Frequently asked questions
How it works
Can patients reply to the message?
We don't currently support this as it can significantly increase workload in the practice. There are certain cases where replies may be helpful, and we will suport these in the future.
Can I send emails using Chain SMS?
Not currently, but we would like to offer this in the future.
Can I send batch messages?
Not currently, but we would like to offer this in the future!
Is there an audit trail?
Everything sent is saved to the patient's EMIS record, and coded appropriately.
How does it work?
accuRx Chain SMS is a small toolbar that floats above EMIS. It pulls the patient information into the software when you click on the message icon and checks if the patient has any consent codes. You can then write your message, and have the option to use a template and/or include a link to NHS Choices. Once sent you then click save and it all saves to the medical record!
Can I create my own templates?
Yes but this is one of our additional features that you have to unlock. See www.accurx.com/sms-features for more information.
Do you provide delivery receipts?
Yes we do! For each text your practice sends you can check if it has delivered to a patient's phone.
How much does it cost?
Chain SMS is completely free, and there will always be a free version. We are building more features and products that we will charge for in the future. We’re also working with NHS Digital to ensure that our future solutions can be paid for centrally, not by practices.
What are you working on?
Upcoming features for Chain SMS include batch messaging, message history and two-way messaging.
How can I suggest new features?
We're always keen to hear what our users want! Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
How do I get support?
You can use the chat on our website (bottom right corner), call us on 0207 099 2279 or email email@example.com. We've also got some useful support articles at support.accurx.com
How do I know the patient has read the message?
There's no guarantee that a patient has read your message (just like an email or letter), so we advise users to only send non critical information using SMS. Plenty of clinicians send information during the consultation.
How do you deal with consent?
We display all SMS consent codes found in the medical record, so the user is informed of whether or not the patient has consented to this type of communication.
How can we audit this in the practice?
We provide you with an EMIS report that will show you the sent messages.
How does GDPR affect this service?
The Information Governance Alliance has published clear guidance on the legal basis for data processing under GDPR, as a publically-funded healthcare provider:
Who is the Data Controller and who is the Data Processor?
By using this service, you (the GP practice) retain your responsibilites as Data Controller. We act as the Data Processor, according to our Data Processing Agreement.
Where is the data stored?
All data that we handle is either processed and stored on your local computer, in your EMIS medical records, on our servers or temporarily on the SMS gateway. Our servers are in the Microsoft Azure London Data Centre and meet NHS Digital guidelines on the usage of cloud-based services (https://www.digital.nhs.uk/article/8499/NHS-and-social-care-data-off-shoring-and-the-use-of-public-cloud-services-guidance). All data is encrypted at rest using TDE.
What IG assurances do you have in place?
We have IG Toolkit Level 2 assurance. You can find our assessment under NHS ODS code 8JT17. We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office under the Data Protection Act, certificate number ZA202115.
How do I install for others at my practice?
Follow the steps at www.accurx.com/enterprise-install
Can I use it with existing text messaging systems?
Yes, some of the practices using Chain SMS also use MJog or iPlato.
Do you support Vision or SystmOne?
Currently we only integrate with EMIS Web. Please let us know if you want us to support another system, to help us understand demand. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
What do people use it for?
Some examples include:
Who is Chain SMS for?
Anyone in the practice can use Chain SMS! Our users include practice managers, GPs, admin and reception staff.
Where did Chain SMS come from?
Initially we developed the ability for clinicians to send advice to patients as part of another product. They loved the advice part so much that we added extra templates that made it useful for anyone in general practice.