As more and more GP surgeries move to federations, localities or CCGs to help them find economies of scale and shared staff resources in the face of an ever increasing pressure to offer extended opening hours, we find we are being called upon to offer our advice on how to link two or more sites.
Linking GP surgeries is not a new phenomenon. We have previously used network connectivity technology to help GP surgeries share telephone systems so they do not have pay out for a system per site or for the calls between them.
These days there are more choices available to federated GP surgeries as the advent of cloud solutions has provided an alternative option to an on-premise solution.
A surgery I recently visited opted for an on-premise solution. We installed a single telephone system with multi-tenant functionality to facilitate two separate surgeries on one platform. We linked them using a voice-only network connection which enabled free calls between sites and the ability to transfer, forward and pick up calls between them. They also used a voicemail platform that provided an automated attendant facility, unlimited mail boxes, bespoke messaging and voicemail-to-email and call recording.
Alternatively, they could have opted for a cloud-hosted solution which would have incurred very little capital outlay as it is purchased on a per user per month basis. As long as all sites have Internet connectivity, they are easily linked and there is a full choice of features available, including automated attendant, voicemail, hunt groups and call forwarding plus inclusive lines and minutes to significantly reduce call costs.
Both types of solutions have their place when linking surgeries. The key is to find the right one for you by receiving the right advice at the outset.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.