Among the by-products of a telephone Advice & Guidance system, like Consultant Connect, are recordings of the calls that have been made. Reviewing these recordings and acting upon the information they contain can have a massive benefit for all concerned. Many insights that are not captured by other methods can be revealed and these could be used to improve ways of working and patient care.
For example, using intelligent analysis of call recordings and outcomes, CCGs and Trusts can quickly spot patterns in their provision which require attention – such as
- clinical topics where GPs have educational needs
- pathways which are not being utilised properly or don’t flow well
- communication failures
Using clinical information to deliver insights
- Gaps in clinical knowledge are inevitable, especially with the increasing breadth and depth of modern medicine. Data could reveal that local GPs frequently phone about the same clinical issue. Focused education on that topic could be provided at local GP events, along with articles in practice communications. Increasing personal confidence through education is key in implementing change.
- Handoffs in care are another well-known risk point, where information can be lost or miscommunicated and yet there is little systematic training provided.
Inform strategic decisions
The data gained from call recordings is very helpful and valuable – but it’s wasted if no action is taken. Top performing CCGs are top performing CCGs because they consistently search for ways to make their best even better. For top performing CCGs ‘continuous improvement’ is not just a catchphrase, it’s a focus based on gathering information from across the entire provision. And they know that data is helpful only when it highlights weaknesses as well as strengths.
Sunderland CCG uses call recordings from Consultant Connect to improve their services. Hospital and primary care colleagues work together to review and gather learnings. Tracey Lucas, Urgent & Ambulatory Care Clinical Lead comments “listening to the calls enables us to see how effectively GP enquiries are being dealt with and also shows us quite clearly where there are gaps in our provision.” The reviewing team acts upon this information by delivering education and coaching and using it to inform strategic decisions.
There is no doubt that call recordings are a convenient medico-legal record of an Advice & Guidance conversation. But for those CCGs and Trusts that take the time to review them, they can be so much more than that. As well as being a record of the past, they can be a guide to what future care provision should be.