Every conversation in the national media about the NHS always inevitably turns to waiting lists and patient experience. We know this challenge has existed for years but has only been exasperated due to Covid and other issues.
While there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to the backlog, we believe that the right use of technology can help. It’s clear that many in the industry agree, with CCG funding now being allocated to upgrading practice communications and connectivity. In today’s blog we’ll explain some of the services available to healthcare teams, and how they can help to tackle the waiting list.
Call Connect GP:
Call Connect GP (CCGP) is a new phone answering system designed to improve operational efficiency and patient outcomes. CCGP integrates with EMIS ONE to display a patient’s record as soon as they call your practice. This allows you to respond effectively on every call. This also includes any notes on patients written by colleagues. This is incredibly helpful for booking follow-up appointments and personalising the call experience.
We know that reception desks in the NHS are as busy and fast paced as call centres. That’s why CCGP includes features to make every interaction as quick as possible. This includes automatic number capture, where patient records are updated with new contact numbers if they ever change. CCGP also integrates with patient family records, allowing your staff to book more appointments for household members during a single call.
Recently CCGP was updated to support better Covid-19 measures. This includes a pop-up displaying relevant guidelines and a current list of expected symptoms for reference. It also flags any immunocompromised or otherwise vulnerable patients as soon as they call.
Call Queuing software:
We’ll be frank, having to wait to reach healthcare staff via the phone is sometimes unavoidable. Where technology can help though is by minimising the time and effort of patients during the call experience.
A lot of this process can be handled by using effective call queuing software. A basic phone system comes with the ability to hold one or two people in the queue, but for the healthcare sector this just isn’t enough.
With auto attendants and advanced call queueing software, included in our communication service, the queue is a much more pleasant place to be. Callers will be greeted and can be told their place in the queue, so they can decide whether to wait it out or call back another time. Your team can also keep an eye on the queue and bump and move any urgent calls to the top of the list.
Connect multiple sites:
Many healthcare teams work as part of a group of surgeries, spread across multiple sites. This comes with many advantages, and it’s fantastic to be able to have a backup should something go wrong. If these sites aren’t connected to the same communication services, you lose a lot of these advantages.
If all your sites are connected to the same phone system, you have a far better chance of getting patients through to someone on their first call. This is because if one practice is overwhelmed, their calls can be routed to another. The caller will not know the difference and can receive a positive outcome much faster.
This can also apply to voicemail. If out of hours voicemails are left, then they can be viewed by all front-desk staff or an out of hours emergency service. Their CRM details are also visible here.
Manage tasks effectively:
Working through a backlog of patient requests requires a great deal of planning and organisational efficiency. Basically, everyone needs to be on the same page. To ensure this happens, we provide a dashboard that every user can see.
This dashboard contains all you need to know, with a call history, log of missed calls and any voicemails that need to be followed up on. This includes alert activity reports for practice managers, which allow you to remotely monitor your front desk and ensure nothing gets missed.
Using this service is a fantastic way to improve operational efficiency. Staff can access it from any device, making remote working a far easier process. Finally, staff can initiate calls quickly simply by clicking on a caller’s number in their dashboard or CRM.
Simple to deploy:
If you’re reading this, you might be thinking that all these features sound helpful, but are concerned about installations and overheads. This is understandable but we’re happy to say that our modern communication services don’t cost the world. In fact, as calls from these services are handled over the internet rather than fixed lines they are often absolutely free.
We’ll make installation incredibly easy for you, and we’ll visit your site to ensure that everyone is quickly trained up. Our systems are regularly updated with new features and security patches, and we offer remote support in the rare case that something goes wrong.
To get in touch and find out more about our services for healthcare teams, call us on 020 872 27766