NHS Direct has consolidated all its five million patient records into one single database and upgraded its call centres across the UK to create a “virtual contact centre”.
The move is designed to make sure that patient enquiries can be easily handled anywhere, regardless of their origin.
By using a system from Clinical Solutions, which includes a call streaming prioritisation tool (CSPT), nurses and health advisors can quickly prioritise calls, access the relevant records and provide accurate health advice.
Previously, patient records were located within 22 separate databases so calls could not be shared between locations.
By introducing a single patient database within the Clinical Solutions platform, staff can work from shared call queues across locations, on a regional or national basis.
This enables the call workload to be equally shared across the country, helping to ensure a more efficient service for the patient.
Murray Bain, director of ICT at NHS Direct, said, "The new system saves time - our nurses can access calls from one shared system and patients are seeing a hugely improved service."