Advanced Technology Consulting Helps SEP Improve Patient Experience and Interconnectivity
Mason, OH, September 11, 2013 – Cincinnati telecom consulting firm, Advanced Technology Consulting (ATC), recently deployed a Voice over IP (VoIP) business phone system for St. Elizabeth Physicians (SEP). The hosted VoIP deployment, implemented over an aggressive six-month schedule, consisted of 77 SEP locations. Each location was upgraded with a fiber connection to increase network speed prior to the installation of the networking equipment and IP phones.
“Through the entire process ATC worked closely with our team to make sure this project was successful,” said Dr. Glenn A. Loomis, SEP CEO. “We relied on Nick (Enger) and the ATC team to execute this project as quickly as possible and to guide us on features that will help us serve our patients more efficiently.”
The underlying intent of the project was to uncover an innovative solution to improve the ease of access for patients while reducing costs. With this in mind, ATC went about identifying and implementing a corporate telecom solution that met the current and future needs of a growing healthcare organization in a constantly changing medical landscape.
ATC conducted a complete audit to launch the project, where it visited every site and reviewed every telecom contract. Lines, cabling, demarcation points, handsets, local service, long distance service, data/internet service – everything was evaluated and recommendations were made on a site-by-site basis. Initially, ATC and SEP worked to consolidate all telecom contracts and put together a coterminous Master Services Agreement (MSA) that synchronized rates and provided economies of scale.
After a methodical review of potential VoIP phone providers, which included demos and site visits, West IP was the VoIP provider selected for their cloud-based, hosted communications services. The fully hosted and managed, unified VoIP system is a $4 million investment over the course of the next 5 years.
West IP’s cloud-based communication services have allowed SEP to transform and shape their use of communications technology with a suite of on–demand services including full PBX functionality, advanced call management tools and leading edge communications features. SEP’s PBX is different because it is cloud-based and hosted off-site by the VoIP provider – West IP. The West IP network operations center has complete visibility of all of SEP’s phone components and can modify, repair and change all phone system components remotely. Currently, 90% of all callers get a first call resolution.
Like most industries but particularly in healthcare, system reliability is critical. SEP’s business continuity plan relies on a disaster recovery strategy that leverages multiple servers in multiple states to guarantee geographic redundancy. Each office has a disaster recovery mode that redirects calls to another office. The receiving office is notified in advance. If the second office goes down, an answering service is deployed with access to doctors on call.
SEP’S VoIP system also leverages advanced queuing capabilities. Most locations implemented a call center application. Call flow was reconfigured and optimized, taking advantage of the system’s enhanced features and functionalities. In fact, distributed call center functionality is one of the strengths of the new West IP VoIP system. The new call flow design ensures that the patient will be delivered to the right person.
Interconnectivity between offices is now seamless and no longer disjointed. All locations are united under the same phone system. Current and prospective patients can quickly be transferred to the proper SEP office. Call center agents have access to a real-time dashboard that provides statistics and alerts, user call status and transfer capability. If a call is abandoned, the agent can easily call back limiting any caller frustration that may exist.
SEP’s hosted PBX also makes it easy to grow and change. Because the VoIP system is hosted in the cloud, SEP didn’t have to buy excess capacity such as they would with a traditional PBX. IT resources are not required when changes are made beyond a simple order submission with West IP. And, when an employee needs to be moved, an office manager can simply unplug their phone and plug it back in at the new location.
SEP’s “Your Health Line,” a centralized resource center, also utilizes the new VoIP network, making it easier than ever for patients to find a provider, office, or department. Moreover, across the entire network calls are being answered much more quickly. SEP offices receive over 45,000 calls a week. A recent study showed that average patient hold times were cut in half with the new VoIP system.
About Advanced Technology Consulting
Advanced Technology Consulting, Inc. (ATC), an independent telecom agency and consulting firm, removes the business complexities of researching, comparing, procuring, implementing and managing telecommunications solutions. ATC’s team of Certified Telecom Professionals (CTP) leverages an extensive network of technology providers to deliver unbiased insight and tactical proficiency on behalf of clients. Technical expertise includes VoIP business phone systems, unified communications, cloud computing, and structured cabling. Services include strategic consulting, contract renegotiation, project management, business-needs analysis, and support.
About St. Elizabeth
St. Elizabeth Physicians is the multi-specialty physician organization of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, one of the oldest, largest, and most respected medical providers in the Greater Cincinnati region. St. Elizabeth’s combined reputation has been built through unyielding dedication to patients and employees. St. Elizabeth is focused on introducing innovative treatments, technology, and processes that lead not only to better patient care and customer service, but to the overall improvement of the health and wellness of the region.
About West IP
West IP Communications is a leading provider of cloud-based communication applications and services – including MPLS-based application network management, hosted voice, unified threat management, advanced contact center solutions, unified messaging, collaboration tools and professional services – all delivered as a unified suite of cloud-based applications. West IP Communications’ scalable, on-demand applications and services can be integrated with a client’s existing network and telecommunications infrastructure, operational processes, and employee activities, enabling a client to migrate to unified IP communications as its business requirements dictate.
West IP Communications, a subsidiary of West Corporation, was the recent recipient of three Cisco® U.S. Partner Awards. Cisco named West IP Communications its 2013 U.S. Cloud Provider of the Year, U.S. Collaboration Cloud Provider of the Year, and U.S. Central Solution Provider of the Year. The honors reinforce West IP Communications’ ability to deliver the most advanced Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) applications and voice service packages based on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS).