The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust (NDHT) is using a speech recognition solution, from voice automation specialist Telephonetics VIP, to answer external calls at busy times. Callers are politely answered by a speech driven automated call routing product and simply need to say the name of the person, department or ward they require to be connected to, quickly, and without the need for human intervention. This relieves pressure on switchboard operators and makes them available to deal with more complex enquiries.
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has hospitals and resource centres in seven locations across Northern Devon. The main hospital site in Barnstaple, North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) has used ContactPortal, the speech driven automated call routing solution from Telephonetics VIP, to answer all internal calls since October 2007. The introduction saw an immediate decrease in the number of internal calls to the main switchboard, with NDDH staff successfully getting through to other members of staff across the hospital and community sites, without having to rely on paper directories. It was a logical next step to extend the service to external callers.
The Trust receives approximately 2,000 calls per day and sometimes these calls cannot all be answered promptly by the reception team. Since January 2008, ContactPortal has ensured that all calls are answered either by reception within one minute or by ContactPortal, after one minute.
Tricia Hawson, Facilities Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust explains, “We introduced this system to ensure that we offer a good service to people telephoning the main switchboard. Monday mornings are the busiest times for reception staff and we appreciate that in the past some callers may have had to wait a long time to get a reply. This system supports our reception teams when the volume of calls exceeds staff availability. Having the flexibility to add extra services to the Telephonetics VIP solution is a great benefit to us.”