On Thursday June 13th, Call 4 Health
received the 2019 Award of Excellence (for 5 consecutive years in a
row!) and the Call Center Award of Distinction from ATSI—The Association of
Teleservices International, Inc.
The Award of Excellence involves an independent
firm that “mystery shops” messaging services and grades the service they
The Call Center Award of Distinction is a
sister program to the Award of Excellence that focuses on longer,
more involved call handling designed to measure the skills of professional call
center agents throughout North America.
These awards go only to companies that achieve the
highest scores on a broad set of criteria like ring time, accuracy of answer
phrase, operator guidance of call, manners, etc.
Congratulations to our team for all of your
hard work! We couldn’t have done it without you!
1Call, a Division of Amtelco, announced a partnership with Interbit Data, a leader in ensuring hospital staff has ubiquitous access to critical healthcare information. Using Interbit Data’s NetDelivery intelligent report distribution software, patient lab results can be delivered to clinicians via 1Call’s miSecureMessages application. The integration enables a hospital to distribute the critical lab results requiring action to the appropriate clinician’s tablet or smartphone.
NetDelivery intelligent report
distribution enables hospitals to send patient information simply and securely,
such as lab results, from the healthcare information system. NetDelivery allows
a hospital to collate and direct reports to the proper recipients based on user
defined rules. It also enables decision-based delivery, speeding and
simplifying actionable information to the right clinicians, at the right time
and in the right place.
1Call’s miSecureMessages is an
encrypted two-way HIPAA and HITECH compliant messaging app that simplifies
hospital communications with fast, reliable, secure messaging to help care
teams provide better patient care. MiSecureMessages apps are available for Android™
and Apple® iOS devices, as well as a secure web application for desktop use.
1Call, a division of Amtelco, announced their partnership with American Messaging Services, LLC (“American Messaging”), one of the largest private critical messaging companies in the United States.
Combining 1Call’s Operator Console with American Messaging’s critical messaging service, will greatly improve critical communications in healthcare areas that are designed to keep other wireless technologies out. American Messaging’s superior in-building coverage penetrates areas inaccessible to current cellular technology such as radiology labs and deep basements.
Mike Friedel, 1Call’s vice president of sales stated, “Our operator consoles are loaded with features and advanced technologies, but we were missing a traditional messaging component. This exciting partnership with American Messaging elevates the capabilities of our operator consoles to better serve customers who utilize paging services.”
Dave Andersen, American Messaging chief operating officer noted, “We are thrilled to further integrate our commercial and private messaging networks with the 1Call platform. Paging remains the most reliable technology for critical healthcare communications and our partnership with Amtelco helps to optimize current workflows for our customers.”
Read the June issue of AnswerStat, the information hub for healthcare contact centers.
Using an Outsourced Telephone Triage Service for Suicide Prevention, by Ravi K. Raheja, MD Suicide calls can be difficult, but with proper training, protocols, and disposition, telephone triage nurses save lives, one call at a time.… read more >>
Vital Signs: Offer Learning Opportunities to Better Retain Staff, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD Providing staff with learning opportunities will extend retention, increase job satisfaction, and improve performance.… read more >>
Vendor Spotlight on 1Call, a Division of Amtelco 1Call and Amtelco will continue to develop new innovative solutions, just as they have for the past forty years.… read more >>
Five Tips for Hospitals When Purchasing a Secure Messaging App, by Tom Curtin A stand-alone secure messaging app, or messaging app company, can’t address all the communication pain points within a hospital. However… read more >>
Use Telehealth to Extend Healthcare and Save Money, by Nicole Limpert Telehealth can connect patients with expertise in real-time and enable computer-assisted medical procedures in remote locations by specialists thousands of miles away… read more >>
Ten years ago: Cut Costs and Improve Care with Nurse Call Integration by Chris Heim Discover the many benefits that fully integrated communications solutions can provide to medical facilities… read more >>
About AnswerStat AnswerStat is the information hub for healthcare contact center news and resources, published specifically for hospital and medical contact centers and distributed free to qualified readers, decision makers, and influencers at hospitals and healthcare contact centers worldwide.
a simple visit to your doctor’s office can be more complicated than expected. Typical
doctor office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, symptoms
and complications from being sick don’t adhere to business hours.
can be a challenge for people who live in rural areas just to have access to a local
medical facility. Often going to a doctor appointment means time off work for travel
to and from the medical office. Those with limited mobility experience similar obstacles,
no matter where they live, because traveling is a time-consuming endeavor.
the help of technology, telehealth makes healthcare more accessible by bringing
medical services to the patient.
