Healthcare organizations of all sizes aim to deliver the best possible experience for both patients and often overstretched staff, starting with every phone call. Smaller medical clinics may not have the resources to build a full tech-enabled call center, but they still want to simplify patient inquiries and scheduling. This is where Docplanner Phone comes in. The Polish company Docplanner (known by different names in some of the countries it serves) recently launched the SaaS solution, which replaces clunky legacy systems with a streamlined, holistic approach to voice contact between patients and care providers.
Piotr Ziewiec, co-founder of Docplanner, said that by automating process flows, Docplanner Phone is designed to “make healthcare more human.”
“There is no replacement for the trust, convenience, and ability to ask detailed questions that voice contact offers,” Ziewiec said. To maximize the impact of human contact without overwhelming employees or needing to hire additional staff, his team worked to increase the convenience, efficiency, and accountability in those interactions by adding automation where it makes sense. ”Docplanner Phone is directly aimed at going between the patient who is calling a clinic and the receptionist who is answering this phone.” This is where Twilio comes in. His small team of developers used Twilio Programmable Voice WebRTC to give clinics powerful telecommunication tools.
Docplanner’s primary service, which is used by 70 million patients and 120,000 doctor profiles in 13 countries, provides a quick and reliable way for patients to search for suitable doctors and make appointments online. It also allows doctors to save time managing visits, reduce no-shows, and maintain their online presence.
Docplanner Phone was the company’s first foray into voice. As a self-proclaimed internet native, Ziewiec was surprised by some of the complexities and challenges in telecommunications that don’t exist in pure online development, like handling call forwarding and caller IDs. He relied on Twilio’s products to take care of the backend so his team could create a solution that would get clinics up and running with Docplanner Phone as quickly and easily as possible. “It's super important for us that everything works out of the box and is quick, convenient, and seamless,” he said. They have even been able to do remote installation, which is unusual in this industry.
The solution is designed with as much flexibility as possible so that clinics can use it in the way that best suits their needs. Twilio’s WebRTC enabled receptionists to answer calls via web browser, mobile app, SIP VOIP, or even—if necessary—to forward the call to a standard handset. TaskRouter controls the routing flow of calls to receptionists.
The decision to use Twilio was simple, Ziewiec said: “If we need to build something new, we ask our developers for their opinion, and Twilio is the developers’ choice.” The team of about 10 developers cite Twilio’s API services and documentation as having “a very clear difference” from competitors. They appreciate the ease of entry to the platform and the ability to test ideas quickly within trials without having to go through contracts first.
Another advantage was Twilio’s ability to offer standardization across DocPlanner’s unusual portfolio of countries spanning Latin America and Europe, simplifying deployment as the company grows. And because DocPlanner is one of Poland’s highest valued startups, Ziewiec understood how important it was to have a partner that was both reliable and growth-oriented. He felt that DocPlanner and Twilio shared synergy in this area and appreciated that both companies hold trust as a key value.
Docplanner fetches the caller ID from the Twilio API and matches it with patient data, so the receptionists see not only the patient’s name before even picking up the phone, but also a full interaction history. This allows them to connect more immediately with each patient and prevents the patient from having to repeat their story each time they call. The system is also designed with the reality of a busy clinic in mind. Staff often perform multiple roles, rather than simply answering the phones. So when a call is missed, DocPlanner Phone creates a callback ticket that has all of that patient’s background and keeps data on all calls, including when unanswered calls are returned.
Looking ahead, Ziewiec is interested in expanding from voice to multichannel capabilities, making use of Twilio’s Programmable SMS and WhatsApp APIs. Email and marketing are also a large part of Docplanner’s work, and the company is already using SendGrid and considering Twilio’s Customer Data Platform Segment in the future. Docplanner intends to keep iterating, expanding, and improving their service.
“What we expect from Twilio is to just work, and I believe it just works,” Ziewiec said.