Townhill Surgery is a Southampton based practice providing GP and nursing services, including specialist clinics such as diabetes, asthma, coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease, to over 6,300 patients. Townhill Surgery also provides patient advice and liaison support services, such as a Teen Helpline and in-house mental health support clinics.
Townhill Surgery had recently contracted with a well established telecoms provider when Amanda Galea took over the role of Managing Partner. As Amanda explains: "Before I arrived, Townhill had just signed up for a five-year agreement with a provider that, it was hoped, could become the link system for all Southampton Practices. What the company didn’t provide was a customer friendly, easy to use system. In fact, our experience at Townhill was the opposite. Speaking with other surgeries who had the same system, we found the customer service was not great and all interactions with the company were difficult. Most frustrating was when we wanted something changed on the system; it was either a long convoluted process, or would cost a lot of money.
"Their products were limited. If we needed to move a phone around, we couldn't. If we wanted more phones, it would cost a fortune. If we wanted to change them into IP phones, we had to buy splitters for everything. It wasn't adaptable at all. The phone system and the company were not adaptable in providing the bespoke service GP surgeries need. The system was stuck in the past!
"As soon as we were able, we paid out the remainder of the contract to move to a more appropriate provider."
Surgery Connect is a healthcare phone system designed from the ground up to address the needs of GP Practices. It has been honed for over a decade by feedback from GPs, Practice Managers, IT Leads and other healthcare professionals. X-on have designed all the Surgery Connect software and host the system on our own triple site resilient network. A generic system, or a system that resells a generic package, cannot provide the same level of healthcare symbiosis. Amanda had "refused to buy another phone from them, so we were actually short of phones for a very long time. We just moved people into a room where there was a phone, or have less phones in one room, or do without, because it was just throwing money down the drain."
Surgery Connect was selected as Townhill Surgery's replacement phone system after "a large project comparing various telephone provider companies, their systems and features. We found, what I would call typical telephone companies, people that I didn't really want to deal with… our previous provider under another name. There was another one, very similar to the X-on system, but it felt like the free lite version."
X-flow, Surgery Connect's graphical interface, makes the creation of call flows easy as Amanda explains: "With the X-on system, we have very easily adapted the backend using the system's workflow, the X-flow. We have fully manipulated the workflow to include differing messages and call routes, dependent on time as well as menu selection. Adding messages for training days/closures, or promotions on hold, is straight forward to implement and easy to amend. We mapped out the routing on a white board, then just recreated it in X-flow. It's quite intuitive. You can just double click here, double click there, and see what features each property has available and amend the feature accordingly.
"We can do what we want, when we want. Even getting a message changed swiftly; previously, it was awful!"
Amanda also utilises the call recording as "an ideal way to maintain quality monitoring and team training."
Townhill Surgery Says
"This system is excellent for any GP Practice. It is easy to manipulate how calls are routed into the surgery and then review the statistical reports to fine tune the system for best patient experience.
"The X-on team have been extremely supportive through install and onward care. They even implemented soft phone calling for us from our cold site, before our contract was live!
"So many phone companies forget onward customer support - I am pleased to say we no longer have to worry about this now we are with X-on."
For further information on Surgery Connect please call Sales on 0333 332 0000.