What is Telehealth?
Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as, “The use
of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance
clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public
health, and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet,
store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.”
of the most common forms of telehealth is a Nurse Hotline. Most U.S. health insurance
companies offer a toll-free nurse advice hotline to their customers. Other types
of telehealth services include:
Virtual Appointments: Patients can visit
a doctor or nurse via online videoconferencing or using a web-based question and
Medical Staff Consults: Telehealth isn’t
only for patient/doctor communication. Doctors, nurses, and specialists use virtual
consultations to coordinate care for their patients.
Remote Health Monitoring: Communication between
patient medical devices and doctors. Patients can use home monitoring equipment,
wearable devices, or apps to wirelessly communicate various health readings to their
doctor or medical care team.
Non-Clinical Services: Telehealth also
refers to remote, non-clinical uses such as, administrative meetings and provider
training and education.
not only makes access to healthcare easier for the public, it has also proven to
be a necessity for both large organizations and niche markets.
of the United States military, and their families, are stationed all over the world.
The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Military Health System (MHS) provides healthcare
to more than 9.4 million people through a network of fifty-six hospitals, 365 clinics,
and other facilities worldwide. Telehealth programs connect military patients to
providers across the world to deliver direct access to quality healthcare, tele-radiology,
and tele-pharmacy services.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is heavily involved with providing
telehealth services to rural communities and administers telecommunications telehealth
grants through two major programs: the DLT Program and the Community Connect Program.
Similarly, the United States’ Indian Health Service uses telehealth to assist with
accessing health services for American Indian and Alaska Natives populations who
live in outlying communities.
isolated, niche markets use technology to improve healthcare. Alaska’s Maritime
Industry uses a telehealth platform to enhance access to care for those who work
in the dangerous waters off Alaska. Internet connections are unreliable, so they
primarily use a phone-based system to instantly connect with doctors. The Federal
Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) uses telehealth to expand their internal healthcare program
by consulting with external healthcare providers via collaborative practice agreements.
Telehealth and Medical
of where people are located, telehealth is a critical tool that brings the best
possible care to patients. Medical call centers play a significant role by providing
the technology and medical expertise needed to bring remote healthcare to patients.
enables medical call centers to effectively become an extension of a hospital or
medical center’s operation. The communication software used by medical call centers
can securely access a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), update EMRs with
notes, and record calls needed for insurance claims and workmen’s compensation.
Because everything is documented, detailed reports can be generated for reporting
call center operators can coordinate care, make follow-up calls, schedule visits,
contact on-call medical staff, and manage referrals. Some healthcare call centers
staff licensed medical professionals who are qualified to make health assessments,
give medical advice, and escalate critical concerns.
services provided by medical call centers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. Medical operators can work different hours and be located anywhere in the
world, in any time zone. For example, if a medical center on the east coast of the
United States is closed, operators on the west coast are still available.
the 2017 American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) annual survey, hospital
CEOs ranked their ten biggest challenges for the year. Telehealth services can
address six of these ten concerns. Specifically, financial challenges (first), personnel
shortages (third), quality of care (fourth), patient satisfaction (fifth), access
to care (seventh), and population health management (ninth).
small and large-scale studies cite the use of telehealth as a cost-effective method
to deliver quality care, improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience, and expand
access to healthcare. The patient’s experience with their healthcare team plays
a critical role in their satisfaction. Patients are asked to provide information
about their care experience via the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers
and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Unacceptable survey results can result in hospitals
losing some reimbursements. In 2017 alone, approximately 1.7 billion dollars in
reimbursements were withheld from hospitals.
cost savings are also passed along to patients. Call center data from Health Navigator
cites the top five reasons for calling a nurse hotline are fever, vomiting, stomach
pain, cough, and head pain. Less than 10 percent of the cases were high risk. On
average, telehealth appointments for nonemergency reasons cost approximately 45
dollars, as opposed to 100 dollars for an in-person visit at a doctor’s office or
160 dollars at an urgent care clinic.
The Future of Telehealth
population growth for the United States, from 2008-2030, is estimated at 20 percent,
totaling 363 million people. This spike in population will exacerbate an already
strained shortage of healthcare professionals. Telehealth services may become more
of a healthcare necessity rather than a convenience.
technology advances, telehealth can become more complex by not only connecting patients
with expertise in real-time, but also enabling computer assisted medical procedures
in remote locations by specialists thousands of miles away, creating global care
teams for patients.
Nicole Limpert is the marketing content writer for Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco
is a leading provider of innovative communication applications. 1Call develops software
solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.
