Automated Recalls

How to set up and manage Automated Recalls, Recall Workflows and how to contact missed Recalls

Shelley Withington avatar
Written by Shelley Withington
Updated over a week ago


Automated Recalls take away the pain of having to run recall reports weekly, and then manually select patients to send them correspondence.

Automated Recalls use the Recall Report generated and updated each Monday.

When Recalls are sent

A recall is created, and a message automatically sent if

  • you have automation turned on,

  • the patient has a recall due date set, and

  • the patient does not already have an appointment booked that is ticked as an 'Exam' type appointment. This includes Exam, Scale and Polish, or Exam, Scale and Polish.

🗒️ Please Note: Patients that have booked their upcoming recall ahead of time, will still have a recall created within Dentally however, these patients will move straight to the Booked status. This is so you can report on your total number of recalls in any given time period, even those already booked in your diary.

The Automated Recalls Workflow looks at the day of the recall and sends out the recall on the appropriate day of the week - eg if the recall is due 4 weeks on Wednesday, the recall is sent out on Wednesday 4 weeks in advance.

If the surgery is closed on that day, the automated recalls will be sent out the following working day.

Recalls go out during opening hours - plus one hour in the morning and minus 1 hour in the evening e.g. if a surgery is open 9-7 recalls are sent out between 10 and 6. This aims to prevent your Reception being overwhelmed with calls during these times.

Automated Recalls looks back 1 week only. It does NOT look for recalls in the past. When you first set up your automated recalls you need to wait 1 week for the automation to begin. For that week, run your recalls manually, as normal.


Inform Dentally that you would like to have Automated Recalls, and we will turn your Automated Recalls on.

You must have Dentally mail enabled if you want to send letters using automated recalls.

You must also have patient Dentist Recall interval and Hygienist Recall interval set in the Patient's Details tab.


  • Go to Settings > Practice Settings > Recalls tab.

  • Set Recalls enabled to Yes

  • Set up the Recall period in Settings > Practice Settings > Recalls> Run recalls

  • Enable Recall Automation and select the days of the week you wish recalls to be sent out.

  • Save the automation options.

Dentally Recalls settings in Practice Settings

Set up Automated Recall Workflow

  • Remember that your recalls are created a number of weeks before a patient's recall due date. This comes from Recall settings in Practice Settings.

  • Go to the Recalls Report

  • Top Right select Workflows

  • Build your workflow

  • Click on New workflow

  • From the screen now select the criteria for this workflow

  • Select a Name for the Workflow

  • Select your Recall Type

  • Select your Payment Plan

  • Select your Practitioner

  • Set the first stage. Click on New Stage

  • Set the interval - this is the amount of time between the generation of the Recall report and this first action. If you want the recalls to be sent out on the day the recalls are generated, select “Same day as last action”. If you want recalls to be sent one week after the report is generated, select "1 week since last action".

  • To use the patient’s recall preference, set this to Yes. If you want to force the Recall to go via SMS or email, set this to NO

  • Under 1st Template, select both the type of communication, and the relevant template.

  • If this is all you wish to do on this stage of the automated recall, click Save.

  • You will now see the criteria for this first stage of the process. In this instance it reads, “on the same day as the Recalls report is run, look for the patient’s preferred contact method. If it is email, send the recall using the email template called “Email Recall - First Default Template”

  • As you create the stage it will show the number of patients affected by this stage to be 0. This number will automatically update once the workflow is set to Active.

  • To add another stage click New Stage

  • Keep adding stages until you are satisfied with them, remembering to Save your workflow at the end of each stage.

  • If you view the workflow, it will show you the number of patients at each stage

Activate your workflow

  • All Workflows are initially set to be inactive. When you are ready, set your workflow to active

  • N.B. Check that you have the expected number of recalls BEFORE you set your workflow to active

  • To do this, go to the workflow, and at the right-hand side, click on Edit

  • Set Active to Yes and Save.

  • Your new workflow will show in the Workflows screen

  • You can filter your workflows to show you the Active and Inactive workflows.

Re-ordering Workflows

N.B. the order of workflows is important.

Workflows will run in sequence from 1 to the end.

  • If you want to reorder the workflow, select it using the 3 dots at the very left of the workflow and drag and drop it into the position you require.

An Example

In this example, the workflow is set to Active. The recall was first created 5 weeks before a patients recall due date.

There are 2 stages to this workflow.

Stage 1 which affects 141 patients, is to send either an email or a letter, using appropriate templates.

Stage 2, will begin 4 weeks after stage 1 and will send either an email, a SMS text or a letter. There are currently 0 patients in this workflow because 4 weeks have not yet elapsed from the date stage 1 began.

automation dentally

Run the Recalls

To Run automated recalls, set the workflow to Active.

On a Monday, when the recalls are generated, in the background, the automated recalls process is added to, based on the Recall Date (or Recall Interval) set in the Patient's Details and the Recall Settings interval set in Patient Settings.

Things to check to see if your Recalls are working

  • Check it is set to Active

  • Check that it is more than 1 week since you set it to be active

  • Check that your workflow is telling you how many patients it will affect and that it is more than zero.


As the Recalls are working, flags will appear to the right of a patient’s name in the Recalls Report.

If you cannot see any flags on your Recalls Report, the automated workflow has not yet begun.

Yellow Flag - means the Workflow is all setup and is waiting for the right day to begin sending Recall correspondence.

Green Flag - means that the workflow is working, it is going through the steps and awaiting outcomes before moving to the next stage. You can see in this image that patients have had 1 piece of correspondence - either an email, or a letter - or have received no reminders yet. The flag will remain green while the workflow is in operation.

Chequered Flag - means the workflow has completed all the steps that it can.

Red Flag - means that the workflow has stopped. It has been through all of the stages but an appointment has still not been booked or confirmed.

Status of appointment

recalls selection status

You select the status for the filter on the left-hand side.

A recall can have a flag AND a status.

In the example below, the status of Missed means that this patient has missed their recall for this workflow period.

The orange Unbooked status with a green flag means that these patients have yet to book their recall appointment, but that the workflow is still working, they have been contacted once, by a variety of means, and are still in the workflow.

The blue Booked status means that an appointment has been booked. The flag is still green because the appointment has not yet been completed.

The green Completed status means that the workflow has completed, and a recall appointment has been successfully attended, and treatment completed.

automated recalls status

Contacting Missed Recalls

You can always still contact patients manually using the Recalls report. To select those with a status of "Missed", set this to your Recalls Report filter. Click in the small blue box to the left of the patient's name. This will bring up the correspondence options.

Select the method of correspondence and template you wish to use and send.

skip delete recalls

If you wish to delete or skip a recall find these options on the More button.

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