GP surgeries require a friendly, prompt and efficient service. Patients are often calling with concerns and they will expect a quick response to their call, therefore the telephony solution that is chosen must accommodate these requirements. A hosted phone system provides a great solution to the challenges faced by GP surgeries.
What are the challenges?
GP surgeries often deal with a large quantity of calls, particularly peak times such as Monday mornings. In these cases queueing is a must to ensure all calls are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
In order to ensure staff resource is allocated correctly, reporting is needed to monitor the number of calls coming through. This will enable the surgery to work as efficiently as possible.
Certain calls within a surgery could require urgent attention, the telephony system selected will need to ensure that it prioritises calls and that patients are not left waiting for long periods of time, particularly in an emergency situation.
Consultations over the phone are a good way for patients to communicate with their nurse or doctor, however call recording will probably need to be considered so that key information can be easily accessed whenever the need arises.
Surgeries need to access these features in case an issue occurs, a disaster recovering plan is vital so that it doesn’t impact patients care
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.
Call recording – used to train and coach new receptionists, nurses and practice managers. Plus, the doctor or nurse can have the ability to retrospectively record the entire call, should they feel the need.
Sophisticated statistical analysis – of inbound/ outbound calls can help identify the busiest periods to help plan for staff scheduling.
Integration with industry-specific CRMs – can keep a record of call history and interactions with patients, as well as screen-pops on inbound calls to create a sense of customer service and care when answering calls.
PC soft client – presence and chat can be used to communicate amongst the team in order to help meet patient confidentiality.
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.
Disaster recovery plan – such as failing over to another number (mobile, other practice) ensures no calls are missed.
Our Hosted Telephony Integrated with EMIS
Our hosted platform has integrated with EMIS, a leading CRM for the NHS and GP Surgeries. Our partnership will allow our hosted telephony and EMIS end-users to benefit from features such as:
- Click to dial – for a better customer experience
- Caller preview – to route calls quickly and efficiently
- Automatic popping of the EMIS contact page – for instant access to information