Our mission: Working together to provide the very best communication product solutions, backed by the best support available.
Since 1976, Amtelco has provided innovative communication solutions to call centers around the world. In 1997, the 1Call Division was formed to offer enterprise-wide clinical communication solutions designed specifically for healthcare organizations. 1Call is dedicated to serving the unique call center and communication needs of healthcare organizations, helping improve communications between patients, physicians, and staff by connecting people and information. Amtelco has received twenty-eight patents, covering a wide range of communications processes.
Hospitals and healthcare organizations around the world turn to 1Call to solve their medical call center, answering service, on-call scheduling, call handling, secure messaging, voice processing, conference calling, and automated integration engine notification needs. In an independent survey, 100 percent of the respondents said they would highly recommend Amtelco and 1Call to another healthcare organization.
Five-Star Service and Support
AvvCustomer advocates, solutions architects, and product managers are available to help customers and answer questions before, during, and after the sale.
1Call has a reputation for complete, professional system support, offering training, installation, and technical support staff on call on a 24-hour basis. When customers need assistance for their call center solutions, 1Call’s customer support staff provides fast and reliable service.
1Call’s customer support staff includes implementation specialists, installers, project managers, and technical support staff. The customer support staff has an average tenure of over fifteen years, which is virtually unheard of in technology and IT businesses. All support staff members are in the United States. While many of the staff members are in the Midwest home office, there are several regional offices around the United States.
Help When Needed
When help is needed, it’s just a phone call away. 1Call customers can also email the support team or access the exclusive online TechHelper tool, where documentation, manuals, videos, and many more training tools are available. TechHelper is available 24-hours a day, with unlimited access. Emergency assistance for 1Call systems is available 24-hours a day, 365-days a year.
Software upgrades are included with support agreements, helping ensure that 1Call customers always have access to the newest features.
In an independent customer satisfaction survey, 97 percent of the respondents said the Amtelco and 1Call service and support was excellent (Amtelco Satisfaction Research Study conducted by TMA+Peritus, February 2015). 1Call looks forward to partnering with more healthcare organizations to provide this same level of service.
Solutions That Work
1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, eliminate errors, and reduce training time for new hospital call center operators. All the specialized 1Call solutions save an organization’s limited resources, making each organization tremendously efficient, enhancing the patient experience, and improving their bottom line.
Each 1Call solution comes with the benefit of Amtelco’s forty plus years of experience in the field of call handling and messaging. Thousands of 1Call and Amtelco systems are in operation around the world, 24-hours each day.
1Call understands that every healthcare organization has unique needs and that they sometimes receive unusual requests from physicians and departments. That’s why 1Call offers powerful solutions that are easy to customize by the customer. Customers have access to a wide variety of administrative functions, including the ability to customize scripts for any department, with individual scripts for every physician, if needed. 1Call also has a scripting team that is available to assist customers with any specific requests.
Why Choose 1Call?
Hospitals continually recommend 1Call solutions to other healthcare organizations. So, more healthcare organizations continue to switch to 1Call. And it’s no wonder. With all the customizable hospital call center solutions available, the high levels of customer satisfaction and quality support services, 1Call is in a class by themselves.
What do customers say about moving to 1Call? Here’s one example: “It was a great decision switching to 1Call. The 1Call technology is innovative. It’s easy to learn, and it really seems to mold around what the particular needs of our hospital are. Everything runs so much more smoothly now. I think it’s also worth noting, the customer service: great. We couldn’t be happier.” Read more at www.1call.com/support/customer-service.
Strong Partner Relationships
Hospital CIOs and CTOs are under tremendous pressure to do more with smaller budgets and staff. It’s paramount that they have a reliable health communications IT partner. 1Call forms solid partnerships with their customers. Each organization is encouraged to work closely with the 1Call team of consultants and engineers through each phase of system planning, configuration, and implementation. This helps ensure that the 1Call systems are at their optimum performance levels to meet all the communication needs of their organizations.
1Call also works closely with key technology partners to provide organizations with the solutions that best fit their communication and technology requirements. 1Call’s partners integrate at a high level with the call center, on-call scheduling, HIPAA secure messaging, alarms management, and emergency notification solutions to produce a comprehensive solution that satisfies the needs of each organization.
