The public opinion of the NHS in the UK is declining. In February 2018, The British Social Attitudes Survey found that dissatisfaction in the NHS has risen to 29% – which is the highest it has been in a decade. A separate study, conducted the previous year, found that 27.8% of people found it difficult to get through to their doctor on the phone – a 50% increase from 2012. With this in mind, as a healthcare practitioner, it is important you do your best to improve the communication between you and your patients. In order to do this, you’ll need the right phone system.
Often we see many healthcare practitioners with out of date phone systems that are not efficient enough to deal with the level of calls they receive. So it’s no wonder patients are struggling to get through. It’s time to update your phone system if you are facing any of the following problems:
- You want a phone system that can link to your patient management system so you can greet patients by their name and save time.
- You feel that frequent engaged tones may be leading to frustrated and unhappy patients.
- You would like to monitor and improve the way your staff interact with your patients.
If you answered yes to any of the above, Yo Telecom is here to help. We have helped hundreds of healthcare practitioners overcome these problems. From GP surgeries to medical practices and other healthcare clinics, we have a solution to suit your needs.
What is the Best Phone System for Healthcare Practitioners?
There are three main types of phone system available:
- Digital phone systems
- Internet (VOIP -Voice Over Internet Protocol) or cloud-based phone systems
- Hybrid phone systems
Digital Phone Systems for Healthcare Practitioners
A digital phone system is a physical phone system that will be located somewhere in your building. It is a small box that is usually mounted on a wall or placed in a cabinet. It connects to your phone lines and all the handsets you have in your building. Digital phone systems can be reliable, as they route your calls through fixed lines. However, as they are restricted to these physical lines, they aren’t that future proof. This isn’t ideal considering you have hundreds of patients phoning you each day.
Internet (VOIP) Phone Systems for Healthcare Practitioners
An internet phone system, also known as a VOIP or cloud-based phone system, is a virtual phone system so it will not be based in your building. Instead, it will be based in a data centre somewhere in the world and your calls will be routed in and out via the internet. This can help to save money on call charges. But it also means that if your internet cuts out, or stops working, you will not be able to make or receive any calls during this time.
Hybrid Phone Systems for Healthcare Practitioners
The hybrid phone system is a mixture of a digital phone system and an internet (VOIP) phone system. The system will be located in your building and offers you flexibility with your choice of cordless and fixed handsets. The main benefit of this system is its reliability. If one type of line fails for you, it can automatically route calls in and out from a backup line. Meaning your patients can always get through to you and you can get through to them. Hybrid phone systems don’t really have any disadvantages – they really are the best of both worlds.
The Hybrid Phone System is the Best Phone System for Healthcare Practitioners
As well as being the most reliable phone system you can buy, hybrid phone systems also offer a range of other useful features for healthcare practitioners. You can find these listed below:
+ Auto Attendant
Auto Attendant is a feature that will allow you to give your patients a message before you have even answered the phone. For example: ‘Hello, thank you for calling [insert name]. If you are calling to make an appointment, please press 1. For any other enquiries, please hold the line and we will connect you. If you are having a medical emergency, please call 999.’
+ Call Logging
Never let an unanswered call turn into a bad impression or upset patient again. Call Logging works exactly like the call log on your mobile phone. Alerting you as soon as you miss a call, so you can take action straight away. Often patients will call you and it can lead to low levels of satisfaction with your service if they cannot get through to you. By returning their call, you are showing your patients a high level of service.
+ Call Recording
Monitor and improve the way your staff interact with your patients by using Call Recording. If a caller has a bad experience on the phone to you, it can be damaging to your reputation and your patients may start to lose trust in you. So it’s important your staff have a professional and polite manner on the phone. By listening to a few calls a week you can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your staff to see where improvements need to be made. This feature also comes in handy if you ever need to listen to information that was given to you over the phone.
+ Call Waiting
Rather than your patients getting an engaged tone while your team are on the phone, your phone system will automatically greet the callers, notify them that you are busy on the line and play them some music or important announcements. This helps to keep your patients interested and on the, rather than hanging up and getting frustrated.
+ Business Continuity
This is a Yo Telecom package feature that ensures communication between you and your patients can happen at all times. If your internet stops working, this system will allow backup lines to kick in so that your patients can still get through to you.
If you would like to know more about anything discussed in this article or would like to hear more about our medical phone systems, please call us on 02382 146115.