Hospital Call Centers



The Vital Ingredient in Clinical Communication

By Kevin Mahoney

 A robust and effective communication system is essential in any hospital, as it forms the backbone of the provision of exceptional patient care. The adaptation and growth of evidence-based medicine have led to growth in multidisciplinary approaches in patient care and increase in research among healthcare professionals.

Multidisciplinary approaches and evidence-based practice, therefore, have necessitated constant and efficient communication among health professionals, especially at the hospital level. The sensitivity of patient care and the fast growth of technology, both clinical and non-clinical, further necessitate a need for balance and maximizing of the right forms of technology for effective clinical communication.

The hospital call center serves as a vital platform in the cog of hospital communications. Often it serves as the patient’s first contact with the hospital. In general, the call center is tasked with providing patients and staff with information pertaining to emergencies, appointments, health monitoring, and the provision of specialist information. It is also a source of patient data and interdepartmental communication. This hospital call center platform, therefore, is multifaceted in its communication functionality. The facets of communications that are related to the hospital call center are patient-to-hospital communications, internal communications, and hospital-to-patient communications.

Patient to Hospital Communications: Call centers at healthcare facilities allow the communication of the patient with the hospital and provide treatment access and patient support. The hospital call center has evolved to be a key primary contact area in the healthcare system.

Treatment access begins with proper scheduling services that taps clinical assessment and triage. This is done to allow the patient to access the right specialized care specific to the individual. For instance, it considers previous admissions, patients’ insurance information, and urgent and emergent situations and classifies patient procedures as either inpatient or outpatient. Hospital call centers play a significant role in any hospital’s clinical communications. Click To Tweet

Patient support goes far beyond initial contact and the initial care received at the hospital. The medical call center has evolved to incorporate preventive and rehabilitative features into the platform. Moreover, call centers now use disease management programs to increase awareness of certain preventable diseases. Furthermore, they help the patient schedule appointments and remind them of screening programs.

The medical call center also helps patients access hotlines suited to their ailments, such as giving patients information about suicide prevention resources. Consequently, these platforms have improved communication features by integrating holistic curative, preventive, and rehabilitative features. This patient communication is an essential part of providing health services by a hospital.

Internal Communications: Additionally, the hospital call center supports clinical communication within the hospital staff. This is evident in environments where there is a centralized web directory. In such instances, the call center acts as the medium for vital information within the hospital. This essential information includes work schedules, contact information, and information about the employees on call. It is a critical component of providing well-coordinated care within the hospital system.

Furthermore, such call centers are tailored to communicate emergency codes and deliver critical messages to clinicians. These critical messages are essential, as they allow patient access to clinicians and contact among clinicians themselves.

A hospital call system, therefore, must be well-coordinated, time sensitive, reliable, and suited to the hospital devices available to the healthcare professionals. Hospital call centers and systems are further being improved upon to allow the tracking and escalation of messages provided to clinicians. This is essential in urgent and emergent service delivery in hospital environments.

Medicine is adopting a multidisciplinary approach to allow more holistic care and treatment to the patient. This requires constant and effective communication among medical professionals. Therefore, the hospital call center is essential, as it acts as a referral point among specialists and a resource for specialists to get access to a client base from the hospital.

Hospital to Patient Communications: Last, call centers allow the communication of the hospital and the patient who is the primary customer of the healthcare facility. The hospital marketing department benefits from the communications between the patient and the call center. The hospital call center is a point of increased patient satisfaction and improved marketing information. Patient satisfaction must be the most important goal and a practice ingrained within the organizational culture.

The hospital, therefore, should aim at optimizing the call experience for the patient. This can be done by cutting down the call waiting time, coordinating points of services, and improving patient registration and billing.

The internet has made it easy to widely disseminate information. A patient can communicate his experiences to a potential customer base. Patient experience, therefore, in the internet age, is an essential form of hospital advertisement. Improving patient experience builds upon the hospital brand and helps set it aside from the competition.

Optimizing patient experience goes beyond a single interaction to anticipate the needs of a patient and tailor services to meet those needs. The increasing need for data within the information age, therefore, cannot be understated. Data from call centers helps the marketing department find effective ways of communicating with the patient.

