GHG Healthcare provides an insight into how a Mitel solutions has improved its working environment by enabling better patient service and mobile working. Not only that but reduced abandoned calls from over 40% to under 1%.
Principal drive was to improve customer service. We did a mystery shopper exercise where we looked at the calls coming into the hospitals, and we found that a lot of the patients had difficulty getting through to the hospitals. This was because the staff that they were calling up were quite often dealing with other patients who stood in front of them. So what we looked to do was to have a simple way to divert the calls to a dedicated call center in Glasgow where the call would be handled by a trained agents up there.
The next part of it was around improving the stay for the patients whilst they're actually in the hospital. So we wanted to put in secure wireless internet access. So that way they could keep in touch with friends and family, and for some of them, carry on working. And that was also very beneficial for our consultants as well. So they can access their own systems whilst at the BMI hospitals. Gives me freedom within my role to be able to be free around the hospital to have this telephone with me at all times, which makes me readily available to people coming within the hospital or wanting to get a hold of me.
The next issue we were looking to address was to improve staff and clinician communications whilst at the sight. BMI Blackheath spread over a number of locations, and it was key that we can have ready access to staff to make sure they can deliver the best quality care available. Previously I wouldn't have been able to be accessible when I went across to the other building, which is our outpatients department. Whereas now, I can always take this with me and people can always get a hold of me, no matter where I am in the hospital or on the other site.
One of the things that I find very refreshing about them is they've really come to the table, both technically and commercially. So they work with us to design a solution that matches what we need to do. As far as the Mitel kit that we have, we've principally gone for the Mitel ICP 3300. The reason we chose that PBX is it's a very low cost entry point, and it enables us to put it onto the side of our current PBXs, and to deliver the interactive voice response menus to direct the calls up to our contact center.
The other benefit with the Mitel ICP 3300 is that it means we can easily do a phased migration of handsets across. At BMI Blackheath they put in 35 Spectralink wireless handsets, which have been essential in facilitating wireless communications around the hospital. And the final piece of the puzzle is the Mitel Contact Center Enterprise Edition, which is used by our core center up in Glasgow with 100 agents working on a mixture of inbound and outbound calls.
As far as the benefits for the BMI, the principal one is around improved customer response rates. We've managed to go from a sub 30% conversion rate up to 75% plus. As far as abandoned calls, they've gone from over 40% down to under 1%. And the average time to answer is 20 seconds for over 80% of our calls. That's translated directly into an improved bottom line response for our business, with the hospitals that are participating in the project seeing growth in excess of the rest of the group. That's equally benefited the patients by giving them much better service, and them getting through to the information they need when they need it.
The call center in Glasgow handles 15,000 calls a week with 100 agents on a mixture of inbound and outbound calls of about 50-50. The fact that we have the handheld phones gives me a little bit more comfort with regards to the staff. I know I can get in contact with them quickly, they can get in contact with me. And where there's areas in the business where they may be alone working late at night in areas of the hospital that are shut, I feel safe in the fact that they can contact the reception or out of hours team if there are any issues. And thereby we haven't got to double up in staff.
With regards to the call center side, we have certainly seen a growth, of I believe about 4% to 5%. And also we've seen an increase in the patient satisfaction, because our in patients can now use their laptops when they get in. Better towards the end of their stay. It is a great service that we can provide. And we get a lot of positive feedback from the fact that the customers can use their laptop. It's an every day tool now, isn't it. Usually I work from home, so it's been really useful to be able to continue working using my laptop here in the hospital, which you can't usually do. So that's been useful.
As most of the clients that come in use BlackBerrys, iPhones. And they will be able to connect easily, and some of the patients are able to perform their duties as I can work was in hospital, they can do some work. Those who are self-employed or the ones who complete their duties. They can actually do that. When you're in hospital, sometimes you can't sleep at night. So it's been handy to be able to ring the family at any time of day or night and be able to use my laptop.
It was very quick, actually, it was very professional. Somebody answered the phone and it was just speaking to a person and not all the number one alternatives, or number two alternatives. Put me straight through, dealt with my inquiry. I was very impressed. I made the call and they took my details, my name and address and everything. And then they obviously transferred all the information through the system, and when I arrived at the hospital everything was here, it seemed very seamless. Very professional process.
It has made our jobs quite easy, yes. Very very easy. And in that regard, that speeds up, of course, the management of patients. If the consultant is able to get you back to you as quickly as possible, then you find that the management is also enhanced. Because the communication with the doctors, it's easy for us to contact the doctors. We can, they are easily accessible on the phone. We can ring them at any time, they can ring back and no, they communicate we can't communicate to them because they have patients.
With regards to module, I oversee several department, so I could be at any one place at any time across the three buildings. So people can get in touch with me immediately, and I can get in touch with them if there is an issue, especially if there's a serious issue, whereby a patient might be upset or needing to see a senior member of staff straight away, I can be there very quickly. Whereas before, it was chasing around trying to pin me down. So that is very, very good. Feedback from the consultants has been very positive. The feedback that they've got from their patients has been very good. The fact that they can use their laptops and other equipment in the patient rooms has been a positive for the business.
The approach we went for is putting the Mitels alongside our current PBXs. The reason behind that is it enabled us to move very quickly and demonstrate a very quick return on investment. And also it minimized the actual risk to the hospital. Because obviously we can't take the voice communications out of the hospital for too long a period. Moving forward, what we can actually do is do a phased migration to new handsets. Which again, reduces costs and reduces the disruption to the hospital. Moving forward, a key plank of our IT strategy is increasing the mobility of our systems. To this end, we're going to be looking at delivering clinical applications, such as digital imaging and patient scheduling, through a range of devices such as the Apple iPad.
We also are going to be looking at increasing the range of services for patients. So for instance, the ability for them to order food and drink through their Mitel handsets. I would recommend Mitel because their solutions are very cost effective. It enables you to do a migration with a very quick ROI.