Whether a patient is looking for a new physician or has questions for a nurse, they can often find the answers at the Lee Memorial Health System Call Center. The Call Center currently takes incoming calls for 93 providers, including all internal medicine, family practice and OB/GYN practices within Lee Physician Group. Additionally, they cover pulmonary medicine, the residency program and memory care. This allows the physicians staff to focus on patient care while call center employees cover the phones.
We ll route an incoming call according to individual office s needs and instructions, says Charlie Bongiovanni, Call Center director. We believe that the patient comes first. That is why we see every patient contact as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our patients, their health care provider, Lee Physician Group and Lee Memorial Health System.
The Call Center began as a resource for new patients to our area who are looking for a physician; however, the center currently takes many other types of calls as well. Call Center employees can refer patients to a physician and handle scheduling of appointments, nurse advice and physician messaging, Charlie says. We plan to further expand on the services that the call center provides over the next few years.
Any new patient who needs an appointment can call one central phone number to receive the help they need to connect with a health care provider. Patients who are already established with an office that we assist can still call the main office telephone number as they always have, Charlie says. The main phone number is forwarded automatically to the Call Center so that the patient does not have to contact us directly.
The Call Center will offer nurse triage service beginning in March. A registered nurse (RN) will be on duty during our hours of operation to utilize their listening, assessment and critical thinking skills to determine the necessary action for the patient on the phone, Charlie says. For example, can they wait for an appointment in the office, should they go to the Emergency Department or call 911?
Initially the nursing staff will mainly handle urgent calls which require immediate attention. Some callers will continue to be routed to physician offices for followup and questions. We are starting small by putting the most urgent needs of our patients first, with hopes of providing improved quality and more efficient services, Charlie says. Our long-term goal, however, is to offer nurse triage to any caller who may need to speak with someone who is trained in the medical field as we continue to grow into the future.