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GHA introduces changes to telephone systems

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

The GHA on Wednesday said it is making key changes to its telephone systems to streamline the calls process, including a single point-of-contact for all enquiries to the Primary Care Centre.

This will be a simplified system for all enquiries, including appointments, repeat prescriptions, registration and the Children’s Health Centre, the GHA said.

Individuals will be provided with automated options and their call will be re-directed accordingly, it added.

This forms part of the GHA’s Reset, Restart, Recover strategy to improve its services.

“This means that in the coming weeks, the public can expect changes to the way in which they interact with the Primary Care Centre appointment line,” a spokesman for the GHA added.

“The work to improve the telephone service across the GHA has included a crucial upgrade to the system hardware, which will provide a more reliable service, increases to both call handling efficiency and capacity (how the system handles and processes the calls), and new functionalities including the ability to cancel appointments.”

“Work is also ongoing to review the call-flow process, with the aim of enhancing patient experience by streamlining calls to help direct patients to the right service.”

“This, in turn, will reduce the patients’ waiting times in the queue and thereby provide the GHA with a more efficient way of working.”

GHA Director General, Dr Patrick Geoghegan, said it is essential that Primary Care services are quickly and easily accessible to patients.

“A key aspect of this is how patients make initial contact, which is usually by calling for an appointment,” Dr Geoghegan said.

“By streamlining the process, patients will be able to directly access the right service, which in turn will reduce overall call waiting times.”

“Patients will also have the option to easily cancel an appointment that they will not be able to attend, for whatever reason, allowing the GHA to make the most of the appointment slots that are available.”

“This will be an ongoing process of work that, over time, aims to improve telephone services across the GHA.”

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