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Mount Isa Hospital switchboard picked up more than 189,000 calls in 2021

Mount Isa Hospital switchboard picked up more than 189,000 calls in 2021

2022-05-09 10:38:53

Mount Isa Hospital switchboard picked up more than 189,000 calls in 2021

22nd March 2022

Up there as one of the busiest departments in a hospital, the Mount Isa Hospital switchboard fielded more than 189,000 calls in 2021.

With 100,926 external phone calls and 88,386 internal phone calls, and an average of 518 phone calls each day, the skill and patience of switchboard operators cannot be undermined. 

Outside calls are acknowledged, family members are connected to speak with loved ones in hospital and community members are directed to make appointments, all while the internal connections between doctors, specialists and other staff members continues seamlessly.

Not to mention, the added responsibility of activating pagers in the event of being notified of a critical emergency and being the central point responsible for monitoring the alarm systems of oxygen and medical fridges that may need further investigations.

North West Hospital and Health Service (HHS) Acting Clinical Support Manager, Steph Smith said the switchboard operators had handled the queries and concerns from the community extremely well, especially after COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and positive cases were prominent in the area.

“On a typical day, the switchboard is very busy and our operators are answering calls as quickly as possible, so you can imagine the impact COVID-19 has had on the number of phone calls coming through to the hospital as well,” she said.

“Our staff are highly skilled, trained to remain calm and efficiently connect calls, while maintaining empathy with our community who may be in a stressful situation or have a loved one who may be in hospital.”

Mount Isa Hospital Switchboard Operator Trish Luxford said the best part of the job is being able to help people.

“We connect the community to the right people to speak to at the hospital so they can get the information they need. Whether they’re needing to book an appointment, ask questions about a service or speak to a relative or friend in hospital, our job is to point them in the right direction,” she said.

The Mount Isa Hospital has five switchboard operators and the switchboard operates 24/7.