Communicating With Families on Spruce
Spruce conversations are linked to phone numbers
Spruce conversations are organized and identified by phone number. For many patients, a phone number is used by only one person, and is therefore a unique identifier. For our practices who work with families, however, we understand it is common for parents/guardians, spouses/partners, and minor children to share a phone number.
When family members share a phone number
When two or more family members use the same phone number, we recommend that you maintain just one standard conversation that tracks all SMS text messages and phone calls that are exchanged with that phone number, regardless of which family member is the subject of a certain message.
The reason for this recommendation is to prevent duplication. For example, if you were to create two separate patient conversations for a mother and daughter who both used the same phone number, every time you received a text message from that phone number, it would appear in both conversations you, causing you to have to resolve two messages in two conversations every time.
By keeping only one family conversation associated with the phone number, you can still decipher who is the subject of each message based on context, but you won't have to manage duplicated messages across multiple conversations.
Keeping just one conversation also serves as a reminder that multiple people use a certain phone number, and therefore private information about one person may be better communicated in another way (e.g., a secure message or phone call). You may also choose to add a tag to all known family conversations, such as family, as an additional reminder.
When you have a family conversation in Spruce, there are a few steps you should take to properly sync your integrations with Hint and Elation.
To sync this setup with a Hint integration, the shared family conversation should be linked to only one Hint account (e.g., a guardian).
To sync this setup with an Elation integration, the shared family conversation should be linked to the Elation accounts of each family member participating in the conversation. Automatic sync should NOT be used in this case. Instead, use Selective sync so that you can choose specific messages to be synced to the appropriate Elation chart for a certain family member.