Voicemail

Policy

Category: Information Technology
Subject: Voicemail
Division: Finance and Corporate Operations
Policy Number: CA.54.01.100
Effective Date: April 8, 2015

POLICY STATEMENT

Voicemail is one of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s (WDGPH) communication tools and is intended to collect, retrieve or leave messages when it is not possible to answer the telephone directly. 

Maintaining privacy is critical and shall be respected and protected at all times in accordance with applicable legislation and WDGPH privacy and confidentiality policies.  As a general rule, WDGPH voicemail systems should not be used for the purposes of collecting, using, retaining and disclosing confidential information of any sort. 

Voicemail is categorized as either:

  1. Voicemail greetings: refers to an employee’s personal voicemail, as well as voicemail greetings on dedicated intake lines.
  2. Voicemail messaging: refers to situations where employees are contacting an individual or client as required to ensure the provision of WDGPH programs and services.  

VOICEMAIL GREETINGS:

  1. All WDGPH employees must set up a personal voicemail greeting on their telephone and Blackberry (where applicable), in accordance with Agency procedure.
  2. All volunteers, students and contractors who are provided an internal telephone extension to perform their duties must set up a voicemail greeting in accordance with Agency procedure.
  3. Voicemail messages must be picked up, at a minimum, once daily and responded to in a timely manner. (Note:  Individual Program Managers may request that messages be picked up more frequently.)
  4. All employees shall change their personal voicemail greeting when absent on a regularly scheduled workday.
  5. In circumstances where there is an expectation that clients will leave personal information on WDGPH voicemail (e.g., KIDS LINE, reportable disease lines), there must be a notice of collection message recorded indicating our privacy compliance in accordance with applicable legislation [i.e., Personal Health Information and Protection Act (PHIPA), Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)].
  6. Documentation of voicemail messages on dedicated intake lines must be completed in a manner consistent with the Agency policy CA.50.01.101 and procedure CA.50.02.101 Documentation Practices.

VOICEMAIL MESSAGING:

It is recognized that employees may be required to leave messages on external voicemail systems to ensure the provision of programs and services.  This includes contact with established clients and contacts where there is no previous relationship with an individual (e.g., calling to report a communicable disease).  In these instances, please refer to the appropriate program protocols or guidelines for specific instructions on external voicemail messaging.

All contacts and attempts to contact via external voicemail messaging must be documented in accordance with the Agency policy CA.50.01.101 and procedure CA.50.02.101 Documentation Practices.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all WDGPH employees, as well as students, volunteers and contractors.

DEFINITIONS

Voicemail – is an electronic system for recording verbal messages sent by telephone. Typically, the caller hears a prerecorded greeting and then has the opportunity to leave a message in return. This includes clients calling in or employees calling a person or client. These messages can be retrieved and played back any number of times, and forwarded to other voicemail boxes.  

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure: CA.54.02.100 Voicemail
Relevant Program Specific Procedures/Guidelines (to be developed)
Personal Health Information and Protection Act (PHIPA)
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Operations and IT

APPROVED BY

Director, Finance and Corporate Operations 


Procedure

Category: Information Technology
Subject: Voicemail
Division: Finance and Corporate Operations
Procedure Number: CA.54.02.100
Effective Date: April 8, 2015

PROCEDURE

These procedures are in accordance with practice requirements and obligations legislated by the Health Promotion and Protection Act (HPPA), Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). 

It is the expectation that Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) employees will answer their telephone whenever possible.  Voicemail is intended to collect, retrieve and leave messages when it is not possible to answer the telephone directly.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Management will:

  • Provide new employees with an orientation to the voicemail policy and applicable Agency and program procedure(s); 
  • Create program specific protocols or guidelines referencing this policy when employees are required to tailor their voicemail greeting (and/or external messaging) to suit the needs of their program;
  • Contact IT for direction when an employee is away for more than three days due to illness or an unforeseen absence to ensure an appropriate greeting is recorded on the employee’s voicemail; and
  • Ensure that an appropriate greeting is left on the employee’s voicemail or arrange for message blocking when an employee will be absent for an extended period of time (e.g., leave of absence).  Note: Message blocking is coordinated with IT and will prevent messages from being left on an employee’s voicemail.  In this instance, callers will be redirected to another extension by pressing “0”.

Employees will:

  • Answer their telephone whenever possible; and
  • Adhere to the Agency policy and all applicable Agency and program procedures for using voicemail.

VOICEMAIL GREETING:

1. Personal greetings may be customized to suit a particular role but, at a minimum, must contain:

  • Employee’s name;
  • Employee’s extension number;
  • The information the employee wishes the caller to leave;
  • How the caller can reach another person for an urgent matter (where required).  Note:  The general zero-out option (press “0”) will go to Reception or a designated person.  The exceptions are KIDS LINE, reportable disease line and PHI intake. In these circumstances, the voicemail greeting must include reference to a specific extension number (e.g., “if you need to speak to a nurse, please call extension 3616 for KIDS LINE”); and 
  • When the caller can expect a response. 

2. Employees will change their personal greeting when absent on a regularly scheduled workday.  Note: Part-time employees may state their work scheduled for the week but need to provide specifics as noted in (1) above. 

3. Employees will change their personal greeting when absent for a specified length of time (e.g., vacation, illness or an approved leave of absence) and will indicate the specific dates of their absence.  

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy CA.54.01.100 Voicemail
Relevant Program Specific Procedures/Guidelines (to be developed)
Health Promotion and Protection Act (HPPA)
Personal Health Information and Protection Act (PHIPA)
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Operations and IT

APPROVED BY

Director, Finance and Corporate Operations