IMPROVING COMMUNICATION IN HEALTHCARE
Panasonic and Premier Choice Telecom get a clean bill of health from GP practices.
With an extra 150,000 patients a day, pressure for GP appointments is at an all-time high, so it is crucial for GP surgeries and practices to have an effective communication system in place.
Patient feedback, along with government recommendations, has prompted many medical practices to review their communication systems. Such systems are vital for the health care industry, to not only ensure that GP surgeries and practices run smoothly, but also to ensure the patient experience is a positive one.
In the past practices that used the 0844 number had to deal with many complaints from discontent patients as the number was costly to use and often resulted in patients being unable to get through. These issues led to medical practices turning to Premier Choice Telecom for help choosing and installing new communications systems.
Nick Stansfield, CEO of Premier Choice Telecom, a Panasonic Focus Dealer, discussed the importance of communication in telephony for modern GP surgeries and practices. He explained how it’s not always easy to identify the right solution for an issue. “At Premier Choice there is an extensive range of telephone systems that can improve the efficiency of GP practices. Premier Choice looks to ensure that all needs are catered for and comprehensive and cost effective solutions are found. This is done by examining the process that already exists within the practice and the needs of patients. Whilst there are a large range of telephone systems that could improve the efficiency of the practices, for many the Panasonic KX-NS1000 has been the right choice.”
Communications health check
For three UK medical practices a previous, unpopular system has now been replaced with a new KX-NS1000 system. For them the system has resulted in an improved customer service, happier patients and an increase in productivity
‘’I looked at several different telephone suppliers, different companies’’ said Carole Pope, Practice Manager at Churchfield Medical Practice when speaking about why her practice had found the KX-NS1000 system, recommended by Premier Choice Telecom, to be the correct choice for them. ‘’They had history; I was able to talk to other surgeries who had made the change with them. Which was very reassuring, because it’s a big thing both financially and in terms of time to be able to change a phone system.’’
Emma Jacobs, Practice manager at The Grove in Milton Keynes had similar comments, ‘’It was Premier that seemed to understand exactly what we wanted as a business.’’
‘’I liked what I saw with the Panasonic system. It offered a lot of flexibility as we are a two sited practice and have a fairly complicated set up and the Panasonic system was able to match our needs.’’
Alison Cook, Practice Manager at Cliff Villages Medical Practice said, ’’Premier Choice performed a seamless installation of the Panasonic system. They didn’t disrupt us at all; they were very discreet with everything that they did. The training on the new system they gave us was brilliant too.’’
Churchfield Medical Practice Manager Carole Pope spoke about the new system stating that, ‘’The new phone system has really helped with the patient access. They don’t feel like they are being penalised because we have a 0844 number. It’s amazing how much more we can do with the new system.’’
The Panasonic KX-NS1000 communications system is suitable for many different types of businesses and industries. The system is flexible, easy to deploy, compatible with leading soft switch technology and ensures effective communication with staff and customers. With the ability to be built for up to 8,000 users, with a call centre solution with voice guidance for customers and a reliable back up system to survive system failures, the NS1000 is especially fitting for the healthcare industry. With previous communication systems in the healthcare industry being unpopular with patients it is an area that can greatly benefit from a new system.
Panasonic Distribution Manager Warren Bone spoke about why the system is so effective and therefore so popular for the healthcare industry. ‘’Communication today takes place through a variety of different media, speech, messaging, email and even text based chat. With Panasonic solutions all of these technologies are managed centrally in just one system. With presence information that’s updated on an ongoing basis you always know when and how to best reach a contact. And by bringing main communication channels together in a single integrated system time savings and increased productivity can be achieved.’’