Urology Austin

News from Urology Austin President Craig Ortego – September 2023

It’s Go Time!

I’m happy to let you know that a better patient experience is on the horizon: October 2, 2023, is the official launch date for our new communications program, designed to optimally support you in your interactions with our team. Addressing everything from your online user experience to our phone system and staffing, this massive implementation across multiple locations has been under way for several months, involving new technologies and processes along with intensive training of our entire team. 

Our goal has been to create a comprehensive solution that will solve communications issues, making interacting with us easy and efficient for you. We are so excited for you to experience the positive changes when you reach out to us and move through treatment at Urology Austin. 

 Here is what to expect, starting October 2.

Phone technology upgrades

Urology Austin has implemented a new, top-of-the-line phone technology platform. This new technology is cloud-based, allowing you to connect with Urology Austin and no longer receive a “fast busy signal” as you might have experienced with our older system. The new technology will get you to our streamlined auto attendant, where you can make a selection to ensure that you reach the best team member to assist you with your needs. In conjunction with our new patient self-scheduling, as well as the integration of our patient portal, the upgraded phone technology will allow for our team to answer and respond to truly urgent matters in a more timely manner.

Phone software upgrades

In conjunction with our new phone technology changes, we’ve upgraded our auto attendant technology to improve and streamline your ability to reach the right team member to assist you, based on your selection from multiple options. The biggest change will be the addition of a true callback functionality. With this cloud-based system, you will be able to request a call back while keeping your place in line on busy call volume days. When you use this feature, the system will call you back automatically when it’s your turn, either at the number you call from or a different number you provide. It will automatically alert the right team member to assist you with your selected reason for calling, so you will not need to remain on hold or call back multiple times throughout the day to get the help you need.

Online self-scheduling 

As a patient, you will be able to easily schedule a visit with a Urology Austin provider through our new patient self-scheduling feature. Our web portal is modern, user-friendly, and compatible with computers as well as mobile devices. During the scheduling process, you will need to provide information and answer questions related to the reason for your visit, and you will receive instructions for next steps. If your request is more complex or urgent, you will be directed to call our patient contact center to complete the scheduling process. After scheduling, you will receive a confirmation email with additional instructions and a unique link that allows you to reschedule or cancel your appointment if needed. We highly encourage patients to take advantage of this convenient feature and follow all instructions provided by the portal.

Patient portal 

The healthcare industry has integrated technology into its operations, and the patient portal has become a standard feature in doctor’s offices. At Urology Austin, our medical providers have recommended that patients use our patient portal as their primary means of communication with us. This enables patients to directly communicate with their care teams, saving time and providing a more efficient system. Additionally, patients will have easy access to their healthcare records, including X-rays or lab results, and can also update their medical history. These updates are automatically synced to their electronic healthcare record. To gain access to the patient portal, please request an invitation from our office. If there are any issues accessing the portal, patients can visit our website to submit a request. Our patient support technician will respond to it within 48 hours via email.

Clinic triage staff

At our four largest locations, we’ve created a new clinical role to help patients who need urgent care and to improve communication with our practice. The clinical triage staff will focus on addressing urgent patient issues quickly and effectively, with the goal of improving patient care and outcomes. They will also be available to assist clinical care teams with routine patient calls. This role is essential and will always have someone on duty.

Surgical navigator

Having surgery can be overwhelming, as it involves various parties, schedules and instructions, both before and after the procedure. Patients may feel frustrated and overloaded with information. To address this, Urology Austin has developed a concept called surgical navigation to reduce barriers to care for surgical patients. This involves patient education, advocacy and coordination to ensure that patients have the best possible outcome during their treatment and recovery journey. After scheduling surgery, patients will meet their surgical navigator, who will take charge of their case and provide support for up to three months after the surgery. We are currently recruiting for this position. This concept is currently in the design phase, and we hope to operationalize it by the end of the year. 

When you visit any of our offices, you will receive more information about all of these new services and tools. Our staff will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

As you might imagine, getting all of these initiatives up and running has been a massive undertaking, involving a great deal of consideration, planning, implementation time and training for everyone here at Urology Austin. We feel certain that we’ve done everything we can to create a smooth transition to these new services, however, we expect that tweaks will need to be made to continue to optimize the patient experience. This is where we will need your input.

As you begin to use these new tools and resources beginning October 2, we encourage you to send us your feedback. Please let us know if you experience improvements in your interactions with us, and of course, if you run into any issues along the way. I personally read every patient message and respond to as many as I can. If you don’t hear back from me personally, know I have directed your message to the right member of our executive team to be handled quickly.

Thank you for your patience while we worked these past several months to give you a better experience with Urology Austin. And thank you, as always, for placing your trust in our care team. 

Please submit your messages to me here.

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