Legacy phones, diverse software programs, cell phone usage at work—these are the headaches of today’s healthcare IT managers. The mishmash of infrastructure they must cope with costs your organization money, time, efficiency and patient satisfaction, while endangering confidentiality. Yet, as the trusted advisor of healthcare clients, you’re tasked with the unique challenge of modernizing offices while meeting ever-increasing regulations.
Is moving to the cloud the answer? If you’re thinking “yes,” you’re not alone. In an HIMSS Analytics 2017 survey, 65% of respondents reported that they currently use cloud services with a focus on data hosting, data recovery and backup, clinical applications and hosting of operational applications. Gore Health and Capstone Pediatrics are two healthcare firms that have benefited from cloud deployment. Here are their stories:
Never Too Far Away
Gore Health, a 100-person healthcare organization in Southland, New Zealand, had a legacy TDM-based PBX telephony set-up. Their problem? Programming and fixing the system had to be accomplished on-site, but the nearest technical support was in Dunedin, almost two hours away. On top of that, there was no backup in case of an outage.
After moving to the cloud, Gore Health was able to:
- Directly manage most of the system administration
- Remotely complete more complex technical support and upgrades via the cloud
- Realize significant telecommunications savings by switching to the SIP-based fiber network
“It’s very straightforward for us to set up and assign extensions or new phones ourselves,” says Fiona Marsh, Gore’s administration manager. “We also no longer have to pay monthly rent for the six copper lines we had, and our call rates are now far more cost-effective.”
Bringing It All Together
With 11 locations, Capstone Pediatrics needed a telephony solution that would streamline scheduling appointments, efficiently use the staff members’ time and increase overall patient satisfaction. Its outdated on-site system was costing time and money.
Capstone also decided that investing in updating its legacy system wasn’t the best option for them. Rather, they establish a patient contact center that could handle calls for all practices using a hosted, cloud-based phone system.
Thomas Okokhere, Capstone’s vice president of financial, analysis and internal audit, explains how the new system has improved patient service: “Now, appointment calls are centralized and the whole process is much more efficient. Our patient contact center has a dashboard, which makes it easy to monitor calls, view and keep track of the average time to answer, abandon rates and other patterns that can affect the overall patient experience.”
The results? A cost savings of $1,000 per month by reducing front-office staff, higher revenue from more patient visits and an increase in calls answered in less than 30 seconds. Impressive, to say the least.
Is the Cloud Right for Your Clients?
If you’re considering moving all or part of your client’s communications to the cloud, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind.
- Analyze current systems. Identify where your client’s system is costing them money and patient satisfaction. How can you leverage their current investments while still updating their services and operations?
- Do your research. Learn more about unified communications and cloud-based technologies. Read industry analysts’ reports on best practices. A good unified communications as a service (UCaaS) partner will build a solution that fits your client’s needs.
- Plan a smooth transition. It’s crucial to keep your client’s existing communications systems up and running while the new structure is put in place.
- Secure all data. A common concern of healthcare providers is whether the cloud will keep data secure, which is essential for HIPAA compliance. Look for UCaaS vendors who have been certified as meeting HIPAA standards and offer a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
Making the move to a cloud-based platform can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be. By choosing a partner who can help your clients find and implement the best solution for their healthcare organization, you can simplify the process and maximize the results.
Learn more about Mitel’s unified communications products, cloud services and IP phone system solutions today.