Each hospital call center must have a means of feedback. This helps identify and document potential issues the client had with the system. There is currently an adaptation of use of proprietary tools such as live metric dashboards and quality assurance and tracking tools. Therefore, most hospitals are collecting data to learn the needs of the patient and tailor their customer care services accordingly. For instance, most call centers now use customized call scripts; this ensures the provider maximizes care support and efficiency.

Optimizing the customer experience has led to call centers evolving as new and exciting forms of hospital income generation. The consequences of effective customer service are based on optimizing the patient experience, which leads to an increase in hospital revenue.

Final Thoughts: Clinical communication is a hugely faceted subject with far reaching consequences that go beyond hospital walls. Hospital call centers play a significant role in any hospital’s clinical communications. This role is expected to continue growing in the coming years as modern technology makes it easier and faster to communicate.

By optimizing communications, a hospital call center can improve patient health outcomes, fill an essential healthcare gap, and serve to improve overall patient care. It is, therefore, imperative that hospitals find effective ways of maximizing call centers, not just as a channel of communication, but also as a huge income-generating department.

1Call, a division of AmtelcoKevin Mahoney is a hospital and healthcare-related account advocate and sales engineer at Amtelco, a manufacturer and supplier of call center solutions. Contact him at kmahoney@amtelco.com.

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1Call Announces Keynote Speaker for Conference

1Call, a division of AmtelcoThe 1Call Division of Amtelco announced that Chad Kopitzke of NeXtGen Advantage will be the keynote speaker for the Eleventh Annual 1Call Leadership Conference and Training Seminar. The seminar is September 12-14, 2017, at The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.

Mr. Kopitzke will share his expertise on overcoming one of the greatest challenges facing our workforce today, as he discusses “Generations Collide: A look at common generational differences and how to engage across the gaps to generate valuable ideas for an organization’s long-term success.” Mr. Kopitzke’s knowledge about this subject comes from hands-on experience, with twelve years of managing internship programs at a state university, as well as from various statistics and studies. He focuses on helping generations connect, rather than collide.

In addition to the keynote speaker, additional topics for this year’s conference and seminar include:

  • How to Develop an Organization-Wide Call Center
  • How to Transition Multiple Hospitals to Intelligent Series
  • Utilizing Web Chat
  • Enhancing Clinical Communications using MergeComm
  • What’s New? The 1Call Road Map
  • Genesis: A New Beginning!
  • Your Scripts—Your Way
  • IS Scripting Basics
  • IS Directories
  • IS On-Call
  • Application Maintenance

Learn more about the 2017 1Call Leadership Conference and Training Seminar or contact 1Call at 800-225-6035 or seminars@1call.com

Healthcare Facilities Enhance Clinical Communications

1Call, a division of AmtelcoThe 1Call Division of Amtelco announced that healthcare facilities are finding more ways to increase efficiency and improve patient care using MergeComm. 1Call’s MergeComm middleware event notification solution gives healthcare facilities a way to streamline enterprise-wide clinical communications.

Healthcare facilities report using MergeComm to handle nurse call, smart beds, telemetry, medical record systems, and critical lab results. MergeComm streamlines these processes by capturing requests from various hospital systems, and automates dispatching with escalation, confirmations, and retries. The ease of use, along with the extreme flexibility of MergeComm, improves response times for care teams, helping healthcare organizations provide better care for their patients.

Vice president of research and development, Kevin Beale, stated, “We are seeing more and more organizations utilize MergeComm for unique situations, and MergeComm is providing those organizations with capabilities that result in faster and more efficient communications. We will continue to add enhancements to MergeComm, and look forward to seeing even more innovative ways our customers use this technology.”

For more information contact 1Call at 800-225-6035 or info@1call.com.

MiSecureMessages Adds Functionality with v6.5

1Call, a division of AmtelcoAmtelco’s Call Division announced the release of miSecureMessages server version 6.5, with enhancements for both users and administrators.

User Features

  • Easier Registration: App users will appreciate a faster registration process, helping them to quickly get started using miSecureMessages.
  • Quick Phrases: Different groups of users can now have unique quick phrases (formerly called canned responses).
  • Improved Performance: Users will notice speed and performance improvements.

