Has a new solution to battle the NHS waiting room mayhem been found?

Has a new solution to battle the NHS waiting room mayhem been found?
© iStock/Halfpoint

Dealing with 1 million patients every 36 hours comes at a cost, but could using something as simple as telephone communication prevent the NHS waiting room mayhem?

The NHS is an undeniably valuable and lifesaving service for everyone in the UK that chooses to make the most of its services. However, recently issues with its efficiency have been on the top of the news agenda, such as NHS waiting room issues. Sometimes, small changes to the way an organisation like the NHS can communicate with its customers or patients can make a huge difference to its overall running. Those changes being phone communication.

The phone has been around since 1876 and more than often can be overlooked in today’s digital age – but could it be a positive step forward to ease some of the pressure from our overworked healthcare professionals? Neil Hammerton, CEO and Co-Founder of UK telephony scale up, Natterbox, explains how the phone paired with a cloud telephony platform may be able to improve efficiency in the NHS.

Tackling the NHS waiting room chaos

For a long time, face-to-face has been a preferred method of communication between patient and doctors and now we are seeing emerging technologies like video call taking precedence. However, adopting such methods can be a lengthy and inefficient process.

Nevertheless, in an attempt to relieve some of the overcrowding that the NHS is experiencing in the waiting rooms, patients with symptoms of common illnesses like the flu are being advised to stay at home to relieve pressure on doctors and prevent the spread of germs.

But the human need for reassurance cannot be satisfied without the help and expertise of a professional, essentially meaning this advice is not always taken, therefore many people still make the trip to their local surgery for the reassurance and advice that they need.

With legacy technology still heavily relied on in the NHS, many individuals have had the frustrating experience of misplaced/lost records and miscommunication between professionals, all ultimately leading to a challenging and time-consuming disconnected journey.

For this reason, implementing a telephony platform that can provide a connected journey for the patient could simplify their experience of interacting with the healthcare industry.

The benefits of staying connected

Implementing a wider use of the phone for medical appointments can enable patients to speak to professionals with ease and more importantly reduce the NHS waiting room chaos that occurs in many medical centres.

Specifically, by implementing a modern cloud telephony platform, an organisation like the NHS has the ability to offer its patients a much more connected journey. In such a busy industry, it’s almost impossible to speak to the same doctor at every appointment. But using the phone and the right telephony platform can mean that, regardless of who picks up the phone, caregivers can have an instant 360-degree view into every patient they speak to.

Consequently, the need to search for old records, or for the patient to repeat their history for the third time in one week, is eradicated.

Ultimately, the right telephony platform can allow caregivers to deliver a smarter, efficient and more personalised relationship to their patients, even without having to see them in person. Having a more complete and comprehensive view of their needs will enable the speed of doctor-patient interactions to be significantly increased, without negatively impacting the patient experience and additionally helping to relieve at least some of the pressure on the healthcare system.

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