After months of planning, implementation, and training – driven by input from you, our valued patients – some of our new communications systems have begun to go live this month. However, let me begin with an apology regarding one of our six communication initiatives: Our new, organization-wide phone system and call center software launch has been delayed due to complications with our prior service provider making our phone numbers available to our new provider. Thankfully, this issue is now resolved, and our new phone system launched October 12. We were able to launch our Marble Falls location as scheduled because they had a different telephone service provider. We are hearing from patients and staff that it’s been working exactly as intended.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue working to refine all of our telephone processes and ensure that all of the staff education and training we have put into this effort will improve the patient experience.
I’m so excited to be able to report that so far, our newly launched communications initiatives are going very well, and I’m receiving lots of positive feedback about our new processes and systems.
Since October 1, patients have been able to access online self-scheduling through our patient portal. More than 200 of you have taken advantage of this exciting new option so far, with a success rate of 96 percent. Our staff has quickly assisted the small number of patients who encountered errors, ensuring that their appointments were scheduled as requested. This service has been a big win for patients, as it saves them time and makes it easy to both schedule and reschedule their visits.
While we encourage everyone to give this convenient scheduling option a try, we do still offer scheduling by telephone for those who prefer that option. To gain access to the patient portal, please request an invitation from our office. If there are any issues accessing the portal, you can visit our website to submit a request. Our patient support technician will respond to it within 48 hours via email.
We’ve also seen great success with the introduction of private messaging through the patient portal. With training and new processes, we are meeting our goal of responding to every message sent through the portal by the end of every day. This is an especially convenient way for you to get answers to your questions, so be sure to check it out.
Knowing that for high-priority and urgent situations, it’s necessary to speak with a staff member by phone, we have added a dedicated clinical staff member in our four main locations to respond to these patient phone calls and messages. I am pleased to say that this new approach is working efficiently and with great success.
We are still in search of a surgical navigator, as we want to find the right person with the right clinical experience and skills to effectively assist patients in need of surgical procedures. This important new position will give patients a single point of contact for their surgical journey, from preparation through recovery. We will be sure to introduce this critical new team member once we have them on board.
Thank you once again for your patience as the Urology Austin team has been working through these initiatives to improve your patient experience. As any issues arise, we will immediately address them as we continuously fine-tune all our new processes and tools.
It is our goal to ensure that your experience with us is as seamless, simple, and efficient as possible. As always, I encourage you to send us your feedback about your communications with us, both positive and negative. We do listen and use your input to make changes that will result in a better experience for all our patients.