Telephone mystery shopping: Are you allowed to record calls?

How many times do we judge a healthcare business based on the manner they answered the telephone? How would you feel if you, as a patient, were confronted by an inconsistent approach, or an unprofessional manner at the very first step of contact with a healthcare business?

The telephone is a powerful medium in reflecting a positive image of your organisation and is often the first point of contact when deciding on a private healthcare service for many people. It’s also a major tool you can leverage if you do not have enough appointments.

A healthcare business’s primary role is to provide the very best in patient care and advice, therefore, it is considered integral to provide a consistent level of quality in the telephone service, as well as the medical service, to your current and future patients.

Why you should be recording your calls

Considering most people within healthcare teams have a variety of skills, abilities and levels of positions, the consistent level of quality in telephone manner may be at risk. Our advice is – don’t be caught out!

The most effective way to ensure you are consistently reaching an optimum level and to evaluate any gaps that can be corrected by necessary and professional telephone training, is by understanding the current and ongoing quality of telephone call handling.

As specialists in healthcare marketing, we regularly undertake effective evaluation by monitoring and recording calls. Training is then designed with this insight, shaping it with optimum relevance and driving best learning.

Understanding the General Medical Council’s rules on recording calls

The privacy and data protection laws surrounding recording calls has always been a concern for the healthcare sector, resulting in missed opportunities by many healthcare organisations to effectively regulate the telephone service provided by patients and future patients.

For instance, the General Medical Council registers doctors to practice medicine in the UK. Its objective is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. It is therefore useful to follow the guidelines.

The official rules from the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK

“Telephone calls from patients to healthcare organisations may be recorded for legitimate reasons, for example, for medico-legal purposes, staff training, and audit, provided you take all reasonable steps to inform callers that their call may be recorded. Given the sensitive nature of calls to medical advice lines or similar services, you should pay particular attention to ensuring that callers are aware that their call may be recorded. You must not make secret recordings of calls from patients.”

So, the basic take home message is this: You can record your calls, provided you

  • are clear on the purpose
  • inform callers their calls are being recorded

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK