There I was, sitting in a parking where there used to be a
The problem? The auto attendant phone system hell – there was no way (apparently) to get out of their “options” and get to a person who could have answered my specific question. But no, that’s not “efficient”. But this brings up practices that use these auto attendant, usually correctly, but sometimes with outright stupidity.
The initial announcement should include a “hot key” –the number to push to get to a live person promptly – and these calls should be picked up right away. The “hot button” callers – other physicians and pharmacists – should probably get position “1”. As for the succeeding numbers – look to see what are the most common reasons that people call? I would be inclined to put “prescription refills” as position “2”, as this is a common reason and the patient probably wants to get in and off the phone quickly.
On hold? Please add some sound – with silence, the caller doesn’t know is they are on hold or if the call has been dropped. A “music on hold” function of some sort; or, better yet, patient education announcements (short, 15 second blurbs) nicely fills this void.
Your phone is the first point of contact for everyone – patients, families, other physicians and so on. Your processes for handling calls should be simple, fast and meet the needs of the caller. It’s about them – that’s how it becomes about us.