What's New on Spruce
- Message Deletion, Removal, and Restoration: Users may now delete or remove messages from a conversation, depending on the type of message, and restore them as desired. This may be done via the web interface as well as on Android and iOS applications. Deleted message(s) will be removed from both the sender’s view and the recipient’s view, and is only possible with secure messages. Removed message(s) will only be removed from the sender’s view. Restored message(s) will return to the original conversation thread. Any message that has been deleted or removed by a user can be restored either by the sender of that message or by an admin user. You can read more about this feature here. If you do not see the option to access this feature in your account, please update your current version of Spruce!
- Search Improvements: Search Improvements: We have made improvements to the search capabilities on Spruce that now enable you to search contacts by date of birth and by custom field values. You can read more about search on Spruce here.
- New Yealink Desk Phones: We have new devices that the Spruce phone system is compatible with! Introducing the Yealink T31G and the Yealink T53W. The Yealink T31G is cost-efficient and great for any practice that needs basic but reliable performance. The Yealink T53W offers built-in bluetooth and WiFi and is compatible with any bluetooth-enabled headset!
- Trusted Calling and Texting: The telecom industry now requires a thorough set of business registrations for organizations that use apps to call or text. We’ve been rapidly making enhancements to Spruce so that we can handle these registrations seamlessly on your behalf, ensuring that your SMS texts will always get through and your patients will never see “Spam Risk” when you call.
- Spruce API Improvements: The Spruce API can now pull all organization conversations (calls, messages, etc.), enabling your practice to have conversation data in Spruce automatically sync with any other tool you’ve connected Spruce to via the Spruce API. Learn more about integrating with the Spruce API.
- Spruce API: we've added more functionality to the Spruce Public API, highlighted by a message post API. This new API will allow you to have events in other systems automatically trigger messages that get sent through Spruce. This could be used for things like: appointment reminders, check in messages, new patient welcome information and more.
- Introducing Spruce Dark Mode, a highly anticipated feature designed to soothe tired eyes and spare the battery life on your mobile and tablet devices. While dark mode employs darker colors to both reduce strain and extend device usage, it is also ideal for low-light environments. In your settings, under personal preferences, you may choose to follow the appearance of your device, you may enable dark mode so that it is always on, or you may disable dark mode so that it is always off. Currently, dark mode is only available on the Web version of Spruce but it will be coming to the mobile applications with the next app release.
- Holiday & One-time Exceptions in Practice Hours (Schedules): This exciting new feature delivers support for adding holidays and one-time exceptions to your practice hours and may be added up to one year in advance. You can read more here or watch this video to learn more.
- Add Holidays to your schedule: Specify a list of holidays for which your organization will be closed or operating in a different way than it normally operates. Once you've created a holiday schedule, you can then specify which phone trees / auto-replies are active during that period.
- Add one-time exceptions: One-time exceptions can be specified to span multiple days and schedule periods. Each one-time exception has its own configurable phone tree and auto reply settings. A good example of a one-time exception may be an off-site retreat or an office renovation. Once the event occurs, that exception will be removed from the schedule.
- Schedules: In exciting news, if you're a Spruce Communicator subscriber you can now create and manage your own schedule from your Spruce settings. Notably, manage auto-replies and/or phone trees on a schedule so that they will automatically toggle to a different behavior at a designated time. For instance, the most common use for this applies when setting up your clinic hours. To create a schedule, simply navigate to the "Schedules" section in your Spruce settings on the web and click "New Schedule". Once you label your schedule, choose your timezone, and enter your business hours, then click "Save Schedule". You do not need to create two schedules to have a business hours period and an after hours period. You only need one schedule for business hours, where you define what your hours of operation are, and everything outside of those hours will be considered "After Hours”. Learn more here.
- Bulk Messaging: Spruce has just released a NEW bulk messages tab available to all users on the web. From this tab users will be able to view queued, in-progress, completed, and paused bulk sends as well as be able to cancel bulk message runs.This is exciting for several reasons, notably for the ability to bulk email in addition to bulk sms and secure message. But additionally, for the ability to schedule a bulk message in the future. In this case, the bulk message will be scheduled to be delivered to a particular contact list, and a user can continue to add contacts to the contact list until the message deploys.Easily pause, resume, or cancel a bulk message run. And, for secure bulk message deployments, users can send a secure message to ANY available secure conversation regardless of Spruce Link. This will be helpful to practices that want a single active secure thread with patients and would like all messages to be delivered in this single thread. Read more about it here.
