Managing telephone messages electronically

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Tools and techniques

Jeff VandenBoom
Management Engineer
Henry Ford Health System

The electronic telephone encounter system used by HFHS is integrated into the intranet and electronic medial record (EMR). There are many benefits to managing telephone messages electronically rather than with paper. Cost reductions (paper, printing, shredding, etc.), time savings, and improved message turnaround are examples.

The presentation will outline the following:

  • Henry Ford's previous telephone message management system
    • Paper, paper, paper
    • Lost messages
  • Henry Ford's electronic message management system
    • The electronic telephone encounter form (eTEF)
    • Integration with the intranet and the EMR
    • The concept of workgroups and how to set them up
    • Processing a message
    • Tracking messages
  • Benefits of electronic messages management
    • Cost reduction
    • Staff time savings
    • Improved message turnaround
    • Improved staff and patient satisfaction
    • Timely documentation in the EMR
  • Management reporting
    • Telephone standards compliance
    • Total messages processed
    • Using the data to identify problem areas and reduce call volumes
  • Training and implementation strategies
    • Pilots
    • Pre and post implementation analysis of key quality characteristics
    • The train-the-trainer method
  • Lessons learned