22nd September 2020
In our latest blog, Operational Lead Curtis Green explains how different teams support patients on every step of their journey with Healthcare at Home.
The main aim of Customer Patient Services at Healthcare at Home is to deliver the best patient journey that we can, and provide proactive support to our patients and their carers in every way possible.
When patients are first referred to Healthcare at Home, our ‘onboarding’ team welcomes them with a phone call to introduce our services and explain the standards they can expect from all our teams. They will book the patient’s first nursing visit and deliveries as required, to ensure a smooth start to the service.
We also have an ‘outbound’ team whose aim is to call patients to book their deliveries around two weeks in advance of when they’re needed and answer any questions that patients or carers may have. The team works to offer the right ongoing support so that patients feel they have all the information they need and don’t need to contact us about any issues. We try to make sure patients have every opportunity to ask any questions they have on their mind.
Our ‘inbound’ team is also there to respond to any enquiries from patients, hospitals or consultants using our services as well as any questions from our in-house team of nurses and other patient support team members.
Introducing new digital technologies
With the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic, our online support has become ever more important for our patients and hospital teams. Our admin and live chat team deals with all our incoming customer patient service emails and supports those patients who choose to contact us only through email. They also run live chat, the new online channel accessed through our website that we’ve introduced this year, which offers the same service as we provide over email or the phone.
The benefits of live chat include the ability for our team to deal with more than one chat at a time, increasing their productivity, and patients and hospital staff are able to run the conversation in the background.
We are also piloting a new telephone system that will increase our ‘outbound’ callers’ efficiency and improve the customer experience.
Supporting the teams
In my role I support a number of coaches who each look after 13-16 team members in the 3 customer service and patient management teams.
Together, we support around 20 colleagues in the onboarding team, around 90 in outbound, more than 40 on the inbound team and 16 in admin and live chat.
Around 80 per cent of the coaches’ time is spent on engaging with team members to support their skills and development. I focus on the implementation of the new digital services, developing new processes for any additional services that come on board, general HR and performance management and escalating any issues that the coaches aren’t able to deal with.
Our main aim is that we deliver our support right first time, and a lot of our resources go into upskilling the team across the broad range of therapies we deliver.
Positive feedback and plans for the future
The team receives positive feedback from patients on a daily basis. One team member said: “I had a lovely call with a patient’s wife who has thanked me today for my call and sorting her husband’s delivery and nurse visit. Despite all they have been through their resilience is stronger than ever and they’re both happy and excited for this treatment.”
Another patient’s partner fed back that the team are “godsends” and that he appreciates them “still providing a service which people depend on during this unprecedented time”.
They also receive thanks from clinicians when they are able to resolve issues, for example a nurse working with children with haemophilia thanked the team for its service in arranging extra deliveries, saying how much they appreciated the problem being solved so efficiently.
I joined Healthcare at Home in September 2019 so I’ve been here for around a year now and it’s exciting that there are always new developments and everything feels fresh and new. We’ve got a bright future ahead and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities it brings for colleagues, patients and customers.