Horizon helps put Bacon Road Medical Centre back in control

Bacon Road Medical Centre is a friendly suburban surgery located close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It is a general practice partnership employing Nurses and Health Care Assistants, where the nurses provide general care and specialise in chronic disease management.

The surgery premises consists of eight consulting rooms and was purpose built in the early 1990s. For the surgery, patient care is of paramount importance. The telephone system needed to reflect this. Eastern Voice and Data were tasked with finding a new telephony solution to fit their demanding surgery needs.

The Benefits

  • More intuitive system which provides access to full telephony reporting and statistics
  • Flexibility to deploy after-hours, weekend and bank holiday messages to callers
  • Robust telephony system with improved functionality, increasing productivity
  • Reduced stress from both the patient and staff perspective
  • No missed calls

The Challenge

The practice was previously using analogue telephone lines and out of date cabling which provided an unstable platform, this highlighted an issue when managing calls during peak times. However patients would often get frustrated when hearing an engaged tone which meant they would have to constantly re-dial as there was no option to leave a voicemail message. Callers could not be easily identified meaning that it was difficult to verify patients and call them back. The old system wouldn’t allow calls to be transferred outside of standard practice hours, which was not great for patient experience and created unnecessary stress for both patients and the staff. Additionally there was no functionality available to track the number of calls or understand the practice’s busiest periods. Ultimately there wasn’t capacity to cope with peak calls and there was no way of understanding the number of abandoned calls as a direct result of the old telephony equipment.

Their system needed updating and from a security perspective, secure UK-based data centre storage was crucial to them. This meant that Eastern Voice and Data needed to have in-depth conversations with the surgery’s IT support and ensure there was no NHS Information Governance breach. They needed a solution that offered more features but wouldn’t threaten their strict security policies, and all within a specific budget.

The Solution

Eastern Voice and Data knew from the security restrictions and comprehensive functionality required that a cloud route was the most realistic option, and Gamma’s hosted Horizon solution could meet their budget requirements. Horizon also only uses UK data centres which is a key requirement for the NHS, as well as providing a secure, high quality, reliable solution that offers inexpensive growth potential. A capex route was out of the question and the fixed cost element of Horizon was a huge selling point, along with the knowledge that these costs would not dramatically change during the fixed period. A webinar organised by Eastern Voice and Data allowed the Doctors to see Horizon in action and helped sell in the concept to the partners.

With Horizon, the surgery can now handle up to 25 calls at any one time and reassures patients that their call is going to be picked up, so they no longer experience the engaged tone. This solution has made the process less stressful and more effective for all involved.

As part of the solution the latest Polycom VVX410 handsets provide high definition voice quality. Feedback from both the Doctors and patients has been extremely positive regarding call quality. Cordless headsets have improved the working environment, and automatic answering and freedom to move around the office and work while on the phone has increased productivity substantially.


Calls At Any One Time

The Results

Horizon management reporting ensures that the surgery has access to a wide range of statistics so they can now identify the peak times for calls and ensure they have adequate resource to cope with this demand. Testament to the new Horizon telephony system is the fact that every single call has been answered since the system was put in place. Eastern Voice and Data has seamlessly changed the Bacon Road Medical Centre telephony system from a stressful bottleneck situation to an effective solution, ensuring both happy patients and employees.