Administrative Features

  • Contact-based licensing: MiSecureMessages licenses are now based on the number of contacts, with each contact having multiple devices, including the contact web.
  • Permissions: New permission settings allow administrators to control who can make changes to system and user information and run reports.
  • App Menu Links: Administrators can add two URL links that are accessible in the app.
  • New Reports: System reports and group reports have been added, including database size, audit log, device list, message log, and message counts.

Amtelco president Tom Curtin stated, “MiSecureMessages continues to gain momentum in healthcare organizations, as well as other industries concerned with securely sending information. The miSecureMessages development team continues to add features requested by customers, along with additional features that help enhance security.”

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Amtelco Genesis and Soft Agent Successfully Complete Compliance Testing

1Call, a division of AmtelcoThe 1Call Division of Amtelco announced that the Genesis Intelligent Series solution and Intelligent Soft Agent have both successfully completed Avaya DevConnect Compliance Testing.

The Genesis Intelligent Series solution was tested with Avaya Aura® Session Manager release 7.0 and Avaya Aura® Communication Manager release 7.0. The Intelligent Soft Agent release 5.0 call center solution was tested with Avaya Aura® Communication Manager release 7.0 and Avaya Aura® Application Enablement Services release 7.0.

The Genesis software switching solution provides the Intelligent Series applications with advanced software-based telephony. Genesis provides an all-inclusive call center solution based on the Intelligent Series suite of applications.

Soft agent provides streamlined intelligent attendant console and call center performance, instantly impacting an organization’s bottom line. The Soft Agent combines agent state control and call handling capabilities with Amtelco’s Intelligent Series suite of applications.

Amtelco’s vice president of research and development, Kevin Beale said, “Amtelco is committed to our strong relationship with Avaya and continues to work closely with them to provide state-of-the-art solutions to our healthcare customers.”

Amtelco has been a member of the Avaya DevConnect partner program for more than ten years.

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Vendor Spotlight on 1Call, a Division of Amtelco: Over Forty Years of Innovation



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 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 been awarded twenty-eight patents, covering a wide range of communication 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 middleware notification needs. In an independent survey (by a Amtelco Satisfaction Research Study conducted by TMA+Peritus, February 2015) 100 percent of the respondents said they would highly recommend Amtelco and 1Call to another healthcare organization.

Five-Star Service and Support: Amtelco and 1Call are well known for continually developing comprehensive call center and communication solutions, all backed by superior five-star, after-the-sale service and support. Customer advocates and account 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 twenty-four-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 trainers, installers, project managers, and technical support personnel. 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 most staff members work from 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 even access the online TechHelper tool for documentation, manuals, videos, and other training tools. TechHelper is available twenty-four hours a day, with unlimited access, and features a Google search engine. Emergency assistance for 1Call systems is available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

Software upgrades are included with support agreements, helping ensure 1Call customers always have access to the newest features.

In the Amtelco Satisfaction Research Study conducted by TMA+Peritus, 97 percent of the respondents said the Amtelco and 1Call service and support was excellent. 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 operators. All the specialized 1Call solutions protect an organization’s limited resources, making each organization tremendously efficient and helping bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

Each 1Call solution comes with the benefit of Amtelco’s years of experience in the field of call handling and messaging. Thousands of 1Call and Amtelco systems are in operation around the world, twenty-four hours each day.What do customers have to say about switching to 1Call? Click To Tweet

Easily Customizable: 1Call understands every healthcare organization has unique needs and sometimes receives 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.

When additional help is required, 1Call has a Script Pro team available to assist customers with any specific requests.

Why Choose 1Call? Hospitals continually recommend 1Call solutions, 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.

What do customers have to say about switching to 1Call? Here’s one example: “It was a great decision switching to Infinity. 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.”

Strong Partner Relationships: 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 the 1Call systems are at their optimum performance levels to meet 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
  • Black Box
  • Cisco Solution Partner Program
  • Cisco Developers Network
  • Copia OEM Partner
  • GENBAND Partner Program
  • Google Play Developer
  • Health Level 7 International (HL7)
  • HISCALL
  • 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.

Recent Innovations: 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 and Genesis.

The MergeComm Middleware Solution is designed to automate 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 be sent to an individual, an entire group, or the current on-call personnel. The notifications can be sent by 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 builds on the features that made Infinity a leader in the industry. 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 your SIP-enabled PBX, connecting remote agents, and automated overhead paging.

