ICBs and health boardsAs the statutory body that brings the NHS together to improve the health of the local population, integrated care boards (ICBs) have taken over from clinical commissioning groups to implement changes across digital systems in England, while health boards are delivering these patient centred communication services in Scotland and Wales.
Supporting effective communication in healthcareWith healthcare services working more closely together under the guidance of ICBs and health boards, seamless clinical communication to improve patient outcomes and access is key.
Patient centred communication
There are 42 ICBs in England, 14 regional health boards in Scotland, and seven in Wales. Together, they are responsible for enabling patients to benefit from multiple health services to improve their healthcare outcomes and to drive down operational inefficiencies.
ICBs and health boards are responsible for promoting wellbeing and reducing health inequalities in the area, while the latter also oversees dental, optical, mental health, and pharmacy services.
The patient is at the centre of the push towards more streamlined communications between healthcare settings and clinicians, but ICBs and health boards also often control the budgets in their locality, so are looking for economics of scale afforded by centralised solutions.
Think Healthcare is helping ICBs and health boards to achieve good communication in healthcare with a resilient and reliable streamlined telephony solution that is integrated with contact centre and patient management software to improve patient access, no matter which healthcare service they require.
Streamlined triage services
Telephone appointments are being used to good effect by multiple clinicians to provide more convenient and accessible appointments. Whether this represents communication between nurse and patient or communication between doctor and patient, or with any other clinician and patient, it is imperative that they can make outgoing calls without being thwarted by a lack of line capacity.
Traditional phone systems using ISDN lines can only handle a finite number of incoming and outgoing calls which means patients are either met with the busy tone when they call in or clinicians cannot call out when all the lines are being used.
Think Healthcare is leading the way in patient provider communication by using cloud telephony to increase call capacity with each end-user having access to their own line, which means clinicians can make triage calls and telephone appointments with ease.
ICB and health board clinicians can enjoy streamlined triage services by clicking on numbers stored in patients’ records to initiate calls. This saves time on dialling and eliminates the frustration when the wrong number has been dialled by mistake.
Hybrid and remote working support
No matter where your ICB or health board staff and clinicians are working – on-site, in the field or at home –Think Healthcare’s solution can connect them all together on a single, cost-effective phone system.
Traditional on-premise phone systems do not offer the same flexibility for hybrid and remote working, which means healthcare staff either need be on site when they are working or have to use their mobile phones. Different settings would also have to use separate phone systems which means calls between clinicians could be costly.
Think Healthcare’s patient contact management solution uses cloud telephony to link multiple sites, clinicians and staff. This means staff members will benefit from access to a centralised directory for all healthcare services supported by the ICB or health board but will also enjoy cost savings on calls with toll-free conversations across the organisation.
As long as staff have access to the internet, they can access the ICB or health board phone system via a handset at home, or their PCs and mobiles devices. When calling out, they will display the main number to maintain their privacy and to promote a professional outward profile.
Full view of organisation operations
As an award-winning NHS specialist provider, Think Healthcare is fully accredited to all required NHS security and safety standards, but also understands the challenges ICBs and health boards are facing.
Tasked with implementing changes across digital systems and services to improve the health of the local population, ICBs and health boards are often controlling the purse strings while trying to act strategically on behalf of the organisation.
The Think Healthcare solution can help you find economies of scale while also giving management a full view of the telephony operations of the organisation. They can use extensive reporting capabilities to keep a check on call handling performance.
Historic call statistics are available on an online portal, complemented by automated generated reports, to view the busiest times for incoming calls to evaluate where extra resources may be required and to investigate the accuracy of any patient complaints re wait times. In individual settings, managers and staff see live statistics on call queues, dropped calls, call duration, etc.