As part of a contactless reception process patients will need to complete a medical history before coming to the practice. Online medical histories allow patients to complete their medical history themselves via a unique, one-time link.

You can quickly send the link to the patient as shown below or automatically include it in your existing appointment reminders or any other correspondence template.

Go to Medical > New Medical History > select Send via SMS.

Dentally New Medical History via SMS

Links can be sent manually by SMS using the option in the patient's Medical tab in their records, or the practice can use the new [patient_medical_link] data tag in any correspondence template and this will automatically include the link in any SMS or Email correspondence that they send out, specific to that patient.

Create your own Medical History SMS or Email Template

If you want to create your own SMS or email you can do this under Settings > Templates.

  • Add the phrase you wish to show on your SMS or email and add the data tag [patient_medical_link] to the template you are already using.
  • REMEMBER that each SMS message is 160 characters in length. If you exceed the 160 characters, you will be charged for 2 SMS messages. Keep your text short.
  • Save your new template.

If you decide to send it as a manual SMS with a link from the patient's correspondence, we have added a template for each practice. The new template is called Medical History Link.

Dentally Medical History SMS Template

Remember to check the length of your SMS message.

Example Template:

At [practice_name] we are minimising physical interaction as much as possible for your safety. Please fill out your medical history securely using this link prior to coming to your appointment.


N.B. Remember that SMS messages need to be 152 characters or fewer. If they are over 152 characters you will be charged for multiple SMS messages.

You can also use this wording in your automatic appointment reminder messages. To do this:

Settings > Practice Settings > Patient Communication Tab

You need to enable SMS Reminders and / or SMS Confirmation, set the days in advance and paste in the wording you want to use - or simply add the data tag to your existing message.

By default the Medical History link is pre-populated with a patient's previous medical history details. This prevents them from having to type in all their data all over again.

The link that is sent is entirely secure and personal to each patient.

However, if you wish to send a blank medical history form to each patient, via the SMS and Email link, you can do that from this setting.

  • Go to Settings > Practice > Other
  • Scroll down to the Portal Setting.
  • By default this setting is turned off, which means that by default patients are sent a blank medical history for completion.
  • If you wish to set it on, check the box and Save.
Dentally Medical History Link Settings

What the patient sees

  • When the patient clicks on the Medical History link, they will see a page that looks like this.
Dentally Medical History online start screen
  • The patient scrolls down and answers all the questions, until they reach the end of the questionnaire.
  • If the patient answers Yes, an additional box opens for them to give more details.
  • A patient's previously answered questions will display and only additional questions will need to be answered or changes made.

Dentally Medical History via SMS confirm questions answers
  • The patient checks the tick box to say they have provided correct information.
  • They tap Save.
Dentally Medical History via SMS confirmation updated
  • They then get a notification message to say that their medical history has been updated.
  • The Medical History will be automatically updated in the patient's record in Dentally, and will show as being completed by the patient.

The medical history that is used is pulled straight from the dental practice's medical history questions that you have already set up and use within Dentally.

The link is a single use, so as soon as the patient taps on the link and completes the medical history the link becomes invalid. The patient cannot use it more than once.

24 Hours

A patient can only update their medical history once every 24 hours, so if a patient has been sent two links or the practice has already updated the medical history then the patient will see this message:

Dentally Medical History is up to date

You may also be interested in looking at other tools to run a Contactless reception:

Patient Self Checkin process

Patient Payment links

Did this answer your question?