Switchboard improvements at Base Health Centre

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer — A new telephone system at the Base Health Centre is providing faster connections and reducing wait times for patients needing services.

Canadian Forces Health Care Service Centre (Pacific) (CFHSvcs(P)) introduced its new Vocalls automated call system on Apr. 24.

“The new system is certainly more user-friendly than what existed previously,” said Captain (ret’d) Peter Blencowe, Primary Care Services Manager with CFHSvcs(P).

The new technology replaces the previous antiquated call-forwarding system. The Vocalls call system is already helping ease delays and end confusion concerning enquiries and calls to its first-come-first-serve walk-in clinic and other services, Blencowe said.

Under the new Vocalls system, members are placed in a queue, and calls are taken within the order they are received. Incoming callers are directed to the appropriate extension, with receptionists ready to take the calls immediately. If there is an overload of calls or unexpected delay, the system will prompt the caller to leave their name and number and wait for a call-back. Blencowe said Vocalls also enables staff members from other departments to assist co-workers if they are backlogged with calls.

Blencowe warns if a patient is experiencing a severe or life-threatening health emergency, they should not call the Base Health Centre but 9-1-1.

The Vocalls phone system was provided by Shared Services Canada. It is the same technology used by Base Information Services to direct calls and is also used by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and several other Government of Canada Departments.

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