United Arab Emirates, Dubai, June 19, 2013: Dubai Hospital's administration department has recently launched an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for outpatient appointments.
The new system provides convenience for patients who can call a dedicated phone number (009714 2196226 or 009714 2196091) which is operational between 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and request for an appointment. The automated system takes down all the information in either English or Arabic and patients then receive a short message (SMS) confirmation within few minutes with the details of their appointment.
The system has been designed and developed in-house by DHA employees as a way to enhance customer satisfaction and provide convenience to patients. Nasser Fekri, Head of Administrative Services, Finance and Administration Department, Dubai Hospital, said: “This system has cut down the waiting time to receive an appointment over the phone by 99 per cent. Prior to this system, customers had to wait on the phone for long periods of time as operators were always busy due to the high volume of calls. Therefore, I developed a low-cost and maintenance free IVR system, so that callers can provide their details in English or Arabic to an automated voice message and they receive an SMS notification within a few minutes.”
He said the highly convenient system was developed using the IVR model that stores all the information onto a computer. “This system ensures all the information is saved onto the hard drive of the computer. Our staff members browse our web based system, then go through this information and provide appointments according to the needs of the customer. Within few minutes, the customer receives the appointment details.”
Fekri said that if there is any missing information or documentation required, the customer receives an SMS alert. He said: “In today's times customers are leading a busy life and therefore they appreciate this mechanism which is very convenient, has no waiting time and was developed using the latest, simple and fast technology.”
Fekri added: “We introduced this pilot project in April 2013 and since then we have provided appointments to over 4000 people.”
He added that outpatients are those who require follow-up after completing a surgery, procedure or initial consultation with the doctors; therefore these appointments are not time-sensitive.
Fekri said it is his hobby to implement such mechanisms that provide enhanced customer satisfaction. He said: “In 2009, I implemented the phone comments and suggestions system, so that people can rate our service over the phone instead of writing to us.”
He said patients can call +9714 2196118 to provide feedback and suggestions.
Fekri added: “In the last quarter of 2012, I designed the phone information system, which provides location of the hospital, documents needed for a health card, birth certificates, medical reports and other customer information required.” He said those interested can call +9714 2196266
He said that these initiatives were implemented because of the motivation and dedication of staff members of the finance and administration department and due to the support of the higher management. Other team members for the IVR outpatient system include Asia Jalal Bakhsh, coordination & follow-up officer, finance & administration department at Dubai Hospital and Akeel Al Jassmi, head of telecom unit, finance and administrative department at Dubai Hospital.