by Louise Wahlström
Better management and control of patient calls with Aurora teleQ
Fertility Fusion is a leading provider of fertility treatment in North West, UK, offering a range of fertility investigations, treatments, lifestyle advice, counseling services, and therapies. The clinic is the leading specialist fertility service both for National Health Services and self-funding patients. Having phone contact is vital and is one of the main communication channels between patients and the clinic.
Engaged phone lines, long queues, less time for patients and frustration all around
As a specialist fertility service for National Health Services, Fertility Fusion was challenged with congested phone lines and long waiting times for patients. The administrator, nurse, and doctor phone lines were directed to a central line. If phone lines were engaged, patients could sometimes wait in the phone queue for up to 40 minutes. Frustrated patients would leave voice messages, send email and Facebook messages in an attempt to reach the clinic. This often led to duplicate messages and more stress – for both the patients and the staff. All of the administration required to manage calls also resulted in less time to treat patients.
When considering their needs, Fertility Fusion wanted to have a solution enabling the staff to structure the calls, organize their workday, and meet patient needs. In addition, it had to be simple, user-friendly, easy for the staff and patients, easy to select the menu, and integrate into existing systems.
“Before Aurora teleQ, the phone was just ringing incessantly, all day long, from 8 am to 5 pm, no break. The introduction to Aurora teleQ solved that problem. You could still use the line to ring out, and people would still get access to leave messages, ringing in.” says Amanda Evans, Unit Administrator.
Streamlined calls organised the workday, improved patient and staff satisfaction, more time for patients
By using Aurora teleQ, the calls were structured by providing a menu of options and specific time slots for callbacks. With the selection menu, the staff already has an indication of the patient’s needs. For instance, when making the callback, the nurse knows if they need to schedule an appointment or answer a query. With the scheduled time slots, nurses and administrators have better control to plan, organize their work schedule and allocate time for callbacks after clinics. They could also nominate another nurse team member for the callbacks. Streamlining the calls has enhanced patient service, improved time management, and reduced stress and frustration all around. The result is a calmer, quieter work environment that enables the clinic to dedicate more time to patients and their treatment.
“It has improved immensely. The patients have the satisfaction and knowledge of, ‘right, I have left my message, I have a callback time, I know that I will be phoned.’ So they get great satisfaction and assurance as well,” says Erica Burgan, Fertility Nurse Specialist/Unit.
Another advantage is that other contact points such as email have been reduced. If the staff receive an email that should be a phone call, they reply by asking the patient to call. Thus, patient communication is channelled to phone calls and callbacks.
From the admin perspective, just the difference of the phone not ringing all day long has had a massive impact on mental well-being. Just the stress level of the phone constantly ringing, the patient being annoyed because they have been on hold for 20 minutes. So just alleviating that has been massive. It has changed my working life. The change in the amount of stress is just phenomenal.says Amanda Evans
Better flexibility and efficiency – at the clinic and working remotely
Better record-keeping and managing patient documentation have also been added benefits of Aurora teleQ. Previously, Fertility Fusion had to manually write paper notes about the phone call and upload them onto the system. This sometimes included 30- 40 sets of notes and sifting through numerous documents. Now, nurses and staff have the time to write patient notes in the case management system during the conversation, in real-time. With the patient identifier, the staff can see the content of the conversation and what has been advised. This provides better accuracy and case management, minimises manual processes, and saves time. “The patients are getting better continuity in their care because there is a much more accurate reflection of their conversations rather than a quick note. It is real-time, so you are getting better reflections from the day as well as the patient care perspective,” says Erica Burgan. The patient system also makes it easier to plan for staff annual leave and staff changes.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, administrators and nurses need flexible working situations. With the Aurora teleQ system installed on their laptops, they can easily administer calls while working from home.
Analysing data insights to improve work processes
By tracking and monitoring phone calls and analysing the data, Fertility Fusion changes and adjusts its work processes. The Aurora teleQ data provides valuable insights.
“The Aurora teleQ system evolves with your clinical needs. So when you look at how long you have allocated for certain callbacks, there are processes within the system to audit it for you. We think you can shorten the call, or these kinds of calls should be longer. You will get the data from it so you can make changes. It teaches you as you are going along,” says Erica Burgan.
We have saved time and we are more efficient. We’re more available from the patient’s perspective. Obviously, there is a cost impact, but the benefits of the system outweigh costs – by head and shoulders.says Erica Burgan.
Managing the learning curve together with Aurora Innovation
Erica Burgan explains, “It was a bit of a learning curve for everybody, learning for the staff – we have to stick to these callback times to make the system work, but the patients also had a steep learning curve. The Aurora team has been phenomenal! They have been so supportive. No question is too silly, very personable. Really good working relationship. So helpful, so approachable. You can send an email and you will get back with a solution to the question. The support has been outstanding! Lovely bunch of people!”
“We are moving forward, we are keeping the system in place. From the patient perspective, it makes us more accessible to them. From our perspective as well, it works better within our clinic templates and our admin working day.”
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