Away Messages and Autoresponders


Autoresponders overview

An autoresponder is an automated message sent from your Spruce account to your patients. autoresponders can be based on an action your patient takes (like sending you a text) and any tags you've applied to their conversation. This is a great way to let patients know you’ve received their message or that you’re currently out of the office, much like using an email vacation responder. You can create your own autoresponders in Spruce. Once created, you can turn them on and off as needed.

Think about the following components when creating an autoresponder: 

Content: What do you want your autoresponder to say? 

Trigger: What causes the autoresponder to send? Activity like receiving a text message, secure message, or email from a patient can trigger an autoresponder. You can choose one or more triggers for each autoresponder. 

Frequency: How often should your autoresponder go out? By default, your autoresponder will go out for the same patient only every 15 minutes. This way, a patient does not receive your autoresponder repeatedly if they send you several messages in a row. This setting is called the throttle.

Sender: Who should it appear that the autoresponder is coming from?

Tags: Do you use any tags in Spruce that could make your autoresponder more relevant? autoresponders can be limited to only sent to patients with certain tags, making it easier to target patients with more specific messages.

Creating an Autoresponder from the web 

  1. Select the Gear Icon to open your Settings
  2. Select Autoresponders, then select Add Autoresponder
  3. Write your title and message.
  4. Edit the Channel(s) you would like to trigger the autoresponder.
  5. Edit the Sender to change who the message appears to come from.
  6. Edit the Tag(s) to limit who will receive the autoresponder.
  7. Enable the autoresponder (toggle will be blue), then select Save Autoresponder.

Creating an Autoresponder from the mobile app

  1. Select the Person Icon to open your Settings
  2. Select Autoresponder, then select Add Autoresponder
  3. Write your title and message.
  4. Select Channel(s) and check the boxes of the channels you would like to trigger the autoresponder. 
  5. Enable the autoresponder (toggle will be blue), then select Save.

Example Autoresponders

Business-hours message: 

  • You have the reached <practice name>. We typically respond with 2 hours. Messages received outside of office hours will be answered the next business day. Thank you for your patience. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

After-hours message:

  • Thank you for texting <practice name>. We respond to texts during normal business hours. If this is an urgent matter and cannot wait until normal business hours, please call <(xxx)-xxx-xxxx>. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

Vacation message:

  • I am currently on vacation and out of the office until <date>. For all urgent or acute medical issues please contact <alternate provider> at <(xxx)-xxx-xxxx>, or call the main line during business hours. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

Scheduling Autoresponders

If you are on the Communicator or the Digital Practice plan, the Spruce Support team can set up schedules for your autoresponders so they only trigger at certain hours or days of the week. Please contact us from the Spruce app for assistance with this feature.

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