- Scheduled Messaging: Spruce is thrilled to introduce a new web-based Scheduled Messages tab that enables users to view/manage scheduled messages that have been created but not yet deployed. As a Spruce admin, you'll see scheduled messages that have been created by everyone on your team. If you are not an admin, you’ll see your own scheduled messages and can edit the content or delete the message at any time. The Scheduled Messages tab lives just above the new Bulk Messages tab and is very intuitive to set up, mimicking the workflow of most calendaring systems. Just create your content, choose a date and time, and set it to deploy. Scheduled messages can be used in both patient and team conversations. Give it a try to see how easy it is to use and how much time you’ll save each day!
- Admin Privileges:
- Admins can view scheduled messages created by any teammate- Admins can not edit scheduled messages created by other teammates- Admins can delete scheduled messages created by any teammate
- Non-Admin Privileges:
- Non-admins can only view scheduled messages that they- Non-admins can only delete scheduled messages that they created- Non-admins can only edit scheduled messages that they created
- Merge Multiple Contacts: Spruce now supports merging contacts and setting custom names for phones/emails that are shared across multiple contacts. This feature will let you merge duplicate contacts that represent the same person, or give a name to groups of contacts who share contact information but are different people, such as the members of one family.
- Audio Messages: Spruce now supports sending audio messages in conversations on web, iOS, and Android.
- Spruce API: The Spruce API is now in public beta—ask us if you're interested in testing it out!
- Push Notifications on Web: Push notifications are now available on your desktop and mirror the notification setup on iOS and Android.
- Product Enhancements:
- You can now edit Scheduled Messages with ease—there is no need to cancel the original message or delete it and begin again.
- Users can manage phone tree & voicemail prompts from ‘Greetings & Prompts’, under ‘Phone & SMS’ in Settings—on iOS, Android and web!
- The contact export function has been modified to ensure that it works well for contact lists of any length and with any number of custom fields.
- Users can now bulk delete many contacts at once.
- Users can now record voicemail greetings on the web.
- Self-Serve Phone Tree Greetings & Prompts: Now you can upload greetings and prompts for your phone tree without having to file a support ticket with Spruce. Phone trees are available for users on Spruce's Communicator plan. You can upgrade under Billing—>Settings on the web, or message Team Spruce to learn what else is included in the Communicator plan. Record your audio files for each of your phone tree extensions, then upload all the recordings that you have created. Easily create announcements for holidays, important new information, and other notable items. Recordings are saved for simple reusability, and you can always navigate back to the Greetings & Prompts section to change any audio file.
- Secure Clinic-to-Clinic Communication: Spruce enables you to securely message other clinics that also use the Spruce platform. This can be useful for care coordination, securely sending patient records, patient referrals, and collaborating with colleagues who are not part of your organization. When you securely message another clinic on Spruce, the conversation appears in your inbox just as any other conversation would. Learn more about secure clinic-to-clinic chat on Spruce.
- New Team Management and Admin Tools: Admins can now configure their teammates settings! Spruce enables any administrator to help get their teammates set up for success by configuring their settings and views for them. Read more about each of these settings.
- Tag Management: We’ve made it easier than ever to manage your tags. Just go to Settings > Clinic Preferences > Contact/Conversation Tags. You may also delete tags that you no longer use.
- View all your contacts on the web: You can now scroll to view your entire list of contacts on the web. This is an improvement from a previous limitation of only being able to view 500 contacts in a list.
- Scroll through all your conversations in the inbox: Scroll to your heart’s content. It is now simple to see all of your conversations in your inbox. Historically this view was capped at 100 but providers may now keep scrolling until the end of the inbox. And don’t forget, it’s also easy to sort by unread or newest to oldest messages.
- Bulk Import/Export Contacts: We’ve made it simple to bulk import or export a CSV list of contacts to/from your Spruce account on the web. Just navigate to the Contacts tab and select "Import Contacts". You can leverage a downloadable template with the required headers for ease of use. You may easily auto-apply a tag to all these new contacts by selecting an existing tag or creating a new tag. Export is just as simple. Learn more.
- Select the Number You’d Like to Call From (Android and iOS): This is a very useful tool for practices with multiple phone numbers. When you call a patient, Spruce will now provide the option to dial out using your default phone number for the practice or your direct line. Leverage the number that your patients will be more inclined to recognize and answer, or maintain discretion and go with the main phone number to the clinic.
- Quickly Identify the Spruce Number Associated with a Conversation (iOS): When a user composes a message to a patient, the phone number that the message will be deployed from will populate beneath the compose bar. This is a helpful feature for multi-provider practices or practices with multiple phone numbers so that they know exactly which phone number (and ultimately, teammate) the text will be sent from.
- Conversation and Contact Filter Improvements (Web): Providers may now create a filter to exclude a set of conversation tags or create a filter to include any of a certain set of tags, or all tags specified. This makes connecting with specific groups of patients far easier and eliminates a fair amount of manual work. This video shows how to use tag filter rules to show exactly the conversations you're looking for in your inbox
- Date/time added to message bubbles to make it easier to access the timestamp on any message.
