An automated telephone booking system reduced ‘did not attend’ rates by 10% in 2012, potentially saving the NHS £4.6 million.
Installed at over 600 practices across the UK, the system is used to book, renew, cancel and change appointments.
To access Voice Connect, the caller enters identifying information. They are then able to modify appointments using a system which detects spaces in the diaries of GPs, nurses and other departments.
The government’s vision of a ‘paperless NHS’ encourages online booking, but the managing director of the company believes it is important to offer patients a choice.
“GP surgeries are most heavily used by the 60 plus age group, many of whom prefer to use the telephone to book their appointments – or who may not even have access to a computer,” said managing director Stefan Olsberg.
“Online booking is certainly a useful option, but some people will always want to book by phone. It’s important to find ways of addressing this need and make it easier for patients to make appointments, particularly at a time when budgets are tight and surgeries may be cutting back on admin staff.”