Canberra Imaging Group adopts the latest in communications technology

Medical professional checking an Xray result


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Canberra Imaging Group (CIG) is one of the longest established medical imaging practices, operating from ten locations in the ACT and surrounding NSW. CIG prides itself on its quality of care, investing in staff development and education, and the most advanced medical technology available for diagnostic imaging services.

CIG had also been an early adopter of IP telephony and, with a VPN solution already in place, the infrastructure allowed the business to easily revert to a work from home model for all its contact centre agents and back office staff during the initial COVID-19 lockdown.

“Literally, our staff just packed up their workstations and went home,” said Adam Willoughby, System Administrator, Canberra Imaging Group.

However, by October 2020 its 15-year-old on-premise Cisco CallManager (CCM) and Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) system had reached end-of-life, and CIG was dealing with degraded performance, including call dropouts, particularly when volumes increased on the network.

“The biggest complaints were dropouts, audio issues, long wait times, and call instability if the queues rose above 20. Our services lacked the capacity to facilitate any more than that,” said Willoughby.

With an increase in telehealth consultations and Medicare-approved electronic referrals during the pandemic, CIG experienced much higher levels of online enquiries and appointment requests. However, the basic voice functionality of the existing system was a major issue in managing this, explained Canberra Imaging Group’s PACS and Integration Manager Dale Anderson.

“We also started to face the problem of not being able to capture all of our mechanisms of referral; our email traffic, our web traffic and other ways patients were getting in touch with us. Our aim was to have this omnichannel centre by finding a product that could bring everything in together really well.”

While omnichannel contact centre functionality was important in a replacement solution, the fundamental requirement for CIG was the quality of the basic voice platform.

“We really wanted to improve scalability and reliability – so we would be able to deal with call queues of any size,” said Willoughby.

Having implemented RingCentral MVP and RingCentral Contact Centre, CIG now has full visibility on the sheer volume of calls it is receiving on a daily basis, which is helping the business with staffing levels in the contact centre and also providing a new perspective on the demand for its services. An average day for CIG is 1300 calls and, while the abandon rate is still quite high, CIG is able to implement measures to address the issue, including more flexible agent rostering to cater for peak times and correlating call abandons with playback messages advising patients to book online if they don’t want to wait in the queue.

While there’s still some backend integration work for CIG to complete before it can roll out RingCentral’s full omnichannel capabilities – including email and web chat – the core platform and applications are now in place.

“Basically, our tagline is to have the latest in technology and the best service available to our patients. And the full RingCentral solution will definitely add to that message. It shows that we’re using all the latest technologies, and that our communication pathways are very seamless for our patients,” concluded Anderson.

Originally published 13 Oct, 2021

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