Decreasing Staff Burden by Streamlining the Phone Tree System

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Maricopa County Department of Health (MCDPH) used QI methods to achieve a 90% decrease in callers to the health department who selected the "zero-out" option (transfer of call to a live operator), thereby freeing staff time to focus on other projects and ensuring that more callers quickly and easily reach the area of the department that they are seeking.
Summary: 

To improve caller experience and reduce staff burden of directing calls, MCDPH completed a QI initiative aimed at reducing to less than 10% the number of callers who selected the zero-out option on the automated phone tree system. This target was achieved after revising the phone tree options to give preference to options selected by most callers in plain language (e.g., "For sexually transmitted disease [STD] services, press 1." vs. the prior phone tree, which required selecting two options before hearing words such as "STD clinic" or "STD testing"). A 90% decrease in calls using the zero-out option to transfer to a live operator was seen after implementing the revised phone tree, freeing staff time to focus on other projects and ensuring that more callers get to the area of the department they are seeking with fewer call transfers.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
MCDPH
Citation: 

Henry, B. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Decreasing Staff Burden by Streamlining the Phone Tree System. Wed, 06/27/2018 - 13:17. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/decreasing-staff-burden-streamlining-phone-tree-system. Accessed November 21, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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