There is much in the media at the moment as to how 'Digital Health' is to revolutionise, or even perhaps just help, the NHS in dealing with the challenges it faces. We hear the same at the events we attend. Patients will use apps to self-diagnose and seek the precise care they need. Artifical Intelligence will assist or even replace the gathering of data and diagnosis.
This seems at odds with the more practical challenges our customers face with managing appointments and advice to patients. Those who need care most are perhaps those least likely to seek self help on a smartphone app.
Our vision for Surgery Connect is that it will develop to fill the gap between the daily reality and start to use the technology to provide more efficiency to the first point of contact for primary care, still for a large majority the phone. We have started by using call centre technology to assist with the distribution of calls and to provide real time and management information on how this is happening, as in these reports.
However, in the future, and using technology which is already built into our systems, we can do more than this. Once a patient is identified, we can offer a bespoke experience on the phone. This could be as simple as switching the language of the prompts that the patient hears or signposting for patients with special needs, such as home care.
Using advanced speech recognition, we can give patients more complex options than a simple menu and in doing so, let some of them direct their calls to the best place, releasing time for receptionists. Those who have the ability to book or cancel their own appointments may do so but there will always be a quick escape route to a helpful person.
As our market grows and matures, we are having more conversations with groups of surgeries, CCGs and Federations who are looking ahead to a umbrella approach to telephony that incorporates new technology. However, we are still reliant on feedback from our customers as to how we can help make the day to day more efficient and what is good and bad about Surgery Connect. Please continue to let us know!
X-on are continuing to tour the country with Surgery Connect in October and Liverpool and Birmingham are getting our attention this month:
- Pulse Live: 3rd October - ECL, Liverpool
- RCGP Primary Care Conference: 12th-13th October - ACC, Liverpool
- Best Practice: 18th-19th October - NEC, Birmingham
If you are attending please come and see us to discuss anything regarding Surgery Connect, if any of your healthcare contacts are attending please point them in our direction for a chat.