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Covering a population of over one million people, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is headquartered in Glasgow and employs over 3,500 staff. With the switchboard being the first point of contact for the public, a better first impression and quick and successful completion of call enquiries was required.
The NHS Board needed a platform to offer more efficient call transfer and management to deliver improved customer service to the public and turned to Enghouse Interactive through its partner, Cable and Wireless, to deploy Intuition Operator Consoles.
Operating on Nortel Meridian platforms, each hospital within NHSGGC is responsible for answering and managing its own calls. The switchboard operators had their own methods for call handling and in many instances used paper books for noting calls and taking notes. A manual paper-based system led to relatively slow connection times for each call and inaccuracy could occur with message taking.
Enghouse Interactive’s Intuition Operator Consoles were deployed on the Nortel Meridian IP-PBXs across all hospital sites within the NHS Board. Intuition combines the functionality of an attendant console with a corporate directory that puts all essential information onto an operator’s PC screen, enabling NHSGGC to tailor call handling exactly to their needs.
“NHSGGC, like many public sector departments, is under increasing pressure to reduce operational costs yet still maintain efficiency and organisational agility,” said Karen McSweeney, Telecoms Manager, NHSGGC. “The Operator Consoles from Enghouse Interactive provide all the functionality our hospital switchboard operators need to ensure they provide an efficient service to the public.”
Initially resistant to change, the operators felt they would lose control and their ability to handle calls would be slowed down, not least because they now had the unfamiliarity of a computer with the deployment of Operator Consoles.
In reality, the NHSGGC switchboard operators are thrilled with the Intuition Operator Consoles, as are the managers, as response times are significantly improving. Previously, 86.85% of calls were answered within 20 seconds, but since the deployment of Intuition Operator Consoles, 92.97% of calls are answered within 20 seconds. NHSGGC has its own internal benchmarking of 16 seconds to answer calls to achieve Government targets, which Enghouse Interactive has helped to reduce from 20 to 12 seconds.
First time connections and, in particular, the connection to out-of office-staff has been much smoother as all the information regarding work, business and mobile phone numbers are in one location and require only one database search. Previously, operators had to search through distributed records to find each individual contact number. As a result, time has been saved which is often vital in emergency situations. In addition, the click to dial facility enables operators to save further time, and reduce misdials, by not having to manually dial and remember each number respectively. This is demonstrated by the statistics that show before Enghouse Interactive, nearly 170,000 were answered a month, with a call handling average of 33 seconds. With the deployment of Datapulse, over 234,000 calls a month are answered, with a call handling average reduced to 18 seconds.
“In a busy environment such as a hospital switchboard, the stress on switchboard operators was greatly reduced once they were using Intuition consoles and has improved the whole communications process. Operators have also stopped using paper to the extent that one hospital has gone completely paperless,” commented Karen McSweeney.
To further enhance productivity and efficiency and to maintain the accuracy of employee information and numbers, NHSGGC also took the decision to implement the Enghouse Interactive online web directory, Total Info. Total Info is a company-wide corporate directory which allows users to search and view contact information about employees via their web browser. The Directory allows contact information to be stored and retrieved quickly and easily while reducing administration time and the cost of maintaining contact information.
Total Info integrated easily with Enghouse Interactive’s Operator Consoles so that contact information on 44,000 staff and over 20,000 entries maintained by NHSGGC operators is available throughout the organisation. The Directory has proved extremely popular and on average is receiving 300 hits a day.
“Enghouse Interactive has given us robust fit for purpose platforms that has streamlined our voice operation and created an improved environment for our operators which will feature in NHSGGC move to an IP platform over the next two years,” concluded Karen McSweeney.