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Redefining Patient Communication through Advanced GP Telephony with Care Connect by Onecom

Redefining Patient Communication through Advanced GP Telephony with Care Connect by Onecom

Paul Nocivelli , , ,

Onecom's Head of Business Solutions, Paul Nocivelli, has penned an insightful article on revolutionising patient communication through cutting-edge GP telephony for the latest edition of Open Access Government.


Redefining Patient Communication through Advanced GP Telephony

In navigating the digital transformation journey, sectors across the board are leveraging communication technologies to redefine their operational landscape. This evolution, especially pronounced within the realms of public service, brings to light the increasingly critical role of innovative telephony and communication solutions.

As industries pivot towards more efficient, secure, and flexible systems, the healthcare sector finds itself at a crossroads. Here, the challenge is not merely technological advancement but enhancing patient experiences and operational resilience in the face of unprecedented demand.

NHS England highlights that “an average-sized practice of 10,000 patients often receives more than 100 calls in the first hour of every Monday”, leading to prolonged waiting times for patients and extensive use of practice resources.

Enter the NHS Better Purchasing Framework (BPf), a strategic initiative designed by the NHS to usher UK general practices into the new age of digital telephony. The BPf plays a crucial role in implementing the telephony transformations required of the healthcare sector – a transition underscored by the urgent need to enhance patient experiences and practice resilience and safety.


Healthcare sector challenges for advanced GP telephony

Beyond the widely acknowledged frustration of long wait times, several other challenges underscore the urgency for advanced telephony within the healthcare industry. Accessibility issues often deter patients from receiving timely care, exacerbating health outcomes. The lack of personalised interaction in the existing telephony systems hampers the ability of GPs to provide tailored care, leaving patients feeling undervalued and overlooked.

Moreover, the absence of integrated patient record systems places a significant administrative burden on healthcare staff, leading to inefficiencies and potential errors in patient care. These challenges, combined with the escalating demand for GP services, underscore the pressing need for a transformative solution to navigate the complexities of modern healthcare communication.


Revolutionising patient communication with Care Connect

Onecom, the UK’s largest independent telecommunications and cloud provider, has developed a groundbreaking solution to address the complex challenges within the healthcare industry. Recognised as an approved member of the NHS BPf, Onecom introduces “Care Connect”, a pioneering telephony solution aimed at transforming patient-practice communication.

Care Connect is not merely designed to reduce wait times; it targets the root causes of inefficiency, and the inherent limitations present in existing GP telephony systems. This innovative approach promises to revolutionise how healthcare providers interact with their patients, offering a more streamlined and effective communication channel.

  • Enhanced Callback Functionality: By offering patients the option for a callback, Care Connect significantly reduces the impact of long wait times, prioritising patient convenience and satisfaction.
  • Intelligent Needs Requirement Routing: This smart feature assesses the specific needs of each caller and directs them to the most appropriate channels. By tailoring the communication process to individual requirements, patients receive personalised care and efficient service, leading to improved patient satisfaction and streamlined care delivery.
  • Advanced Reporting & Call Classification: This feature enables practices to analyse call patterns and patient needs, leading to targeted communication strategies and service enhancements. By understanding peak call times, patient preferences, and areas for improvement, GP practices can optimise their services and improve patient satisfaction.
  • In-Queue SMS Communication: This feature enhances the waiting experience by providing patients with real-time updates via SMS while in the queue. Keeping patients informed and engaged reduces unease, improves communication efficiency, and fosters a sense of care before the conversation even begins.
  • Seamless Clinical System Integration: By directly integrating with patient record systems, Care Connect streamlines access to critical patient data. This integration empowers healthcare providers to make informed decisions quickly. Patients experience faster service and more efficient appointment scheduling due to the swift access to necessary patient records.


Deployable at any scale, from individual users to vast health networks, Care Connect showcases remarkable flexibility and adaptability. Scalability can vary anywhere from one user to thousands and from a simple telephony configuration all the way up to highly advanced contact centre systems that can handle direct calls based on skill set, CLI ranges, and even caller sentiments.

Built on Onecom’s Vox cloud telephony platform, it underlines our commitment to delivering not just a telephony system but a comprehensive communication suite that embraces multimedia functionalities like video and chat, setting a new standard for patient-practitioner communication.

The significance of Care Connect is that it represents a forward-thinking approach to anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s healthcare landscape. By providing a versatile platform that responds to both patient and administrative needs, Onecom is setting a new benchmark in healthcare communication, ensuring that GP practices are equipped to meet the evolving demands of their patients and the broader healthcare ecosystem.


Onecom’s broader public sector impact

Onecom’s expertise spans across the entire public sector, owing to its strategic alignments with key procurement frameworks, including the Crown Commercial Service’s “Network Services 3” and “G-Cloud 13”.

This unique positioning enables Onecom to offer a diverse array of communication and connectivity solutions that go beyond conventional boundaries. From spearheading smart city initiatives to integrating cutting- edge IoT technologies, Onecom leverages these frameworks to comprehensively meet the varied needs of the public sector – whether it’s supporting central government functions, empowering charities, enhancing the housing sector, or bolstering health services.

Onecom is an approved Crown Commercial Service supplier in four key areas of critical business communications technology:

  • Unified Communications: Cloud telephony solutions across softphones, handsets and smartphones with business intelligence and application integration.
  • Connect4Teams: Cloud solution that delivers direct routing, PBX integration, secure voice recording and contact centre capabilities within a Microsoft Teams environment.
  • Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS): Digital transformation with omnichannel customer experiences and engagement delivered over the Cloud with performance reporting and analytics.
  • Cloud Solutions: Cloud technology underpins our scalable and resilient infrastructure, offering the flexibility to dynamically adjust resources to meet business needs, seamlessly integrating with services like Unified Communications, Connect4Teams, and CCaaS for comprehensive operational support.


Onecom: Paving the way forward in the public sector

Through Care Connect, Onecom embodies a commitment that transcends the mere integration of advanced technology; it champions a profound dedication to reshaping patient care and improving the administrative efficiency of GP practices. This ambition is grounded in alignment with vital procurement frameworks such as the NHS Better Purchasing Framework (BPf), showcasing Onecom’s capacity and steadfastness in delivering solutions that not only meet but surpass the healthcare sector’s expectations.


Find the entire Open Access Government edition here.