East Berkshire Primary Care (EBPC) Out of Hours Services have launched a groundbreaking new initiative using technology from OPEX Hosting to provide GPs and primary care providers in their area with a raft of new telephony services.
These ‘in-network’ services are a ‘pay-as-you-go’ business package and deliver call recording, call routing and messaging, which provide numerous time and money saving benefits. Up until now, call recording to small-distributed locations like surgeries is expensive with the traditional on-site equipment model. EBPC realised that they could serve any number of telephone lines from single to multiple surgery locations and record all inbound and outbound traffic and, most importantly, the mobile phones of the doctors on-call by using an ‘in-network’ model.
‘Call routing’ is another ‘in-network’ service that is paying dividends; on a day-to-day basis surgeries can now switch and re-route calls based on the dynamics of demand and response capability. However, the service really comes into it’s own for continuity planning, whether this be due to terrorism, floods, H5 N1 pandemic or the wrong type of snow, services can be switched to those most able to respond via pre-configured routes to emergency mobile numbers. Patrick Rogan, Chief Executive Officer for EBPC commented:- “This will prove particularly effective if movement of people becomes limited and triage staff need to be mobile or even home-based in the event of a pandemic”.
Another key application being provided will be messaging services. Currently the NHS loses an estimated £800 million per annum on missed appointments. Trials of the messaging service have indicated that by using an automated SMS and/or telephone message, typical ‘no shows’ can be reduced by at least 30%. Putting this into perspective, if this type of solution was rolled out throughout the NHS in the UK it could save in excess of £240 million per annum. With such obvious cost savings, this application is expected to prove particularly popular.
According to Patrick:- ‘Going down the hosted route has meant that we can offer primary care providers access to technology at affordable rates and in a way which can be very easily deployed. We are always striving to add value whilst improving service for both patients and clinical staff and these solutions ensure we can support this goal.’
OPEX Hosting is expected to roll out similar solution suites to other areas within the NHS ensuring this type of service can be cascaded down to those who need it most.