The importance of phone queues for handling covid vaccination scheduling
by Louise Wahlström
Today, 15 of 21 Swedish regional customers are Aurora Innovation and we have been in contact with everyone since the beginning of the year to offer our help. In 13 of them, we have set up different solutions for handling vaccination bookings and the increased pressure from citizens who contact the health service. From March 1 to April 9, more than 200,000 calls were retained in the various covid vaccination queues set up.
Lately, the media has reported that several Swedish regions have not had a stated strategy for handling vaccination bookings by telephone. In some regions, available vaccination slots have not been booked.
At Aurora Innovation, we welcome more channels for patients and citizens to reach healthcare. Therefore, Aurora teleQ has developed from being a telephony system into a more complex service that today offers healthcare to offer a variety of channels for patient contact. But we know that telephony is still the most common way to contact healthcare. Especially in older age groups, which are the prioritised groups to be vaccinated in the first phases of the Swedish vaccination strategy.
Our customers have addressed this problem in various ways. But the most common solution is that they have set up their own entrance to the vaccination queue. Either via a special telephone number that leads to a central queue where everyone gathers in the list – or by the citizen calling their health center and having to make a choice by pressing a button to get to the vaccination queue for that particular health center.
– At some of our customers, the citizen is met by a telephone operator who answers the call and places them in the queue. But in most cases, it works well to be met by a recorded message that provides the information needed, says Linda Barthelsson, Solution Manager at Aurora Innovation.
An advantage of handling the vaccination queue in Aurora teleQ is that a citizen who has called and been placed in a queue can call several times without it being handled as a new contact. Instead, it is met by a message confirming that they still have their place in the queue.