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A single-network solution saves time and money After recognizing the problem, we contacted our lo- cal business telecommunications provider, Telcom Corp, and they recommended we install a modern, voice-over- Internet protocol (VoIP)-enabled system by Samsung. Using Samsung OfficeServ systems as the backbone for our three primary locations and IP phones at our remote sites, we have a technol- ogy foundation in place with features that help to enhance productivity for our entire organization.

Keith Szymkiw is controller at Oakland Psychological Clinic. For more information on Samsung solutions: www.rsleads.com/108ht-216

Using the system’s Auto Attendant and proprietary networking software (SPNet) to integrate the platforms, all Oakland Psychological Clinic offices can have calls directed from any site to a central location. This has al- lowed us to centralize inbound calls, including before and after normal business hours, to one single location with a dedicated receptionist. This capability also allowed us to greatly simplify billing and insurance processing, as we were able to designate an insurance processing manager in our main Bloomfield office.

illling and insurance processing, as we e an insurance processing manager eld office.

Overall, our staff responded very positively to the new system. Now, members are able to dial a four-digit extension to make calls to any clinic location, which has reduced our monthly carrier service costs. Allowing staff to receive calls and access voicemail from

f responded very positively Now, me

embers are able

extension to make location, which

monthly s.

any location is extremely important, as many of our mental health professionals move between offices to treat patients.

m mely important, as many of ofessionals move between offices

“Maximizing the productivity of our staff was essential productivity of our staff was essential

in today’s environment of stretched resources,” says Tigay. “Any tools we can utilize to make everyday business tasks easier is a win for us and lets the entire organization focus on what’s really important – helping our communities fight chemical dependency.”

Beyond internal communications processes, our new system also helped to make patients feel their needs are being addressed in a timely manner. Inbound call routing allows calls to be quickly and efficiently directed from one extension to the next if call volume is high or the recep- tionist is momentarily unavailable. That way a patient in need can always reach somebody. We are also considering adding the mobile extension feature so that incoming calls to certain individuals can simultaneously ring at up to five locations, including mobile phones for our on-the-go workforce. That way, our staff can always be reached by patients and colleagues, and they do not have to give out personal cell phone numbers.

www.healthmgttech.com

Lastly, the convergence of voice and data through VoIP allows us to be more responsive to patients once they’re on the line. Automatic pop-ups of patient files on staff computer screens give us the ability to provide immediate counsel based on the patient’s previous medical history, providing a superior level of customer care.

Any organization that deals with patients via phone will benefi t from an investment in a modern, converged phone system.

Any healthcare organization can experience these results

Any organization that deals with patients via phone will benefit from an investment in a modern, converged phone system. With our new technology, we know that with one call our patients will have their needs addressed quickly and efficiently. Our staff is now working with patient

working with patients and less time on admin- istrative functions, such as billing, appointment scheduling or tracking down a colleague. And the best part is that the reduced monthly phone bills and the operational efficiencies we’ve achieved have already justified the investment we made in the new system.

. Our staff is now able to spend more time ts a

istrative fu appo track And re bi ef ha

inve ne

“I never thought something as simple as a phone system could make such a difference in our every-

n w s “I ne

as simple make such a

day business operations,” Tigay says. “If you want your phone to do more than ring and hold, consider upgrading to converged telecommunications.”

day business operations,” Tigay

When you’re ready to upgrade your communications system, I recommend partnering with a local busi- ness communications provider who has experience in the industry and is able to present healthcare-specific testimonials. Like us, you’ll want someone who can customize a solution for your unique needs. Remember that installation should be simple, with the technology easily integrating into existing facility infrastructure. You should also look for an equipment provider who offers advanced telecommunications solutions that are easy to use with little to no specialized training. And lastly, in anticipation of future growth, make sure the platform is flexible enough to accommodate evolving needs. By recognizing your organization’s communications needs and installing industry-leading technology, patient care can improve.

HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY August 2011 27

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