Effective communication systems in healthcare can be a real lifesaver for both patients and staff. Governing bodies such as The World Health Organization (WHO) and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state that communication systems are critical to patient care and must be “timely, relevant, accurate, and complete”.

With the correct system in place, patients can easily schedule appointments and communicate with the surgery without having to leave their homes. This can save time and energy, especially for those who have mobility issues or live far away.

A phone system can make the day-to-day running of the surgery much smoother. Staff can transfer calls between different departments quickly and easily, which means less time on hold for patients and a faster route to the right department. Plus, many phone systems can be integrated with appointment scheduling software, which can help avoid any conflicts and make sure that appointments are at the most convenient time for patients.

Multisite Communication Systems

Healthcare departments are often spread across multiple locations and having a system in place that connects all the locations as if they were one, is important for speed and efficiency.

Tools such as auto assistants can guide patients to the correct department’s phone line without requiring human assistance.

Cloud phone systems can provide remote office interaction. A single contact log for the entire organisation can be segmented for various locations or departments, making it easy to communicate with colleagues and pass callers elsewhere.

They also allow medical staff to move from location to location without requiring assistance from IT or administration.

Important Call Features for Healthcare

Voicemail

Voicemail can let patients leave a message for the surgery when the office is closed. No more waiting until morning to report an urgent issue or schedule an appointment.

And we can’t forget the helpful automated reminders that can be sent to patients to remind them of upcoming appointments, reducing the number of missed appointments.

Caller ID

Caller ID can help staff quickly identify patients who are calling and pull up their information before the call is answered. This can save time and improve the efficiency of the surgery.

Call Recording

  1. Staff Training: Recording calls can be a great way for new staff members to learn the ropes by listening to real-life interactions.
  2. Quality Control: Recording calls can help monitor the quality of service provided by staff members and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Compliance: Recording calls can make sure the surgery is sticking to all the relevant regulations and guidelines regarding patient privacy and data protection.
  4. Dispute Resolution: Recording calls can be used as evidence in case of any disputes or complaints, providing a clear record of the interaction and helping to resolve any issues.
  5. Record Keeping: Recording calls can be used to keep a record of important information discussed during a call, such as appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and medical advice.
  6. Patient Safety: Recording calls can be used to ensure that patients are receiving accurate medical advice, and to provide a record of the advice given for future reference.
  7. Remote Consultations: Recording calls can be used to record remote consultations, which can be useful for both the patient and the GP for future reference.

In short, call recording can be a handy tool for medical practices. It can help with staff training, quality control, compliance, dispute resolution, record keeping, patient safety, and remote consultations. It can make sure that patients are getting the best possible service.

Call Forwarding

Call forwarding can redirect calls to a different number or extension when the surgery is closed or staff is unavailable. This way, patients can always reach someone, even in an emergency.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

IVR can provide patients with automated information such as surgery hours, directions, and contact information. Handy for patients who are calling outside of regular office hours.

An IVR system can also be integrated with appointment scheduling software, which can help to ensure that appointments are booked at the most convenient times for patients and that there are no conflicts with other appointments. This can help to reduce the number of missed appointments and ensure that patients receive the care they need as quickly as possible.

Call Queueing

Queueing can assist medical practices on their busiest days. It ensures that every call is answered and that patients do not have to repeatedly call the surgery.

Useful information such as estimated wait times, and call-back options can help improve the overall experience.

Monitoring and Statistics

Phone systems can provide valuable metrics and data that can help track and improve the performance of the surgery. For example, data on call volume and wait times can be used to identify areas where the surgery can improve its service to patients.

In short, a telephone system in healthcare can make life much easier for everyone involved. With improved communication, appointment scheduling, security, and even data tracking, it’s a smart investment for any surgery.

Looking for some advice?

If you’re a surgery or medical practice looking for ideas to assist patients, get in touch, we’ll listen to your environment and design a system that works best for both patients and staff.

You can contact in2tel through live chat, by calling our freephone 1800 91 1800, or by emailing sales@in2tel.ie and we’ll be in touch quickly.