With more and more consultations being carried out over the phone, it is important to leave a clear audit trail of the advice and instructions given. With our call recording for GP surgeries, all calls are recorded and can be replayed at any time. With patient connect, calls can be automatically attached to the specific patient record.
Sadly, receptionists and staff are sometimes the victims of abuse and improper behaviour. Again these calls are recorded to protect staff if prosecutions arise.
Fulfilling Government Recommendations
Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guidance on telephone
consultations in primary care:
• Practice teams should regard the telephone as a means of improving access and personal care, rather than as a barrier.
• Patients should be involved in any plans to develop or change the telephone-based services a practice provides.
• A practice should have one incoming telephone line per 2,500 registered patients, and the flexibility to open further lines at busy times.
• All incoming and outgoing telephone calls with patients and carers should be noted in medical records.
• Doctors should be flexible regarding consultations so as to meet the needs of patients who prefer the phone.
• Doctors might consider telephone follow-up as an alternative to some face-to-face consultations for common conditions such as depression and cancer.
• An article from the June 2009 issue of The British Journal of General Practice concluded that ‘Used appropriately, telephone consulting enhances access to health care, aids continuity, and saves time and travelling for patients. The current emphasis for acute triage, however,
worried clinicians and patients. Given these findings, and until the safe use of telephone triage is fully understood and agreed on by stakeholders, policy makers and clinicians should be using the telephone primarily for managing follow up appointments when diagnostic assessment has already been undertaken.’
Demand is predictable, so match your resources with the demand. If more people call the practice on Mondays, design your system so you have extra capacity on that day.