Patient Access Centre

We currently have over 50,000 patients being served by our Patient Access Centre in Hamilton.

The Patient Access Centre is perhaps the biggest innovation in the Health Care Home model and the best example of how the model’s focus on forward planning and improving access improves our patients’ quality of care.

Most practices are unaware that, on average, 18-25% of their patients ringing the practice in the morning fail to get through. The Patient Access Centre reduces this to 3.5% by ensuring more people are on the phone at times of peak demand. The Centre is modelled on the concept of an extended practice receptionist team and each of our Health Care Home practices has dedicated staff who work as part of their team, taking all calls and looking after administration. Any patient requiring clinical advice is transferred to the practice team.

Removing telephone calls from a practice reception has a huge impact on the quality of service provided to the patient at the desk and our receptionists report a much calmer working environment not having to multi-task between call handling and managing front desk.

The Patient Access Centre has roughly halved the number of phone calls coming into nurses, freeing them up to provide more direct patient care. This lets them be more proactive in monitoring and managing chronic conditions and running education programmes.

Hear what Eileen Joyce has to say about using the Patient Access Centre

The Patient Access Centre provides a vast range of services to support the practice:

Managing all calls

Forwarding all calls from patients who are seeking urgent care or requiring clinical advice to their clinical team in the practice

Booking, changing or cancelling an appointment

Repeat prescriptions

Sending out invoices, with follow-up letters and phone calls if necessary

Contacting patients who have not had a consultation for two-and-a-half year

Managing recalls and reminders such as childhood immunisation, influenza vaccination, cervical screening and smoking cessation.

“Having no ringing phones makes a huge positive difference to the clinic. When we first transferred over to the PAC system so many people noticed that it was quiet, it was calm and a nice atmosphere.”

Janice Phillips

Medical Centre Assistant, NorthCare

“When I do phone the Patient Access Centre I know my call is going to be answered. They speak to me as though they are part of my team.”

Eileen Joyce

Patient, Health Te Aroha