6 Ways 21st Century Phone Systems Help GP Surgeries Succeed

We know that running a GP surgery can be a hectic job! We understand, as we currently work with hundreds of GP surgery owners. Managing staff, helping patients and making sure your policies and procedures are in place for CQC, it’s a lot. One thing we have noticed often gets neglected is communication, which is one of the most crucial things you need to succeed.

If you look at any successful organisation, you’ll notice they’re great communicators in one way or another. To guarantee the long-term success of your GP surgery, it’s important you make great communication a priority. You’ll be glad to hear that the Yo Telecom GP Surgery Phone System will help make your communication great and as a result will help you increase the success of your GP Surgery! Here’s how:

01. Save Time When Patients Phone You with EMIS Integration.

You probably use the software EMIS in your GP surgery, which contains a database of all your patients and their records. Yo Telecom offers the only phone system in the world that will directly integrate into your EMIS software. This means you will be able to WOW your patients by knowing their name and their details before you’ve answered the phone. This will decrease the time your calls take and ensure they are handled more efficiently. Plus it means you can greet your patients by their name, showing them an excellent level of customer service, which they will appreciate. You can also dial straight from your EMIS system.

02. Improve the Communication Skills of Your Reception Team.

When a patient calls into your GP surgery, you need to ensure that the quality of your communication is very high.

“High quality communication implies a high level of service.” – Journal of Services Marketing.

If your communication does not meet or exceed the expectation of the patient, (eg. questions not answered correctly, lots of “umming and erring”, or saying “the person you need to speak to isn’t here, can you call back?”) he/she will form an unhelpful impression of your GP surgery and your patients will start to lose trust in your practice. This is where Call Recording becomes extremely valuable. It enables you to review any interactions your staff have had with customers. You can then use the recordings as part of staff training to help see what the strengths and weaknesses of your staff are and how you can improve communication. Call Recording can also be beneficial in helping to sort out any discrepancies that might occur, quickly and easily, as you have a record of every call that has been made or received.

03. Say Goodbye to the Dreaded Engaged Tone Once and for all.

Traditional analogue lines can only make or receive one call at any given time, so your patients are probably very familiar with this tone. Not only is it frustrating for the patient, who is often calling to make an appointment, but it’s also frustrating for you as you don’t want to be letting your patients down. With the Yo Telecom call queuing feature, you can place your patients in a queue while they wait for their call to be answered. This is the perfect opportunity to use our on-hold marketing/music feature, which will allow you to play important messages about your surgery while they wait for you on the line. This keeps your patients on the line, rather than hanging up and feeling annoyed!

04. Quickly and Easily put Your Patients Through to the Right Department/Staff Member.

If a patient phones into your GP surgery, the last thing they want it to be passed from person to person to have their questions answered. With an Auto Attendant, your phone system will put your callers through to the correct department or member of staff before the phone has even been answered. For example:

Thank you for calling [name of your GP surgery]. If you are calling to book an appointment, please press 1. For any other enquiries, please press 2. If you are having a medical emergency, please call 999.”

This will give your patients peace of mind that they are speaking to the right person. This feature also comes in handy for your staff, as they will not have to spend their time transferring loads of calls.

05. Improve Productivity of Your Staff.

We know that GP surgeries receive a lot of calls and often this means that your reception staff are tied down to their desks trying to answer them all. It doesn’t have to be like this. Headset connectivity allows your staff to have their hands free while on the phone so they can take down important notes or make changes to patients records while they are on the phone – rather than trying to scribble them down on a notepad and making the changes later. This also gives them the flexibility to walk around the office or take a call from anywhere in the surgery.

06. Keep Track of Your Call Statistics.

With the number of calls you receive on a daily basis, it can be hard to keep track of them. With a statistics wallboard you can see important information about your calls, such as how long it takes your staff to answer, how many calls they’ve taken, how many they’ve missed, average call times and who answers the most calls. Knowing this information can help you set targets on where to improve. For example, the time it takes to answer calls may be a lot longer than you would like it to be – so you can set your staff a goal to decrease this. You can also use this information to reward your staff. For example, you could buy lunch each week for those staff members who answer the most calls.

Investing in great communications leads to greater success and happier patients. The combined improvements that are a result of just these 6 points can add to the customer service you provide at your GP surgery. Resulting in patients that are happier due to simple and helpful communication. If you’d like to know more about anything discussed in this article please call us on 02382 146115 or email info@yotelecom.co.uk!

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