Chobham & West End Medical Practice links their two sites using a Gamma Horizon cloud-hosted telephone system to efficiently handle all their incoming patient calls.
Chobham & West End Medical Practice consists of eight doctors and a supporting primary care team working from two surgeries. The main surgery is in Chobham, and the branch surgery is in West End, both in Surrey. Both sites were using aging, standalone Toshiba DK40 telephone systems. Installed in 2002 and 2009 at Chobham and West End respectively, neither of these telephone systems benefitted from continued manufacturer support, which would leave them in a vulnerable position if they suffered a fault. GP surgeries really cannot afford to be without a telephone system as they are critical for patients to be able to contact them when they need to.
The practice was keen to enjoy the efficiencies and cost-savings afforded by a shared telephone system while their patient group had also requested the introduction of call queuing to prevent patients from hearing the engaged tone when they rang at busy times. Both surgeries also wanted to use call recording for telephone appointments carried out by doctors or nurses.
swcomms recommended the practice replace their outdated on-premise telephone systems with a single Gamma Horizon solution. This reliable and resilient cloud-hosted solution is ideal for GP surgeries that wish to link to other branches or federated members. It is a single platform hosted at cloud level, so all maintenance and updates are taken care of, while both sites enjoy a future-proofed solution that unites them and their 27-extension end users. Calls can now overflow and be transferred with ease between the two sites.
Assured connections for voice quality
We deployed this solution without any need for a capital outlay as a cloud-hosted solution is purchased on a monthly per user basis, including support and line costs, as well as free calls to UK landlines and mobiles. The latter benefit is important to GP surgeries where calls to patients are becoming more regular and therefore costlier. swcomms supplied the Practice with assured connections, also from Gamma, which are designed to provide the voice quality needed by a cloud-hosted telephone system. These replaced their existing ISDN lines and are separate from any connectivity used for access to the internet.
We met their call queuing requirement with a solution which allows the Practice to customise their welcome message and those that are broadcast at timed intervals to let the patients know their call will be answered The Practice can queue up to 25 calls, which significantly reduces the chances of patients being met by the engaged tone during busy times. Calls can also be delivered to all available reception staff, to ensure they are answered as quickly as possible. In addition, the Practice uses an automated attendant to route calls to the most appropriate member of staff and to create announcements to inform callers of opening hours, out-of-hours numbers and online services. The Horizon solution can also be set up to record some calls, all calls or record calls on demand. The Practice can then download them to be saved for reference purposes.
In terms of extra features the Practice had not previously enjoyed, the Horizon solution offers an easy-to-use administrator interface which allows the practice manager to view inbound, outbound and engaged call traffic while end users can access their call history, voicemail, blacklist, recorded calls and much more. Three members of staff also took advantage of the Horizon Integrator software which gives them control of the solution from their desktops. They can click-to-dial from their Outlook contacts, as well as documents and web pages, as well as enjoying instant access to their call history, call forward and presence functionality.
The deployment was overseen by a dedicated PRINCE2-accredited project manager who has since handed over to the Practice’s account manager, who is their single point of contact at swcomms, and will ensure resolution of any issues while offering reactive and proactive advice.
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