Kcom lauds voice recognition's role in NHS savings

Doctor NHS

Comms services provider Kcom claims to have saved the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) 600,000 by overhauling its European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) renewals service.

UK residents travelling to European Economic Area countries have to apply for an EHIC, which entitles them to receive state healthcare for free or at a reduced cost.

The cards need renewing, via NHSBSA, every five years, and this process was previously handled by call centre operators at a cost of 1.40 per application.

However, since Kcom developed a voice recognition system to ease some of the financial burden on NHSBSA, it is claimed the cost of renewing an EHIC has fallen by 70 per cent.

The company also claims, in the two years since the system was first installed, it has saved NHSBSA around 600,000.

Suzette Bouzane-Meadows, head of contact at Kcom, said: "We've designed a service that is focused on improving the customer experience as well as delivering significant cost savings.

"We'll continue to work closely with NHSBSA to further develop the solution to meet the increasing demand," she added.

Brendan Brown, head of customer service and innovation at NHSBSA, said the system has made it easier for people to apply for EHIC.

"There's less [pressure] on the operator to assist. As a result, the cost savings have continued to be impressive, as a majority of the transactions are done via self-service," he explained.