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National Coronavirus Helpline - Healthdirect Australia Case Study

Healthdirect Australia had to act quickly to ensure the National Coronavirus Helpline could meet expected demand.


Healthdirect Australia had 5 days to ensure the National Coronavirus Helpline could meet the expected spike in callers seeking information and advice.

As part of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 response, Healthdirect Australia rapidly established the National Coronavirus Helpline, a central place for the community and health professionals to get consistent, up-to-date information on the coronavirus.

Healthdirect Australia is a national, government-owned, not-for-profit organisation which delivers a range of telehealth services to provide every Australian with access to trusted health information and advice, when and where they need it.

The Australian Department of Health expected a spike in demand for information about the emerging pandemic and asked Healthdirect to scale up the existing National Coronavirus Helpline to cope with an estimated 25,000 calls per day – a five-fold increase in call volumes.

This critical service provides information to both the general public and health professionals across Australia. 

Launch day of the enhanced service involved bringing eight additional call centres on board with hundreds of additional agents and switching to a new call management system – all while seamlessly providing the service to inbound callers.

"The combination of the critically important National Coronavirus Hotline and very rapid delivery meant we needed to work safely and with agility. With Amazon Connect and Operata, we were able to launch a 100% new service with the assurance that it would scale with high quality performance."


— Grant Sayer - Chief Technology Officer, Healthdirect Australia

Healthdirect Goals

  • Provide a reliable helpline for Australians to receive trusted information and advice about COVID-19. 
  • Build and fully stress-test the scaled-up, redesigned service to meet the government deadline.
  • Receive real-time data and insights on service performance for quick problem-solving on service interruptions.

How Operata Helped 

Scale, capability and timescales made Amazon Connect the ideal solution, but how would Healthdirect gain the confidence they needed for a seamless launch?

Healthdirect used the Operata platform to create multiple campaigns that tested the performance and Amazon Connect contact flow logic under load.

As part of an initial production readiness program, 21,000+ test calls were made over a two hour period, 17 campaigns and over 110,000 test call minutes.. The largest campaigns delivered 5,000 concurrent calls at a delivery rate of 10 calls per second, navigating all the menu options of Healthdirect’s Amazon Connect contact flows. The campaigns were created and run using Operata campaign wizards with the results analysed in real-time by Healthdirect CTO, Grant Sayer.

When completed, the call-by-call results were exported with links to all the test call recordings, samples of which were used to confirm voice quality within Amazon Connect.

Of the 21,000 test calls only 2 failed to be answered by the Amazon Connect platform within 0.3 seconds, even at full load. All calls successfully navigated the contact flow logic with no errors logged within AWS.

For ongoing service assurance, Operata pulse tests are run every 5 minutes to each state/territory phone number. Automated escalations are made via simple PagerDuty alerts if target parameters are not met.

The National Coronavirus Helpline was successfully launched within 5 days, so it was ready to meet the expected increase in call volumes. This important community service has added to the confidence of the general public and health professionals in the National response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights

  • Healthdirect Australia had five days to upscale the National Coronavirus Helpline for health professionals and the community.
  • The helpline needed to take an estimated 25,000 calls a day and host up to 1000 agents.Amazon Connect provided the ideal solution - scalability, capability and speed to deploy.
  • Operata provided automated load-testing and performance measurement with predicted customer demand.
  • Running tests and a real-time dashboard gave Healthdirect Australia the confidence needed for launch.
  • Every 15 minutes, automated pulse tests provide end-to-end assurance with escalations if target parameters are not met.

Download this Operata HealthDirect case study as a PDF.

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