IN THIS ARTICLE
Introduction to using Spruce as a team
Spruce was built specifically for healthcare, and we've made it easy for healthcare teams to communicate, delegate work, and cover for one another. With Spruce you can communicate securely with teammates, route calls and messages to the right place, and use tools that will help make your team more organized and efficient. Check out the different tools to help you manage your team below.
Use assignment when you'd like to divide and conquer your "All" inbox, or to tell your teammates that you are “claiming” a patient conversation that you plan to manage. Conversation assignment lets any team member in your organization take responsibility for a conversation in just two clicks. This is the most effective way to triage incoming patient requests and give your team a clear understanding of who is working on what.
Conversations can be assigned to any teammate in your Spruce account, including yourself. Once assigned, conversations are removed from the shared Inbox filter and appear in the assignee's Assigned to Me filter. Think of assignment as moving a letter out of the main mailbox and into a specific person or team's mailbox. It can only be in one mailbox at a time! This keeps the shared inbox clear and prevents two people from working on one conversation at the same time. Please note: your Spruce account won't have a "Assigned to Me" filter unless you have at least one other teammate on your account. When you're done helping a patient, always archive the conversation, and it will automatically be un-assigned. Archiving is like putting the letter into a filing cabinet- it is no longer in any mailbox. New messages move the conversation back into a mailbox. This ensures that any future messages from that patient go to the general Inbox or back to the appropriate inbox so that the right teammate can help.
Please note, conversation assignment is only enabled by default for team practices. If are part of a team and do not see this feature enabled on your account we are happy to turn that on for you! Please contact Support through the Spruce app to request conversation assignment for your account.
Conversation assignment on the web
To assign a conversation from the web, you'll need to select the Assignment Icon (a person inside a dotted circle). You can do this two ways:
- From the list of existing conversations in your inbox: hover over a conversation, and click on the three small vertical dots that appear in the upper right-hand corner of the conversation box. Then choose Assign from the drop-down menu and choose the person you'd like to manage the conversation.
- From inside a conversation: the Assignment Icon will open be at the top right corner of the page.
Once you select the Assignment Icon, you'll see a list of all teammates in your organization. Select the assignee, and you're done. You'll see the assignee's initials or picture appear in place of the Assignment Icon.
Conversation assignment on the mobile app
To assign a conversation on the mobile app, open the conversation and select the "i" icon in the upper right-hand corner then select Assign under "Assigned to". You'll see a list of all teammates in your organization. Select the assignee, and you're done.
You can set a specific phone number or spruce link to "auto-assign" to a team member. This allows for automated sorting of new conversations. For example, if you have a direct phone number you may want all conversations with this phone number to go directly to your "Assigned to Me" filter and not into the "All" inbox. To change this setting go to Settings/Phone SMS, select the number and change the "owner" to a team or individual teammate, you will then see the option to turn on auto-assignment. If the organization is listed as the "owner" you will not see the "Auto-Assign" toggle. Spruce admin users can change all numbers or spruce links within your organization; other users will only be able to change those they are "owners" of.
Auto-assignment can also be built into phone-trees and workflows that the Spruce team creates for your organization! If you are on the Communicator plan and you are working on a phone-tree or workflow with us be sure to ask about this feature!
Teams on Spruce
Teams allow organizations to define a list of teammates that work as a sub-unit of your organization on defined tasks and inquiries. You can essentially group together multiple teammates so they can get alerted at the same time, receive calls together, and view the same inboxes. For example, you might have a front desk staff that should be receiving the same notifications.
Teammates can belong to multiple Groups and designated members of your organization can add and delete teammates from Groups. Manage your groups in your settings under "Teams." This option will appear once you add teammates to your Spruce account. Learn more about how you can alert and page members in a team here.
Certain sensitive options within your Settings on Spruce are restricted so that only designated Admins have access.
These restricted activities include:
- Inviting new teammates
- Removing teammates from your account
- Selecting a paid plan if you are a new customer
- Changing billing information
- Changing conversation filters, contact filters and personal preferences for other teammates
Who is an Admin?
The first person to join Spruce in your account is designated an Admin by default. As the Admin, you can promote other teammates to Admin status. Follow these steps to change a teammate's Admin status:
- Log in to Spruce and select the Gear Icon to open your Settings.
- Select Teammates.
- Under Teammates, select a teammate to see the option to promote or demote a teammate to and from Admin status.
Please note that only Admins can promote and demote other teammates to and from Admin status. If you need help changing who is an Admin on your account, please message our Support team through the app.
