CUP 2000 was founded in 1996 based on an initiative of the Municipality and Province of Bologna, together with four healthcare agencies in the Bologna metropolitan area, the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic and the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, with the mission of helping citizens access healthcare services, availing themselves of multiple technological capacities. As a unified booking centre that unites all healthcare facilities in Bologna and the province, CUP 2000 services a metropolitan catchment area of approximately one million users.
PhonesEnterprise, #phones e Lighthouse
Since 2002, the CUP 2000 Call-Contact Centre has operated on the basis of #phones and Lighthouse, the technology solutions from IFM Infomaster. One feature offered by the solution is automatic cancellation, which allows a user to phone the Call Centre to cancel an appointment by following a menu that allows him or her to complete the cancellation without interacting with an operator. Of great importance amongst the outbound services is the one called "computerised waiting lists", implemented for Bologna’s CUP, consisting in automatically calling back users who turn up at the help desks but, for a range of reasons, cannot accept the first availability offered. To prevent the user from having to return to the help desk, the request is added to a list based on the "first in, first out" criteria, managed by the central system that makes an automatic booking and reports this to an operator as soon as an appointment becomes available, in order to phone the user for an eventual confirmation or cancellation. Thanks to the VoIP technology on which it is based, the system can receive contacts from various media (telephone, email, instant messaging, co-browsing, fax, text message, and so on), being standardised in a coordinated channelling thanks to "unified queueing" functions that gather contacts from a range of sources to manage them in a uniform manner. All of the critical devices are redundant - if a fault occurs, another device immediately starts operating, thus preventing any service interruption. The IP protocol has also permitted the remote management of operator stations, greatly facilitating the coordination of services managed by CUP 2000 on behalf of other structures. Even Ferrara’s healthcare agency call centre is remotely managed with this technology.
Inbound and outbound logic combined for better service
Given the large body of customers serviced by CUP 2000, appointments for branch visits can require long wait times and inconvenience citizens, especially with regards to the elderly or those living in geographically-complex areas. The company's constant attention to citizens and researching new opportunities to improve the service level offered has thus led CUP 2000 to examine additional communication channels able to provide an alternative method to the classic help desk booking system so as to break down certain barriers standing between citizen and healthcare. This has led to the decision to accompany making appointments for visits at help desks reserved for the public with a Call-Contact Centre that further facilitates access to the healthcare services and which operates both with an inbound (the collection of incoming calls) and outbound (outgoing calls made by the operators) logic. In the latter case, for example, regarding the most critical healthcare services, the call centre operates a call-back service four or five days prior to the appointment to reconfirm the reservation or to oversee sending reminders to citizens via text message.
Help Desk for citizens
Overall, the Call Centre currently has 95 operator workstations, 2,400,000 annual contacts and approximately 50,000 operations per month just for the Bologna CUP. The service was integrated with CUP 2000's centralised booking application system whereby call centre operators and front-office help desks can access the same information updated in real time, with e-Care services and the solution managing clients’ social-healthcare files. Today, thanks to the Call Centre set up by IFM Infomaster, CUP 2000 is able to manage a multitude of services, including appointment bookings, cancellations and modifications for a range of healthcare agencies and more, both under the national healthcare service and for private practitioners. What’s more, as part of the SOLE project, CUP 2000 will soon commence managing a Help Desk service for Emilia Romagna citizens who have an Electronic Healthcare Record, providing assistance and information to citizens regarding highly important online services such as the FSE, the CUP web (the regional system for bookings or checking waiting times online) and also the regional Pago Online Sanità service for co-payment and private healthcare specialists for all agencies in the Emilia Romagna region. Indeed, since 2010, the Regional Healthcare System’s toll-free number has been established availing itself of the same technology, offering a healthcare information service for the Emilia Romagna region that has been operating since 2002 albeit previously managed on another platform. The main objective for the future is to focus on voice-recognition systems, to permit users to identify themselves and book directly via an intelligent automatic responder. In this way, upon an operator receiving a call, they will already have the user’s data and services to be booked on their screen.