Patient Partner, Gloucestershire

“Patient Partner from Voice Connect has been specifically developed to solve day-to-day communications problems experienced in General Practice. An elegant, cost-effective solution that benefits patients and staff alike”

Smiling Doctor with patient

Voice Connect systems save time and money says Practice in Gloucestershire

Practice in Gloucestershire is one of the largest in the area, consisting of three sites located around the city of Gloucester. The practice, which has over 17,300 patients on its list, has a mixed social residential demographic. Originally set up in 1896, the Practice in Gloucestershire now has 11 doctors and 51 additional clinical and administrative staff.

Good communication with patients is highly valued at Practice in Gloucestershire. The surgery uses Patient Partner automated telephone appointment booking system across the three sites, which enables patients to make, cancel, check or amend appointments around the clock, even when the surgery is closed. The installation has freed up their time, the system has been so successful that the practice has now installed complete other jobs. Additional products from Voice Connect: VC SmartMail and Medical Messenger.

“We installed the Patient Partner system with the aim of reducing the number of calls handled by our reception team,” comments IT Manager at Practice. “We also liked the fact that the system allowed our patients to self-book routine GP appointments and flu appointments during the winter season. Since its installation, Patient Partner has been very successful in a number of areas; helping us to significantly reduce call congestion, use staff time more productively and improve our communication with patients.”

Doctor showing Patient Partner App

“Both systems are easy to use; they save valuable staff time, ease our workload and offer significant financial savings”

Whilst Patient Partner takes care of telephone appointments, the next step was finding a simpler and more cost-effective way to send out reminders and communications by post. With such a large patient list, the partners at the Practice in Gloucestershire felt that adding VC SmartMail and Medical Messenger to their portfolio of Voice Connect products would help them to improve patient access still further.

“VC smartMail is used for sending out around 85% of our monthly recall letters, which can go into the hundreds,” explains IT Manager. “We also use it for the seasonal flu campaign and to send letters to particular targeted group of patients e.g…

The annual health check and other health campaigns. Medical Messenger is also used for appointment booking confirmations and reminders, which has helped to reduce DNA’s. Both systems are easy to use; they save valuable staff time, ease our workload and offer significant financial savings.

Staff find that using the Voice Connect systems has freed up their time, allowing them to complete other jobs which previously had to be put aside in order to deal with telephone enquiries. IT Manager also reports that all three systems are well received by patients. “Patient Partner, VC SmartMail and Medical Messenger have all lived up to our expectations. Our patients like the systems and are thankful that they can book a routine appointment any time of the day or week. In addition, they like the fact that when we have bookable flu clinics, they can also book these when they want, without having to go through the reception team.

“Our patients like the systems and are thankful that they can book a routine appointment any time of the day or week”

VC SmartMail has enabled staff at Practice in Gloucestershire to send out written communications quickly and cheaply. Once staff time, printing and stationery costs are all factored into the price of sending a second class letter from a GP, using VC SmartMail, offers significant savings for the Practice in Gloucestershire, and other surgeries who use the service.

With happy patients and happy staff there’s not much that the IT Manager would want to change about the system. “As a whole, all three Voice Connect systems do what they say on the tin! VC SmartMail and Medical Messenger have made some great savings for us in terms of staff time, postage and stationary costs whilst Patient Partner has eased our call congestion issues. If there are ever any problems, there is a good support team at Voice Connect who are able to help quickly and efficiently.” As a multiple site using the systems, the IT Manager insists that they have been crucial in helping the practice to improve communication whilst making large financial savings. His advice to other surgeries considering installing any of the systems? “Go for it!”