- Presets introduced to Scheduled Messages that include quick actions like "Tomorrow @ 9am" and a fast default to the "usual" time selected.
- Greater web app font legibility on Windows and Chromebooks.
- Improved account signup and login for patients and providers (we now prompt you to select login vs create account for expedited entry).
- We launched a brand new version of the platform, Spruce 4.0. Read more here.
- Free-text Search: We have improved our search capabilities! Now you can search your Spruce inbox by entering any text, patient demographics, contact information, and more into the search bar. All the details are in our article on searching your Spruce inbox.
- Workflow Automation: You can now build automated workflows that use when/if/then logic to accomplish more work with less effort in Spruce. Find details and examples in our Workflow Automation article.
- Spruce Buttons: As part of Workflow Automation, Spruce Buttons allow you to give patients structured options within messages, each of which can trigger its own Workflow.
- Spruce Backup System: To be the most dependable communications platform possible, Spruce has implemented a Backup System that will keep you informed of patient communication in the event an unforeseen incident that affects access to Spruce.
- View fax number in iOS app: You can now view your Spruce Fax Number in the iOS app. We have also made some key bug fixes that helps ensure that the app works seamlessly for new users.
- Database Isolation: In an effort to improve the overall stability of the platform, we have separated database servers for each of the components that make up the Spruce platform. This will help ensure that the entire platform does not become unavailable if the database server is having an issue, like it did during the incident on Jan 14 2018. It will also help us scale the database for each component independent of the others, as well as scale the platform over time.
- Password complexity enforcements: Teams on Spruce can now configure their accounts to enforce password requirements for their providers like minimum password length, password rotation and manage password re-use. Note that this feature is for enterprise accounts only.
- Dashboards: Wondering what your busiest hour of the day is? Or what your call answer rate is? Or who in your team is answering calls and responding to messages? Spruce can now deliver daily dashboards to your email to help with staffing decisions and practice operations. Of note, this is not available for all users today - we hope to offer this in the future but it is still in Beta testing.
- Conversation assignment for all new accounts: New accounts are now automatically configured to use Conversation Assignment, with new default Inbox Filters.
- Faster turnaround on Spruce Desk phones: Since launching Spruce desk phones in January 2018, we have been overwhelmed by the demand! Within one year these desk phones are powering practices and call centers across America. This change brings a much needed upgrade to our internal tooling so that we can get you your phones faster and more efficiently
- Service operations improvements: We upgraded our infrastructure to utilize more advanced capabilities of our cloud provider to automate handling of system faults before they interfere with service stability.
- Phone Number Blocking: Tired of spam calls? You can now easily block phone numbers from the Patient Profile across web, Android and iOS! Learn more.
- Drag and drop attachments on web: If you frequently fax documents or send attachments to patients from the web, you can now save valuable clicks by dragging a file from anywhere on your computer and dropping it into the compose bar on Spruce to attach it.
- Compose bar updates: Your patients communicate in multiple ways all day long, so meet them where they are. The updated compose bar gives you options so you can choose the channel you want with each new message. The compose bar also calls out the exact destination of where each message will be delivered.
- Improved saved messages: A brand new addition to your Settings page lets you create new Saved Messages and manage your existing ones more easily than ever. And when you’re ready to use them, just type “.” to pop open a Saved Messages menu for faster composing. Learn more
- Conversation assignment on iOS: Divide and conquer your inbox, or tell your team that you are “claiming” a conversation that you plan to manage. Conversation Assignment lets any team member or User Group in your organization take responsibility for a conversation in just two clicks. Learn more.
- Inbox stability improvements: We've been hard at work making the Spruce inbox work better for you behind the scenes. For the most of you, things should continue to work as they did, except bulk actions are now quicker, and conversations show up in and leave your inbox faster and more reliably.
- Manage your team and user groups on the web: Manage Team is a new Settings page where you can view all the teammates on your account, invite new teammates, and view all the User Groups in your organization. Administrators can also go here to create new User Groups and move teammates between them. Learn more
- Improved handling of network connectivity issues on web: Did the web app intermittently refresh for you or get stuck with a constant loading indicator from time to time? We've worked hard to ensure that the web application better handles temporary blips in your internet connection or other connectivity issues in communicating with our server in the cloud. The refreshes should be greatly reduced now.
- Infrastructure improvements: We have made significant changes to our infrastructure only to better serve you. You should notice no changes to the platform, but the changes were introduced to make our lives easier to build product for the future. For those of you interested, with these changes come reduced operational complexity in running our platform, automated recovery for our internal components, and improved coordination between all the components that run in orchestration to power the Spruce platform.
- Quicker voicemail/phone tree prompts: We have made improvements to how we service the voicemail and phone tree recording prompts such that they load significantly faster for the caller! This means a snappier experience for any caller to a phone number that has a phone tree on Spruce or when a call ends on a voicemail prompt.
