Telephone & Message Policy for Staff

At the Aqua Marine Medical Centre & Skin Clinic, we recognize that all incoming telephone calls are the principal method for any initial and subsequent communications between our patients and any other persons to this practice.

As such we regard the telephone as a vital and integral tool for creating a positive first impression, displaying a caring, confident attitude and acting as a reassuring resource for our patients and others.

The telephone system we have at the Aqua Marine Medical Centre & Skin Clinic has already recorded messages that the patients hear prior to the call ringing in the Practice and it relays if the “Call is an Emergency” to then dial 000.

The person answering any telephone enquiries is considered the “Face and Voice” of the Practice.

Our Staff Members always use a 3 Identifier System when taking information over the telephone so we can make sure that we are speaking with the correct person to ensure every patient’s privacy is maintained.

 

TO RECEPTION STAFF

PLEASE CHECK WE HAVE

CORRECT CONTACT DETAILS:

FOR EVERY PATIENT

ASK SURNAME & FIRST NAME

DOB

CURRENT ADDRESS

(MEDICARE CARD NOT AN IDENTIFIER)

We use a system called “Correct Contact Details – CCD” which we have a prompt on each Reception Computer to remind the staff.

 Hence, we, The Management insist that all our Team Members be mindful of the message they take, the correct details of the message and that they are indeed respecting the privacy of that patient.

Our aim at the Aqua Marine Medical Centre & Skin Clinic is to facilitate optimal communication opportunities with our patients.

We know that some patients may be anxious, in pain or distracted by their own or a family member or friend’s medical condition and hence may not always be as polite as they should.

Our Staff are trained to acknowledge and be aware of this and to act accordingly in a professional and courteous manner and they are trained to know not to take it personal if a patient is not always polite.

Courtesy is to be shown to all callers and allow them to be heard; every call should be considered important.

 Aqua Marine Medical Centre & Skin Clinic prides itself on the high calibre of customer service we provide, especially in-patient security, confidentiality, and right to privacy, dignity and respect.

Team members are mindful of confidentiality requirements to ensure patient names or clinical discussions about patients are not openly stated over the telephone when within earshot of other patients or visitors.

It is important for patients telephoning our practice to have the urgency of their needs determined promptly.

Our practice team try to obtain adequate information from the patient to assess whether the call is an emergency before placing the caller ‘on hold’.

Patient messages taken for follow-up by a general practitioner or other practice team members are documented for their attention and action or, in their absence, for the designated person who is responsible for that absent team members’ workload.

This is done via our internal messaging system on the computer. (eg) The message is sent to the relevant GP/Practice member and linked to a patient file, so it is recorded the reason for the contact and if any advice or information was given to the patient.

 When an answer has been received it will be then relayed to the patient and documented that this message has been actioned in the patient’s medical record in BP and the result of that enquiry.

If a message is left by one of the Practice staff, then it will be recorded in the patient’s medical record so that if that patient rings the Practice then whomever answers the telephone will know exactly what the message was about and can help with the enquiry.

Nothing worse than a patient phoning in and no-one knows why there was a message left.

It makes the Practice look unprofessional.

 No staff member at the Christine Cnr Medical Centre will give out any information unless authorised by a GP.

FLOWCHART FOR THE DELIVERY OF MESSAGES AND COMMUNICATION IN HOUSE

RECEPTIONIST FIRST ANSWERS THE CALL “WITH A SMILE IN HER VOICE”

THE RECEPTIONIST ASK FOR 3 FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION SO THAT SHE KNOWS THAT SHE HAS THE CORRECT PERSON FOR PRIVACY REASONS.

IN A TIMELY MANNER SHE TAKES THE MESSAGE AND RELAYS THAT SHE WILL ENDEAVOUR TO HAVE AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

THE MESSAGE IS THEN DELIVERED VIA OUR INTERNAL SYSTEM IN BEST PRACTICE TO THE RELEVANT PERSON.

RELEVANT STAFF WILL THEN DISCUSS THE MESSAGE AND RELAY THE ANSWERS TO THE ENQUIRY.

 

RELEVANT STAFF WILL THEN DISCUSS THE MESSAGE AND RELAY THE ANSWERS TO THE ENQUIRY.

THE GIVEN MESSAGE WILL THEN BE DOCUMENTED AND RELAYED BACK TO THE PATIENT.

IF THE PATIENT NEEDS TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, THEY WILL BE ADVISED WITH A RETURN CALL.

 

OUR STAFF ARE TRAINED TO ADVISE OUR PATIENTS THAT NO TEST RESULTS WILL BE GIVEN OVER THE PHONE. 

OUR PRACTICE DOES NOT GIVE ADVICE OR TEST RESULTS OUT VIA EMAIL COMMUNICATION.

 

 

 

WE DO NOT GIVE OUR PRACTICE EMAILS OUT UNLESS IT IS DIRECTED BY THE GP’S.

WE ENCOURAGE ALL PATIENTS TO COME BACK FOR AN APPOINTMENT IF THEY WISH TO DISCUSS ANY OF THEIR HEALTH ISSUES.

THE STAFF AT CHRISTINE CNR MEDICAL CENTRE HAVE REGULAR AND ONGOING TRAINING IN ALL RECEPTION DUTIES, TELEPHONE & MESSAGING POLICIES.