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Redesigning the Rheumatology telephone service

by Melanie Martin | 6 months ago | in Rheumatology
Horizon 2

Access to information and people when patients needed it the most  during the Covid-19 pandemic was a top priority. Many patients use our telephone service to book, rearrange, cancel appointments, seek advice, request prescriptions and information such as letters and results. Prior to covid we were aware that there were many pain points in our telephone system which prevented patients reaching the right person first time. Following a review of the type of calls Received by nurses, secretaries, admin/bookings , The key themes were flares, prescriptions, appointments, letters and results. We redesigned the telephone tree to ensure fewer hand-offs and increased the number of call handlers with administrative Skills to deal with all calls. A simplified telephone service provided the patients with  3 options: 1. up to date  Covid-19 guidance 2.   Advice for flares and how to book a telephone appointment 3. Anything else - a simplified version ensuring that issue could be assisted  by the right person first time.

What is needed to sustain the change?

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edited on Jul 13, 2020 by Kyle Beacham
Melanie Martin

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Carol McCrum 6 months ago

Really helpful to hear about this innovation for directing your helpline calls- wondered if there was additional investment is needed in call handler time or just a shift from other tasks, and are messages taken for each of the types of redirections or can the queries be handled by the call handlers. Thank you for thoughts and any tips for other services?

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sasha karakusevic 6 months ago

Really interesting Melanie and thanks for sharing. Building on Carol's comments if you could share more data that would be great.

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Carol McCrum 6 months ago

Status labels added: Investment in technology, Technology (software/ apps), Upskilling of staff, Horizon 2

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Kyle Beacham 4 months ago

Status labels removed: Investment In Technology, Technology (Software/ Apps), Upskilling Of Staff

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