27 March 2018
GP Surgeries Adopt Live ‘Chat on your Website’ Software
GP surgeries across the UK are implementing live chat within their websites to increase their online support to patients and improve the running of operations. The communication channel allows them to increase administrative staffs’ productivity whilst providing a quick and easy method for patients to contact the surgery.
Surgeries are inundated with phone calls when bookings are open for the morning and afternoon sessions. Many patients end up on hold for a long period of time with many feeling frustrated at the interaction and some even giving up trying to book an appointment. Taking bookings via live chat on your website can reduce the stress on the phone lines as representatives can handle multiple chats simultaneously, saving them time getting through the workload, increasing patient satisfaction.
Receptionists at a surgery will be the point of contact for multiple types of enquiries; therefore an intelligent chat distribution system within ‘Experiences’ enables routing groups to be set up which can easily identify which type of enquiry is being received. Operational hours and days can be set against the routing group; as a result “Book an Appointment” enquiries can be set to the same times that the surgery would accept bookings via phone. Outside of these times the live chat solution would not display this as an option for the visitor to select; instead they could present “Emergency Appointments”.
Studies show that one in five patients regularly miss GP appointments, which cost the NHS £1billion last year. Live chat presents the opportunity for patients to easily and quickly cancel their appointments, opening up the slot for others and help surgeries to reduce their wasted time. Another option could be for patients to receive test results, just like they would on the phone; representatives can inform them whether their results came back normal or whether they need to book in an appointment to see a doctor regarding them.
As well as selecting which type of service the patient requires, the pre-chat form can be customised to collect personal details including full name and date of birth. Receptionists usually have to ask for this information for identification; this data can be dynamically injected into chat, saving the member of staff’s time finding these details out, and allowing them to address the visitor’s enquiry sooner.
Another way to increase operators’ productivity is to speed up their responses. A library of Predefined Replies can be set up so that representatives can select an answer to frequently asked questions. These can be separated in each type of service, helping them find the answer quickly and providing a speedy response, freeing them up to help other patients, who may have a more in-depth enquiry.
Latest NHS Implementation
NHS Vale of York is made up of 26 member GP practices and implemented live chat in January 2018 for the Priory Medical Group to book appointments and help improve online services to patients. They have customised their pre-chat window so patients are confident they are speaking directly with the GP surgery, and collect the visitors full name, date of birth and postcode so that they can assign any chats to the patients record.
Their Contact Centre Manager commented
Really impressed with the product and its simplicity to use. The support has been fantastic and when I have needed assistance or queries answering, I have benefitted from people who take ownership of issues and follow up personally. I look forward to a longstanding business partnership.
Click4Assistance has been providing live chat for over 10 years and works with public, private and charity healthcare organisations including, BMI Healthcare, National Services Scotland and Action on Hearing Loss. For more information on how live chat can benefit your organisation, contact our team on 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.