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Thousands of GP practices to save time through innovative telephone technology

by Léa Legraien
19 September 2017

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Thousands of GP surgeries in the UK are now able to release time to care with Surgery Connect telephone solution through their EMIS system.

The cloud-based software, from telecommunications service provider X-on, allows GP practices to have access to the latest in telephone technology, save time and improve their patients’ experience.

It provides services, such as call recording and appointment confirmation. The service is much cheaper than a traditional phone system, offering free calls and single monthly payments.

Telephone contacts with GP practices have increased by 62.5% between 2010/11 and 2014/15, according to a research by The King’s Fund.

‘With more widespread use of telephone triage, and increasing numbers of mergers and federations, there are huge demands on GP phone systems, and on the practice managers and business managers that rely on them,’ said Paul Bensley, Managing Director of X-on.

The new telephone technology delivers against the technological vision of the General Practice Forward View, set to develop digital services and help practices to be more efficient in terms of cost, service and time saving.

Between 60 to 70% of consultations can be handled on the phone in four to six minutes, according to NHS England, resulting in a 50% workload improvement. The system, which also features phone consultations, could have a significant impact on GPs’ productivity.

The service could help to reduce Did Not Attend (DNA) appointments, which represent around 13 millions missed appointments a year, by sending reminder messages to patients and signposting them to the relevant healthcare services.

Patients would also be able to use speech recognition to manage and cancel their appointments.

‘This marks another milestone in the development of Surgery Connect as the complete communications solution for primary care.

‘From the individual surgery through to clinical commissioning groups, Surgery Connect provides the tools needed for implementing many of the action points proposed in the GP Forward View.

‘With the integration with EMIS Health, thousands of GP practices can now more easily experience benefits of the latest telephone technology,’ said Mr Bensley.