The 1Call technology partnerships include:
Apple iOS Developer Program
Avaya DevConnect Community
Cisco Solution Partner Program
Cisco Developers Network
Copia OEM Partner
GENBAND Partner Program
Google Play Developer
Health Level 7 International (HL7)
Interactive Intelligence Global Alliance
Microsoft Developers Network
Mitel Solutions Alliance
NEC UNIVERGE Solutions Partner Program
SAP OEM Partnership Program
ShoreTel Innovation Network Alliance Partner
Spectralink Application Integration and Management Solvers Program
Unify (formerly Siemens) Technology Partners – Advanced Level Status
Vocera Solution Partner Program
Windows Development Center Member
One Company, One Solution
The development and customer support teams are in the “Innovation Way” hallway at the Amtelco and 1Call home office. These teams work together closely, and when a question arises, it’s a quick walk down the hallway to find the solution. One company, one solution, proudly located in the USA.
As customers have come to expect, Amtelco and 1Call continue creating innovative solutions. In addition to frequent enhancements to Intelligent Series, soft agent, and miSecureMessages, the newest innovations are MergeComm, Genesis, and miTeamWeb.
The MergeComm Integration Engine
MergeComm automates communications throughout an organization, speeding response times to help organizations provide better patient care. MergeComm takes an incoming message and uses a script to determine who needs to receive that information. MergeComm can receive a message from a wide variety of sources, including alarms, alerts, HL7 messages, nurse call, severe weather alerts, TCP, WCTP, and web services. Notifications can go to an individual, to an entire group, or to the current on-call personnel. Notification methods include email, miSecureMessages, IP phones, pagers, phones, smart devices, SMS, and Vocera badges.
The Genesis Software Switching Solution
Provides the Intelligent Series applications with advanced software-based telephony. Genesis provides an all-inclusive call center solution with ACD, call management, reporting, and call center applications based on the Intelligent Series. A few of the many benefits of Genesis include reducing the need for hardware, virtualization of the switching platform, integrating with SIP-enabled PBXs, connecting remote agents, and automating overhead paging.
MiTeamWeb is a Web Interface
Hospital staff uses miTeamWeb for fast online and mobile access to on-call schedules, messages, directories, and status. MiTeamWeb is available using secure browser access from a PC, smartphone, or tablet.
As technology continues to evolve (and everyone knows it will) and as customers have new communication challenges, rest assured that 1Call and Amtelco will continue to develop new innovative solutions, as they have for over forty years.
Today’s entry-level workforce values jobs that allow them to grow mentally. Educational opportunities provided at work, or through work, help to better connect employees with the job they do, increase their job satisfaction, and lengthen their tenure.
Not only are learning opportunities a wise retention tactic, it’s also a smart recruitment tool. Many workers so value learning opportunities that they’ll take a lesser-paying job if it provides the chance to grow, versus a higher paying position that doesn’t.
Here are some learning opportunities that you can offer to your staff.
Delivering internally produced training to your staff is a cost-effective way to provide the learning opportunities they crave. This can be unstructured teaching offered as needed or more organized educational offerings. The best thing about developing in-house instruction is that you can tailor it to the specific needs of your call center.
Possibilities include one-on-one training, classroom scenarios, and management coaching. You don’t need to provide all these options or offer them to all employees, but the smart move is to offer some in-house training to those employees you want to keep or groom for promotion.
More general business training is available in the form of local seminars. These are usually half-day or full-day events. And since they’re local, there’s little expense beyond the registration cost. Not only do these provide important skills your staff can apply to their work, it’s also a way to increase their job satisfaction and enhance their self-esteem.
Don’t forget industry conferences and conventions. These include both those that are healthcare related and those that are call center related. If they cover both, that’s a bonus. These opportunities, of course, are more expensive. Registration for conferences and conventions carry a higher fee then local seminars, plus there’s also travel costs involved, which can add up. Therefore, reserve attendance at industry events for employees in management or on a management track.
Next on our list is post-highschool education, usually through college courses. Though this can be towards degree fulfillment, a better solution is to pick specific classes that will directly benefit your call center. Be sure to look for opportunities to audit the class. Although this won’t result in any credentials for employees, it could reduce or eliminate the cost for the class.
For these last three options, formal seminars, industry events, and formal education, you may want to ask participants to report what they learned to their colleagues. This has three benefits. One is that it reinforces what they learned. The second is that it allows others in your organization to also benefit from it. Third it enhances the employees’ self-esteem.
Develop a Career Path
To further enhance the value of these learning opportunities, integrate them with a career path for employees who you feel have the potential to advance in the organization. This includes both those who you see in various future supervisory roles, as well as managerial positions and support staff functions. When employees see the potential that awaits them from these learning opportunities, they will stay with your organization longer and provide increased value while they’re there.