Introduction to tags
Tags help you quickly search and categorize communication on Spruce. Like chart notes, tags give you the ability to label patient or team conversations as you see fit. They can be used to identify patient populations by insurance type, allergies, chronic condition, primary provider, and more.
Tags are also important to other actions you might take in Spruce. For example, tags might indicate which conversations trigger an Automated Workflow; they might help identify which conversations should show up in a particular inbox Filter; and they can be used to sort your conversations to send out a bulk message to the right recipients.
Tags are only visible to you and your colleagues, not patients. Anyone on your team has the ability to add or remove tags.
There are two types of tags on Spruce, Contact and Conversation tags. This means that you can add tags to a specific patient conversation that won't automatically get applied to this patient's contact, in your contact book. You can also add tags to the specific patient contact and these tags will not get added to conversations generated for this patient.
To add a tag to a patient contact:
- Go to your contact book and select a contact.
- Select "Add Contact Tags" under "Details" or under "Contact Tags" on web.
- Select the tag or type in a new word to add a new tag.
- Select "Save" or exit the screen if you're on web.
To add a tag to a patient conversation:
- Select any patient conversation.
- Select the "i" icon in the upper right hand corner.
- Scroll down to conversation tags.
- Enter in the tag you'd like and select "Save."
Through Spruce you can manage who on your team is able to view specific patient conversations for additional privacy.You can do this through Spruce Link and Phone Number Membership. By default, everyone on your team is a member of all conversations.
Spruce Link Membership
One way of doing this is through the use of Spruce Links. Spruce links are unique URL links that you can send to patients so that they can download the Spruce app and connect with your practice. You can also use them to start new secure app-to-app conversations with patients. You cannot use them to initiate standard SMS text messages with patients.
You are able to manage which teammates are members of any specific Spruce link. Those who are members can initiate secure conversations from these links and view any incoming correspondence. If someone is not a member then they will not be able to see any communication to and from that link or initiate conversations from this link. You can change who has access to a particular link at any time within your Spruce account. Please note: changing the membership settings on the Spruce Link will update that across all conversations using that link. There's no limit to the number of Spruce Links you can have, so each teammate or Team is able to have their own Spruce Link. For example, if you have a front desk staff who should all use the same link to communicate with patients, you can create a new link specifically for them.
To start, you'll want to create Spruce Links. To create a Spruce link:
- Visit "Secure Messaging" in your settings
- Select "Create New Spruce Links.
- Choose the owner under "Owner." This person will be able to initiate conversations from this link and see all incoming communication.
- To add additional members, add teammates under "Additional Internal Members." Only these folks will be able to use this Spruce link.
- Select Save once you're done.
To initiate a new conversation using this link:
- Start a new secure conversation.
- Choose the patient in the "To field."
- Then select the Spruce link you'd like the message to come from under the "from" field. Your patient should see a new conversation appear on their end, in the app.
Here is a quick video on how this will look in your Spruce account.
Phone Number Membership
If you have multiple phone numbers on your account, you can determine who is the owner of a specific phone number. If someone is an owner, this means that they will be able to see all communication related to this phone number. They'll be able to initiate phone calls and text messages from this phone number and will see any incoming calls, voicemails, and text messages to this phone number. Non-owners or non-members will not have access to correspondence regarding this phone number. They will not be able to see incoming call, voicemails, or text messages to this number.
To define the owner of a specific phone number:
- Visit your settings.
- Select Phone and SMS.
- Click into any of your Spruce Numbers.
- Choose the owner under "Owned By" on mobile or "Owner" on web. Please note that you will need to select "Edit" on web before you can change or choose an owner.
The owner can be an individual or a "Team" that you created within Spruce. If you choose a Team, then all members of that team will have access to the phone number. Read more about Teams here.
You can also add additional members to any phone number, similar to how you can add additional members to Spruce Links. Learn more about managing ownership and membership regarding your phone numbers here.
Sharing contact filters
Spruce enables you to save a HIPAA compliant professional contact list within the Spruce app that is separate from your personal contact list but still accessible from your cell phone. A new contact could be created in Spruce in a few ways:
- A person calls or texts your Spruce number (and their phone number didn't already exist in your Spruce contact list).
- You manually selected to create a new contact.
- A person selected your Spruce Link and created a secure Spruce account (and they didn't have an existing contact in Spruce).
Once a contact is created, you can use filters to organize all contacts on your account. Please watch our 4-minute video on Contact and Conversation Filters Here, and please read more about .