14 September 2018

Patients who missed GP appointments cost the NHS £1bn in 2017*. But, do you know what the cost is of a missed call from a patient? It could be the difference between life and death.

So, it’s important that calls are routed efficiently both internally and externally, to ensure your patients are either connected to the most appropriate available member of staff, or to other sites or out-of-hours services.

A feature-rich hosted telephony system can help GP surgeries ensure that all of their patient’s calls are prioritised and answered, therefore reducing the risk of losing a patient.

  • Auto attendant – greets the caller, for example with a message saying that their call will be answered and ensures they are not left listening to a ring tone. It helps cut down the amount of time patients spend waiting in queues, as patient’s enquiries for opening hours and other information can be answered.
  • Call queueing – allows patient’s calls to be queued at network level before they are delivered to a handset at the practice. Comfort messages can be played too, which will give patients reassurance that their call will be answered soon and provide information such as opening hours.
  • Receptionist console – helps reduce the time it takes for a call to come in and be transferred to the necessary department or individual. The ability to re-order the queue is important, as some calls may need to be dealt with quicker than others in case of emergency. ‘Presence’ allows the receptionist to check who is available before transferring the call.
  • Sophisticated statistical analysis – of inbound/outbound calls can help identify the busiest periods to help plan for staff scheduling.
  • Integrator for EMIS – our hosted phone systems can also be integrated with EMIS and can provide end-users with benefits such as caller preview, click to dial and automatic popping of the EMIS contact page/

Making the move to a hosted telephone system is particularly important considering traditional ISDN phone lines will be cut off in 2025. For more information on this, click here.

A disaster recovery plan is also key, to ensure that any failed number can move over to another number – either to a mobile or another practice – and can be dealt with in a timely manner.

By introducing a hosted phone system which can provide your practice with these benefits, you can ensure that any patient phone call is dealt with reliability and efficiency, minimising the risk between life and death.

*Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-appointment-no-shows-waste-time-costs-1-billion-health-service-nurse-doctors-gps-a8137686.html