OUR NEW TELEPHONE SYSTEM IS NOW UP AND RUNNING!!!!
Following audits carried out on patient access last autumn and beginning of this year it became glaringly apparent that 80% of patient contact and request for access to services is through our antiquated telephone system. The audit looked at reasons for patient calls and highlighted that a large number of calls were in regards to prescription queries and requests. The audit also showed that such calls tended to be made early morning when our phones are at their busiest with patients calling requesting appointments.
We appreciate that having to call at 8.30am in the hope of obtaining an appointment is not ideal and not only very frustrating to patients but also stressful to our staff who try their best to answer and arrange appointments/prescriptions etc as quickly as possible. With that in mind we are looking at a new automated telephone system that with prompting will direct your call to the most appropriate department. If all lines are busy the automated system will advise the caller of his/her position in the queue giving you the patient the choice of either holding on or calling back at a less busy time.
With the new telephone system, patients calling to submit their repeat prescriptions before 10am will be given the choice of either leaving a message, remembering to leave full contact details including telephone number, or be advised to call back after 10am. Patients will also be directed to our website where they can submit prescriptions on line through Patient Access.
Similarly patients looking for results before 9am will be able to do so by leaving a message and contact details and results clerk will return patients call.
Consultation audits carried out by GPs and Practice Nurses also provided evidence to support that as many as 70-80 appointments per week could and should have been dealt with by our practice nurses. That’s a significant amount of appointments and with the assistance of our new telephone system and training of reception staff we hope that we can redirect these calls to the appropriate healthcare professional.
Prior to giving out an appointment, our receptionists will be required to ask the caller to provide information into the nature of the appointment. We appreciate and understand that many patients do not feel comfortable with giving out such details, but by doing so we believe that this will free up appointments for patients requiring GP care.
Our Lead Nurse Practitioner Joanne Anderson is an experienced Nurse Prescriber and holds daily Minor Ailment clinics and along with her colleague Lisa Grant, carries out a variety of Chronic Disease reviews such as diabetes, COPD, Asthma etc and a whole range of other clinics such as contraception and cervical smear. See attached lists for more information.
Healthcare Assistants, Lesley Lumsden, Kim Berrie and Marilyn Rodden can carry out ear syringing, phlebotomy, ECGs and certain reviews, but can only do so via GP or Nurse referral.
SO WHAT’S NEW WITH OUR SYSTEM?
When you call the practice number, you will find several changes to the welcome message.
You will be advised that the receptionist will ask for details of why you want an appointment. This is to help us in ensuring you see the right person at the right time. You will also be told that all calls are being recorded. This goes for both incoming and outgoing calls. All calls are being recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
A new function with our telephone system is the introduction of our appointment cancellation line. This line is accessible all day every day. This is a message line and we ask that you leave a clear message with your name, date of birth and details of the appointment you wish to cancel. Please do not request the appointment to be rescheduled during this message but contact the surgery during normal opening times to make alternative arrangements.
If you call between the hours of 10am and 4pm (excluding during the lunch hour 1-2pm) you are given 2 options. You can either leave a message or select to speak to a receptionist. Between the hours of 4pm and 10am when you call the prescription line you will be able to leave a message requesting your prescriptions. Again, we just ask that your message is clear and includes your name, date of birth, contact telephone number and each medication that you need. Please remember that we still require 48 working hours to process prescription requests. This means that we will start to process prescriptions left after 4pm the following working morning.
Our results line is open from 10am until 4pm (excluding the lunch hour) every day except Wednesdays.