Even now, in the 21st Century, service users still struggle to get in touch with the clinicians and administrative staff they need, to take control of their health.
With recent advances in technology, NHS Trusts have more opportunities to reimagine their communication services than ever before; to offer a better service to the public and staff, as well as find better value from those same services.
Service user experience
Let’s face it, the most important experience to enhance is that of the service user. Right now, you can easily imagine someone calling a Trust to check an appointment, remaining patient when a robotic voice lists option after option, and making up to twenty ‘press 1 for X’ choices before ever hearing a human on the other end…
There must be a better way!
NLP or ‘Natural Language Processing’ is nothing futuristic, in fact we all use it now on a daily basis when interacting with our mobile phones. We use it when we set timers with Siri, ask Alexa to play our favourite tunes or transcribe a text message with Google Assistant. And we can harness this amazing technology to help callers get to the person they need to, far more efficiently.
Imagine a different kind of call. One where the user is asked ‘who would you like to speak to?’, answers ‘Orthopaedics reception’ and gets to the right member of staff in seconds.
Or, an automated service that can pull appointment information from your existing systems, perform identity checks to ensure the safety of patient information and give the caller the information they need, all through natural conversation.
Even a call when the line is busy, with people in the queue and a caller can simply request a call-back, rather than having to extend their lunch-break to wait in the queue. Busy callers could even leave a message that’s translated into text and emailed directly to the inbox of the clinician who needs to know, dramatically reducing the pressure on in-demand lines.
All these experiences are possible, and no longer require sky-high budgets and server towers to operate. These are NLP-based services that we are currently developing with several NHS Trusts and your Trust can be part of this technological revolution too!
Do senior leaders in your Trust know how efficiently patient communication resources are being used? Have they got visibility on the number of calls answered, call lengths, missed calls etc.? Again, these features are nothing new, and many businesses use wallboards and reporting to keep staff productive, and NHS Trusts should use them too.
Working with BDR Group means Trusts could leverage a ‘Single pane of glass’ performance portal that ensures productivity can be instantly checked, with all the important numbers easily identifiable, and including other media types such as Facebook or WhatsApp for example.
Automated surveys, sent post-call are another possibility, helping managers identify areas where more resources or re-training may be required, while sourcing quantifiable performance metrics that can be built on year after year.
Trusts could even distribute contact lists, including all GP Surgery’s and key numbers for sites and people across the organisation, to ensure every member of staff across the Trust has the ability to get in touch with whoever they need to, at the touch of a button!
Again, these are only some of the amazing features we’re building-in to future-proof voice solutions for the NHS. But, no matter your needs or challenges, BDR can help enhance the efficiency of team members and increase visibility across services to ensure that staff, even when working from home, remain productive and have the tools they need to enhance their service even further!
Return on investment
Obviously, one of the heaviest accountabilities the NHS, and Trusts themselves, shoulder is the responsibility to wring every penny of value out of any services taken. After all, the NHS must prove it’s using taxpayer’s money efficiently, and to the betterment of the community.
If we take some of the examples above and extrapolate how they would benefit the organisation as a whole, and their investments too, then adopting next-generation calling services is an easy decision.
Imagine a Quality Manager at a contact centre who currently spends great deal of their time manually listening to calls, retrieving and then scoring these against agent KPIs. This workflow would be greatly streamlined with wallboards alerting them to longer-than expected calls, negatively scored post-call surveys and sub-par call numbers to help highlight areas to focus on, even while working remotely.
Lead Agents would be able to forget about dealing with multiple user interfaces for different contact types. Instead, they would only require one interface for all media, minimising agent fatigue and time wasted switching between apps. In turn, enabling them to handle more calls more efficiently and ultimately, helping service users get the answers they need faster.
All told, the calling experience for everyone – service users, staff and leadership teams – can all be enhanced by adopting a new, future-proof calling solution. But these efficiencies can only truly be realised by working with a technology partner that has the experience of working with NHS Trusts, and knows the limitations and concerns, especially around the safety of patient data.
BDR Group has been working with the NHS for over two decades, with a track-record of delivering services on-time and in-budget, all while enhancing services and delivering a better return on investment than legacy solutions.
Pressures on cost and productivity are greater than ever before, especially after the pandemic and BDR Group is here to help support the NHS’s recovery, getting back to business as usual – but better than usual – a future-proof ‘usual’ that helps Trusts do more, with less.