires will be added to the patient's medical records when the questionnaire is added to the journal entry.


How to Send an Outbound Patient Message

Sending an Outbound Patient Message is simple.  You can message patients using one of three media:


  1. Engage Message
  2. Email
  3. SMS


The first step is the same whichever media you use.  You need to select a patient to send the message to:


When you’re logged in to the Engage client, select 'Outbound messages'. Then select 'Create message'



You can now either; 


  • Send to the current patient loaded in your clinical system.
  • Enter a patient's details and find that patient. 
  • Use Bulk SMS messaging to send to a group of patients.



When a patient is loaded you can choose how you want to send the message to the patient, by Engage Message, email, or SMS.  Note: If you want to send a questionnaire to a patient you must use Engage Messaging. Also if you're using the Bulk Messaging feature this can only be via SMS, for full details on bulk messaging, see our support article here


Sending by Engage Message

If you select to send an Outbound Patient Message using Engage Messaging, the message is sent and the patient is notified they have a message.  Within the notification is a link to the Engage Message.  You can choose whether the notification is sent to the patient using email or SMS.


When you send an Outbound Patient Message using Engage Messaging the patient doesn’t have to have an account setup at the point you send the message.  


  • If your system only allows account holders then either the patient can login using their existing account or they’ll need to create an account and then they’ll be shown the message you’ve sent to them.
  • If your system allows guest access then patients don’t need to create an account to retrieve a message you’ve sent to them.


To send the message to the patient:


  1. Select Engage Message.
  2. Select the notification medium, either email or SMS.
  3. Type in the message you want the patient to receive.
  4. Select any questionnaires you want to send to the patient (you don’t have to send a questionnaire).
  5. Select to remind the patient to respond if you want automated reminders.
  6. Add any attachments you want to send to the patient (you don’t have to send attachments).
  7. Select Send


Engage Consult will send a standard notification message to the patient advising them they have a new message from your organisation.  In that message will be a link to the Outbound Patient Message (what you typed in step 3 above) which they click on to retrieve.  When the patient’s accessed the message there’s a Complete Questionnaire button which they click on to answer the questionnaire to send back to you.


Sending by Email or SMS


If you select to send an Outbound Patient Message using Email or SMS, the message is sent directly to the email address or phone number you use.  Note: You can’t add questionnaires to messages sent by email or SMS.


To send the message to the patient:


  1. Select Email or SMS.
  2. Confirm the email address or mobile number is correct, and change it if it isn’t.
  3. Type in the message you want the patient to receive.
  4. Select to remind the patient to respond if you want automated reminders.
  5. Add any attachments you want to send to the patient (you don’t have to send attachments).
  6. Select Send and Engage Consult will send the message to the patient.


Checking Outbound Patient Messages

If you want to check on the status of a message, when you’re logged in to the Engage client, select Outbound Patient Messages from the menu.  From here you can check:


  • Who the message was sent to
  • The email address or phone number it was delivered to
  • When the message was sent
  • How it was delivered
  • Whether it’s been delivered, or if delivery failed
  • If any reminders have been sent, and if so, when they were sent
  • If a questionnaire was attached and if a response has been received
  • The message content including a list of questionnaires and attachments which were sent


You can also send a manual reminder to the patient, and if the message has been sent by Engage Message you can cancel the message.


Monitoring Outbound Patient Messages

If an Outbound Patient Message hasn’t been responded to by the patient within a set period of time the system can generate an automatic reminder which is sent to the patient.  This check takes place daily and searches all active (not archived) messages that have not been responded to in the previous;


  • 2 weeks,
  • 1 month,
  • 2 months from the date the message was sent.


Practice staff can generate a manual reminder, this facility is useful for individual messages sent by practice staff who have sent information to a patient or carer that is pertinent to treatment or diagnosis and requires a quick response.  For example a GP may send a message to a patient requesting completion of a supplementary questionnaire in order to determine or exclude other conditions.


Staff can see a list of messages which have been sent to patients.  They can see what the message was that was sent to the patient, if any questionnaires or attachments were sent, and (where appropriate) if the message has been replied to.  This view also includes helpful information like the phone number or email address the message was sent to, when it was sent, etc…   Once staff don’t need to check a message it can be archived and then retrieved only if someone needs to check it.