Since Covid-19, GP surgeries have seen the usual challenges they experience intensify, along with some entirely new challenges thrust upon them. The telephone system has become the backbone of GP surgeries. Having a telephone system that meets both the needs of patients and staff is so important.
Let’s explore the benefits that a Cloud-based telephony system offers to GP Surgeries across the north east.
A cloud telephony solution provides business continuity including the functionality to ensure the surgery can continue to operate and deliver critical services in the event of an unforeseen issue. The pandemic was on a major scale however, smaller events such as snow disruption or electrical outages do also occur from time to time.
A cloud telephony system means doctors, nurses and receptionists can work from home just as if they were in the surgery, using the mobile app that turns their mobile or laptop into their office phone. Calls can be received, made & transferred using their office extension/number, without using mobile plan minutes, with no disruption to the patient experience.
GP surgeries are busy by nature, but with many doctors now doing triage over the phone and booking Covid vaccinations, lines have never been busier. During these busy times, rather than losing any calls and having unhappy patients, you can set up call queues, allowing patients to wait in a queue until someone becomes available. There is also the flexibility to set rules on this, as certain calls within a surgery could require urgent attention, rules can prioritise calls to ensure patients are not left waiting for long periods of time, particularly in an emergency situation.
Sophisticated statistical analysis of inbound/ outbound calls can help identify the busiest periods supporting planning the scheduling of staff. This enables Practice Managers to identify trends and determine when extra resource is required with data to back it up. This provides the key information needed to measure and assess call handling performance to improve the patient experience.
Supporting CQC Standards
A cloud telephony solution allows you to keep the patient informed throughout the call, getting them connected quickly and efficiently helps ensure patients have a great customer experience.
Features such as 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. Simple enquiries such as opening hours and other information included in this message can remove the need for a patient to speak to an operator.
Increased Productivity and Cost Savings
Reception staff are given more time thanks to intelligent call routing, calls are sent to the correct extension, while mobile workers can use their office phone number on any device to receive calls no matter where they are. Being able to have an appointment over the phone not only frees up physical appointments but means that patients are able to be seen to in a timelier manner. Utilising a cloud telephony solution to make these calls could save GP surgeries a significant amount of money due to the outgoing call costs over a traditional telephone system.
“Our new system is now installed. Smart IT were very good at working around us during the installation and their engineers have been very helpful with educating staff and remediating any teething problems.
Ultimately, I do think with Smart IT you get a local, personal service from a team of people who are keen to support their clients and who work in a professional manner to deliver bespoke business solutions.”West Rainton Surgery
For information how Smart IT can help with your Cloud Telephone Solutions for GP Surgeries across Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham and Darlington get in touch today.