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Fewer phone calls: how chat feature brings peace of mind to GP practice

Januari 2023 ● 5 mins reading time

By: Quin

At most GP practices, the phone rings off the hook most of the day. Chat features, such as that of the Quin app, can help accommodate many of these calls and save valuable time. But how do practice employees experience this in everyday operations?

First things first. Because what exactly is a chat feature? Within the Quin app, patients and doctors’ assistants can message one another, which is very handy. Especially at busy times, such as on Monday mornings, when phone calls continuously roll in.

Because you can also answer chats at a later point, you can distribute peak pressures better. Assistants are less tied to the phone and therefore have plenty of space to answer questions easily and in an accessible manner.


More peace of mind for the doctor’s assistant

This is how doctors’ assistants themselves have experienced it as well. Assistants such as Leyla Nayir, who works at Huisartsenpraktijk Keijzer in The Hague and appreciates that she has enough time to consult with the GP after receiving a chat and can then get back to patients’ questions.

‘Before Quin, we usually had to call patients back later in the day because we only had an answer from the GP at that point, for example. Then it often happened that the patient didn’t answer the phone or that we had to leave a voicemail, after which calls were made back and forth and a lot of time was lost. The chat feature allows us to take our time for consultations and schedule the moments when we respond to chat messages. That goes faster and smoother.’


No more queuing

According to Leyla, the chat feature has further helped to relieve much of the pressure. ‘It makes a tremendous difference when there is not a patient on the other end of the line waiting for you while other patients are queueing up at the same time. You can deal with questions when it suits the demands of the practice. This brings more freedom and peace of mind to my days at the practice. For me, it works really well.’

In other words, every question that can be answered by chat means one less time-consuming phone call. Doctor’s assistant Ilaria Zanaga of Huisartsenpraktijk Westertoren in Amsterdam has also noticed this. In an earlier interview, she stated that since they have started using the chat feature, she has been able to communicate much faster with her patients: ‘The lines are shorter than they are when using email, and the form of communication is more personal.’


E-consultation via chat

Classic e-consultations using email automatically close after one message.  As a result, you have to open a new e-consultation when a second question comes up. In contrast, when a GP does an e-consult using the Quin app chat feature, there is more space for follow-up questions and for other things such as photos.

The latter has an impact not only on telephone traffic but also on visits to the practice. Suppose a patient has a skin condition; then they can take a photo of it and send it to the doctor’s assistant. The assistant reads the message, looks at the photo, consults the GP if necessary and then gives self-care advice or schedules an appointment.


Number of users growing

Incidentally, chats do not only benefit the practice team. Patients also appreciate the feature. As a result, the number of users keeps growing. At Huisartsenpraktijk Keijzer in The Hague, the number of chats has quadrupled since the feature was introduced in June. And by October, forty-five per cent of this practice’s app users were using the chat feature.

Almost ninety-two per cent of patients are satisfied with the feature, mainly owing to how convenient it is. In addition, patients get a reply within three hours on average, which is also appreciated. And the best part? The chat feature creates more space and time for the patients who would prefer to pick up the phone or come to the practice in person.

In this way, the chat feature not only reduces the workload at the practice, but also ensures better and more personal contact with patients. And in the end, that is what it is all about.



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About Quin

Good, accessible healthcare, now and in the future, is essential. Quin contributes by supporting every step in the care process with digital tools. This gives professionals more space for patients and enables patients to take more control of their own health.