The Benefits of Providing Learning Opportunities for your Staff
Not only will these learning opportunities extend staff retention, they’ll also increase job satisfaction and improve performance. However, most importantly, as you train employees to do more, they become a more valued resource for your healthcare call center.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.
The Sun Sentinel honored six business leaders with its annual Excalibur Award, including Call 4 Health’s CEO Joe Pores. The Excalibur awards recognize outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities.
Awarded May 7, 2019, the Excalibur Awards honor business
leaders in South Florida for 2018. The awards recognize business achievement
and civic contributions each year, starting in 1978. The winners for this esteemed
business leader of the year award were selected by a panel of the Sun Sentinel
Media Group and nominations from the public.
Call 4 Health is a nationwide service, operating 24/7. It
employs 300 people in Delray Beach, with offices near Baltimore and Nashville,
where it employs 200 more. The company, which handles 1.5 million calls each
month, generates more than $20 million in annual revenues, with an annual 25
percent growth rate.
Formed in 1997 as a medical answering service, the company
expanded over the years from answering doctor office’s calls to offering
advanced healthcare services including patient registration and appointment
services for healthcare systems, hospitals, and hospice organizations.
Additionally, some hospitals outsource their internal switchboard function to
Call 4 Health.
Amtelco, a leading supplier of
communication technologies and software communications applications for more
than forty years, announced that its Genesis Intelligent Series solution is
compliant with key Avaya IX Workplace Calling solutions from Avaya, a global
leader in solutions that enhance and simplify communications and collaboration.
The Genesis software switching solution
provides the Intelligent Series applications with advanced software-based
telephony. Genesis provides an all-inclusive, enterprise-wide call center with
skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition,
text to speech, and voice services to improve call routing and management.
Users can keep metrics with customizable reporting, enhance accountability with
call logging and video screen capture, connect remote agents, and manage
automated dispatch and on-call scheduling. Genesis can operate in a virtual
server environment or in the cloud, enabling businesses to grow without adding
additional hardware, helping save time and money.
Intelligent Series release 5.3.6774 application is now compliance-tested
by Avaya for compatibility with Avaya IX Workplace
components Avaya Aura® Communication Manager 8.0 and Avaya
Aura Session Manager 8.0 via a SIP trunk.
communication systems are complex. Yet, many hospitals select one communications
method, secure messaging, in the hopes that a texting solution or an app is
going to be their panacea.
hospital staff research communications companies in the healthcare space, they may
not realize that while these businesses offer texting products, that is all they
offer. Having just that one part of a communication solution, which involve systems
and software from other departments, will not support what hospital care teams need
to deliver a great patient experience.
goal of every hospital is to provide the best care in the most efficient way possible
to their patients. Having a secure messaging app is important, but it is only part
of an effective communication protocol. It is paramount for hospitals to have a
holistic communication platform so that a secure messaging app can access EHR, integrate
with other communication systems, and take advantage of known data to provide reports.
medical and IT staff should consider the following key questions before selecting
a secure messaging app.
1. Will the app deliver
messages to the right people, at the right time?
certain the app can integrate with your hospital’s on-call schedules. Everyone needs
to be able to find the staff or care team they need in an instant and contact each
person how they prefer.
2. Is it easy to
integrate the app with multiple systems?
your patient room systems, as well as your EHR, communicate with your care teams?
Then your app should too. Does the app support API integration to your nurse call
and alarm systems so it can send critical messages to the right staff? Maintaining
multiple systems takes multiple people, which lead to working in silos. Therefore,
the app needs to provide simple architecture so it’s easy to implement and maintain.
3. Is the app easy
app needs to have features that are easy to use so training is fast and simple.
Losing time spent on training takes away from patient care.
4. Can staff easily
manage the app?
happens when hospital staff must add or remove users? How are app updates and new
releases handled? Does the company offer reliable customer support and trouble-shooting
help? Providing care for patients happens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hospital
staff should be able to rely on customer support for the app 24/7 as well.
5. Does the app improve
staff use multiple communication tools and don’t need another tool that provides
the same functions as other devices already in use. The app should integrate seamlessly
with existing hospital systems, save staff time, enhance the patient experience,
improve clinical communications, and support reporting functions.
stand-alone secure messaging app, or messaging app company, will not be able to
address all the communication pain points within a hospital. However, when used
in combination with communications solutions that offer scripting, directories,
on-call scheduling, emergency notifications, and other web-based applications, a
secure mobile messaging app used by staff will help your patients in the timeliest
way possible. This gives the patient the best service possible.
Tom Curtin is the president
of Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco is a leading provider of
innovative communication applications. 1Call develops software solutions and applications
designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.