- Better handling of duplicates in Hint: Previously, if you already had a patient conversation in Spruce, and then that patient went ahead and signed up on Hint, the Spruce-Hint integration would create a duplicate record in Spruce for that patient. With this change, the system notifies you of the potential duplicate and encourages you to link the conversation to the existing record in Hint. Learn more.
- Faster connection for incoming calls: We have improved the time it takes for an incoming call to ring desk or cell phones for some of you.
- Tag based autoresponders: Autoresponders just got more powerful! You can now set up individual Autoresponders for each provider in a practice, for inactive patients that message you, and more, using tags. Learn more.
- Improved Spruce-Elation Integration: You can now select messages from within Spruce to create an encounter in Elation, all without leaving Spruce! Learn more.
- Live Call Recording: You can now record live calls on Spruce! This is user-configurable and off by default. A user can specify whether inbound or outbound calls are to be recorded on a per Spruce phone number basis. To turn this feature on for your account, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that you will be required to give written consent on following best practices for this feature.
- Redirect calls to a different organization from the phone tree: You can now redirect an incoming call to a different team on Spruce via the phone tree. This is useful if you have multiple Spruce teams that are working together. For example, a mental health practice where each therapist has their own Spruce account but a single phone number for the practice where calls route to the appropriate therapist based on the phone tree the caller selects.
- Ability to disable call screening via the phone tree: A phone tree on Spruce can be configured to disable call screening when incoming calls are directed to cell phones or landlines. This is a useful feature if you are using your Spruce phone number for SMS messaging only, or if you'd like to ensure that certain calls to your Spruce phone number pass through to a different system without the need to capture voicemails in your Spruce inbox.
- System events: Call events and other activities are now called out in the thread to indicate events rather than user messages. The purpose of this change was to make it easy to distinguish a user driven messages from other activity in a conversation and lay the foundation to add more relevant activity to a conversation.
- Improved notifications for autoresponders: You will no longer be notified when autoresponders are triggered in response to incoming patient messages or call events. Instead, you will only be notified if your patient responds to the autoresponder based on your notification preferences.
- Spruce Fax: Further consolidate your tools by using Spruce for fax. We’ll even port your existing fax number into Spruce. Learn more.
- Improved message details on web: Message details now contain more relevant information for call and fax events! You can now learn the source and destination phone numbers used to make/receive phone calls, and also the status of an inbound fax via message details.
- Track who resolved a Page: Pages are a great way to assign tasks to individuals and coordinate care. However, they'd be even more useful if you knew who actually resolved a page! This information is now available across all clients.
- Auto-assignment: Conversation assignment is a great way to claim work across a large team. We have further improved upon this feature by building in automation tools to enable you to auto-assign conversations to a group based on an incoming call or message.
- Conversation Assignment: Divide and conquer your inbox, or tell your team that you are “claiming” a conversation that you plan to manage. Conversation Assignment lets any team member or User Group in your organization take responsibility for a conversation in just two clicks. Learn more.
- Throttling of autoresponders: Our autoresponders just got smarter!Your patients will no longer get the same autoresponder for every incoming message they send. Instead, you can specify a throttle period so that an auto-response is only sent to a patient once in a certain period of inactivity. This is a subtle but powerful improvement, as it opens up a lot of new use-cases for autoresponders. For example, you can now configure an autoresponder to manage patient expectations during business hours of how quickly you will get back to them. Learn more.
- Notification improvements: Is your Spruce inbox clogged with call events? We’ve improved your notifications so that all missed, inbound, and outbound call events can go straight to your Archived folder instead of your Inbox, meaning your Inbox would only contain voicemails and messages that need your attention. Just reply to this email if you’d like this set up for you.
- Contact Groups: You can now control call routing for all branches of your phone tree using contact groups! They're a really powerful construct where you can add phone numbers, user groups and individual team members to your call routing. Learn more.
- Configure Call Availability: If you are added to any contact group, you can now control how you receive calls using the call availability feature. Once we have turned this feature on for you, navigate to the settings page to configure if you'd like to receive calls on your cell phone, desk phone, or both!
- Configure Autoresponders in settings: You can now manage your autoresponders from the settings page across all apps! Learn more.
- Spruce VoIP system: Spruce can now power the physical phones in your office! We've spent a ton of time to get this out. All inbound/outbound calls and voicemails get automatically logged in the Spruce inbox, just like your messages. Learn more.
- Manage multiple phone numbers: If you have multiple phone numbers in your Spruce account, you can now manage them all through the Spruce app across all platforms.
- Improved Numbers to Ring List: The numbers to ring list has been upgraded to make it easier to manage, particularly if you're frequently swapping numbers in the list to manage call routing for on-call rotations.