Case Study: Voice Services

Thanks to Emmy Voice Services, the practice is handling 30% more calls

Dr. Adriana Young's general practice was struggling with a high volume of incoming and missed calls. Amidst requests for prescriptions and examination appointments, urgent patient needs were getting lost. Although they were already using Emmy at the practice, some patients still preferred to call. With the introduction of Emmy voice services, most of these patients can now be served by the voicebot, allowing nurses and doctors to work in peace.

Dr. Adriana Young has over 20 years of medical experience and opened her practice in Dejvice, Prague in 2010 as a group practice explicitly inspired by her experience as a junior doctor in the UK. The practice serves over 5,500 patients and employs 3-4 FTE doctors.

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Even spending half a day on the phone, patients couldn’t get through

In the autumn of 2021, the nurses at the practice were overwhelmed by the number of phone calls. The phones rang incessantly, reaching an average of 250 calls per day during the busiest week. It was impossible for the staff to handle all the calls. "Some patients were frustrated because they had to spend half a day on the phone. While some were lucky to get through, others didn't receive a response even after several attempts," recalls Dr. Adriana Young.

October's statistics revealed an average of 156 calls per working day. Nurses and doctors managed to answer approximately one-third of the calls (54 in total), while 102 calls were missed.

"The nurses complained that they could hear the ringing of the phones in their head even when they were trying to get to sleep at night," the doctor remembers. This prompted her to find a solution for the unbearable situation. They had used a digital answerphone in the past, but it proved ineffective. Transcribing the recordings consumed a significant amount of time. So she decided to deploy Emmy Voice Services.

The Deployment and Optimization of Emmy Voice Services

Emmy was implemented in Dr. Young's practice in October 2021, and voice services became operational in December 2021 using the Daktela virtual telephone exchange.

"I would prefer it if patients could speak to a kind person, but we couldn't afford to employ four operators." So after implementing Emmy voice services, the practice introduced two hours of open lines per day, allowing patients to reach a staff member directly (if they can get through). During predetermined morning and afternoon times, the voicebot is turned off and the available staff members answer the phones. Throughout the remaining office hours, patients are served by the voicebot. “It's not mandatory for patients to use the voicebot; they still have the option to choose, but now they can be sure of getting through if they need to," explains the doctor.

AI-powered call transcripts in Emmy

The voice service accurately transcribes every call with the patient and directly inserts thetranscribed text into the Emmy dashboard.

Here are some real examples of transcriptions:

  • Patient: "I have pain and a lump in my stomach."
  • Patient: "I need a sick note, yes I am not feeling well so I need a thick note for my university.“
    Patient: “I would like to make a reorder of my, prescription for high blood pressure tablets and the cholesterol tablets, Um the, high blood pressure tablets I think are triplex, has the name something like that“

"When a patient reports an urgent call, we call them back immediately. We address non-urgent requests gradually during the day," describes Dr. Adriana Young.

Four Benefits of Emmy Voice Services for Medical Practices

According to the doctor, replacing incoming calls with text transcriptions through Emmybrings several advantages:

  • The practice can prioritise requests based on clinical urgency, rather than the order of incoming calls.
  • Healthcare professionals have the flexibility to determine when to make return calls, without the need for call transfers when they are attending to a patient in the office.
  • Clinical staff can prepare for the call by having the patient's information readily available and knowing the purpose of the call in advance.
  • With unlimited call tariffs, the cost of making return calls is negligible.

The staff appreciates the improved communication structure. "We have eliminated confusing phone calls. Now, when we call patients back, we can prepare beforehand. Previously, patients would bombard us with questions in the middle of our work, catching us off guard and causing unnecessary stress," says Dr. Adriana Young.

Nurses also value the ability to call patients back while being aware of the specific issues and the patient's identity, especially when dealing with English-speaking patients in the Czech Republic.

Nurses have more time for clinical work

Previously, nurses found it frustrating to interrupt their work for phone calls. "The nurses were initially concerned about the introduction of the voicebot, but now they say they wouldn't change it. They are less stressed, have more time for their work, and can focus on their activities. They are much happier now," summarizes the doctor.

"According to the statistics from March 2022, three months after the introduction of Emmy voiceservices, we now handle 30% more calls (71 calls compared to 54) and record 4 times fewer missed calls," adds the doctor.

However, leaving messages with the voicebot did not completely resolve the issue with impatient patients. "When they don't receive a response within 15 minutes, some patients show up at the practice without an appointment, disrupting the practice's operation," explains the doctor.

Initial patient reactions to Emmy Voice Services

Not all patients immediately embraced the voicebot service. "Some patients appreciate the voicebot because they no longer have to spend hours waiting on a perpetually busy line, knowing that their requests will be attended to soon. For others, it takes time to adjust. Initially, people were sceptical about electronic sick notes and prescriptions, but they quickly adapted to the change," says Dr. Adriana Young.

If patients prefer a different communication method, they can call during the hours when nurses answer the phone or directly submit their requests through the Emmy patient portal.

Voice services are here to stay

"The burden was immense during the COVID-19 pandemic, and since it's not completely over, without Emmy Voice Services, we would be back to constantly ringing phones. We will definitely be continuing to using the voicebot," explains Dr. Adriana Young.

Do you want to know more about how Emmy can help you in your practice?

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Dr. Ondřej Sobotka

Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Emmy

Tim Young

Founder and CEO