Software Enhancement to Help Front-Line GP Receptionists Manage COVID-19 Surge in Calls from Worried Patients

Uxbridge, UK 16th March 2020: In response to the public health emergency and requests for help from GP surgeries, Metier and Tollring have fast-tracked an update to their intelligent middleware software CallConnect GP (formerly Patient Connect) that provides a link between the clinical system and existing telephone system. The upgrade will enable GPs to better manage the requirements set by NHS England to interrogate callers and identify callers with possible Coronavirus symptoms.

With the new update when a patient calls their surgery a safety alert ‘pop up’ displays the latest NHS advise and guidance for receptionists. If the receptionists determines the caller meets the case definition for COVID-19 infection, they will be advised NOT to come to the surgery, pharmacy or hospital but to go online to, and the system will tag the patient’s telephone numbers with an alert. If the patient subsequently rings again to try to get an appointment, the receptionist is notified immediately of a risk. This system also alerts the receptionist if a phone number matches members from the same household, who would also be deemed as contacts at risk.

The software is available immediately to any GP surgery with an integrated telephone and computer capability. GP surgeries that currently use CallConnect GP (formerly Patient Connect) can take advantage of a free license upgrade.

James Collins, CTO of Metier says, “Our GP surgeries are telling us that they receive repeat calls either when NHS 111 is busy, or when a patient gets conflicting advice. The patient then rings back their GP to request an appointment or another household member rings. The system helps the receptionist to stay vigilant, to ask the correct questions and to demonstrate full compliance.

“The system ensures reception staff follow the latest advice and guidance from NHS England (as updated by the Practice Manager or an Administrator) on what receptionists need to ask such as symptoms, recent travel and if they know anyone who has traveled to specific countries.”

Tony Martino, CEO Tollring comments, “At Metier and Tollring we are keen to do our part in helping everyone manage this virus in the best way possible. We hope our software goes some way to help health professionals on the front-line.”