The Future: As technology continues to evolve and as customers have new communication challenges, 1Call and Amtelco will continue to develop new innovative solutions, as they have for over forty years.

1Call, a division of AmtelcoLearn more at www.1call.com.

Registration Open for 1Call Leadership and Training Seminar

1Call, a division of Amtelco1Call announced the opening of registration for the Eleventh Annual 1Call Leadership and Training Seminar. The conference will be held September 12-14, 2017, at The Madison Concourse Hotel, in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Topics currently scheduled include:

  • Updates for all 1Call Intelligent Series Solutions: Infinity, Genesis, and Soft Agent
  • Tips for transitioning to Soft Agent
  • New ideas for improving workflows using MergeComm automation
  • The latest on secure texting with miSecureMessages
  • Hands-on scripting
  • More topics to come.

This event provides attendees with a unique opportunity to learn how to use 1Call solutions to streamline communications throughout healthcare organizations, as well as an opportunity to network with other healthcare communication professionals. Attendees are also able to talk directly with Amtelco trainers, software developers, project managers, and field engineers.

According to Mike Friedel, senior vice president of sales, “After last year’s record-breaking conference, we are looking forward to another fantastic conference. Each year, we welcome many new attendees, as well as many returning attendees. The open atmosphere of sharing between attendees and Amtelco personnel makes it an extremely positive experience for everyone.”

For information contact 1Call at 800-225-6035, seminars@1call.com, or 1call.com.

MiSecureMessages Celebrates 6 Years of Secure Texting with v6.5

1Call, a division of AmtelcoThe 1Call Division of Amtelco announced that miSecureMessages is celebrating six years of secure texting and messaging. Since being introduced in February 2011, miSecureMessages has continued to be vital to maintaining protected health information (PHI), ensuring healthcare organizations meet HIPAA and HITECH regulations.

In addition, the new miSecureMessages Server version 6.5 introduces a number of new features, including:

  • Performance improvements to increase app and server speed
  • Easier registration for users, helping them start sending secure messages sooner
  • Enhanced administrative permission options, reducing the labor required to manage miSecureMessages
  • Additional canned response options for groups or departments
  • Added reports for system administrators
  • Adjustable time zone for reporting
  • Custom app menu links

Amtelco president Tom Curtin said, “MiSecureMessages was a unique product when it was first introduced, and has grown exponentially since that time. We are continuing to add more and more healthcare organizations to our list of miSecureMessages users, helping them ensure HIPAA compliance.”

For more information, contact 1Call: 800-225-6035, www.misecuremessages.com, or info@misecuremessages.com.

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1Call Announces Presentation Schedule for HIMSS17

1Call, a division of AmtelcoThe 1Call Division of Amtelco announced their schedule for presentations in HIMSS booth #6453. The presentation, titled “Solving Your Communications Challenges with 1Call Solutions” will be held:

  • Monday, February 20 at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 21 at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 22 at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

Presentations will be given by Mike Friedel, 1Call senior vice president of sales. Friedel commented, “After talking to a number of 1Call customers and prospects, we are proud to showcase how 1Call can help organizations become more efficient and provide better patient care.”

In addition to HIMSS booth #6453, 1Call will also be in HIMSS booth #888, where miSecureMessages will be featured.

HIMSS attendees who are unable to attend a presentation are invited to contact 1Call for a personal demo of 1Call solutions.

For more information, contact 1Call: 800-225-6035, www.1call.com/himss17, or info@1call.com.

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Robert Lancaster Promoted to 1Call Sales Manager

1Call, a division of AmtelcoThe 1Call Division of Amtelco announced that Robert Lancaster has been promoted to 1Call sales manager for the western region. Robert (Bob) has been working in miSecureMessages product sales for 1Call since joining the company earlier this year.

In his new position, Bob will be working with many current customers to ensure they are meeting their ever-expanding healthcare communication needs. Bob will also help new customers find the ideal 1Call communication solutions that meet the specific needs for their organizations.

Jeff Griedl, 1Call vice president of sales, stated, “Bob has already done an amazing job contacting customers to keep them informed about the miSecureMessages encrypted messaging solution. We are thrilled to have Bob working with more of our customers to present all of the 1Call solutions available for healthcare organizations.”

Bob can be reached at blancaster@1call.com or 877-206-9159.