[Use case] 3966 hello doctor, providing continuity of outpatient care

In order to provide continuity of care when doctors’ surgeries are closed, ACORELI wanted to set up a system for receiving and handling patient calls.

ACORELI (Association Comtoise de Régulation Libérale, the Franche-Comté association for private practice regulation) partnered with the emergency medical services and the Regional Health Authority (ARS). Having considered several options, it was decided that the most suitable arrangement was an easily memorable telephone number and a call classification and referral system.

ACORELI decided to use  Guide Vocal,a cloud-based interactive voice server solution. In combination with a freephone short code number, this solution enables the association to:

  • receive calls from patients, classify them and immediately refer them, either to the on-call doctor or, in urgent cases, to the medical emergency services.
  • filter calls according to the caller’s home department, in order to direct them to the relevant call handling centre.
  • obtain statistical breakdowns of the use of Guide Vocal, in order to conduct in-depth analysis of the calls (peak times etc).
  • use an easily identified and memorable short code number (39 66).

Initially launched in the Franche-Comté region, this system was then rolled out to the Midi-Pyrénées and Yonne.

We wanted a call handling solution that was easy to use and that could direct an overly large volume of non-urgent calls away from the emergency medical services’ number, while providing continuity of care outside the hours when doctors’ surgeries are open.
Dr Christophe Gevrey, Founder of ACORELI


The 3966 number was very quickly memorised by the populations in the regions concerned.

As a result, the number of calls to the emergency medical services rapidly decreased. Critical emergencies are still treated according to required standards and patients requiring a doctor for ongoing care are seen more quickly.

In the Midi-Pyrénées region, 3966 received an average of 3,585 calls per week during its first year of operation, around 2,100 of which were made at the weekend, 110 between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight each evening and 64 between midnight and 8 a.m. the following day. Peaks in activity are on Sundays, bank holidays, long weekends, New Year holidays and during the winter epidemic season. Telephone lines are staffed by 15 to 20 doctors each weekend, with 150 on the ground.