Tag Archives: 1Call

How Telehealth Employers Can Ensure Effective Communication with Remote Staff

Presented by 1Call

Traditionally, remote work for healthcare positions was limited to medical billing, coding, and transcription. But in 2020, workers in all industries, including healthcare, were challenged to find ways to work remotely and still maintain the same level of productivity, security, and commitment to quality customer and patient care. 

Although the sudden shift to working remotely and working from home was initially disruptive, recent studies now show that remote workers can actually be more efficient than before. Many remote workers even boast higher morale and job satisfaction. Yet if remote workers are managed poorly or made to use inefficient technology, then communication breaks down and productivity and morale take giant hits. 

To ensure effective communication with remote workers now and in the future, healthcare organizations of all sizes must have the right management mindset and the right technology in place.

Remote Work Boosts Capacity

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how remote work and communication technology can reduce disease transmission among patients and medical teams without reducing capacity. Telemedicine enables more physicians to care for patients from a safe distance, allowing quarantined workers with mild symptoms to keep working. Doctors can provide immediate consults from afar. Shifting call center operators to remote settings even increases a healthcare organization’s physical capacity by creating additional space for triage or other forms of patient care.

Remote Work Isn’t Just for Desk Jobs

Remote work has many advantages for healthcare organizations, and not just for roles involving billing and administration. Pharmacists can review and enter online prescriptions. Nurses can provide afterhours triage. Clinical case educators can train nurses on new care procedures without having to gather in the same place. Care teams, doctors, nurses, and non-clinical staff can check in with each other remotely, as long as their technology is HIPAA compliant and secure. 

Communication Presents the Biggest Challenge to Remote Work

When teams aren’t in the same physical space, communication breakdowns are more likely to happen, especially if it isn’t clear whether a message has been received or how urgent it is. Important emails or messages can get lost among general updates. Tone of voice can be mistaken, especially when an urgent message is being conveyed. Personal devices used to access secure information can be compromised. Data is siloed as employees switch from one app to the next. When extra work must be done to keep records up to date between apps, errors are made. Productivity plummets along with morale.

Given the importance and difficulty of accurate, timely communication, how do you ensure your teams communicate effectively while they’re remote? Here are some tips:

Streamline communication devices and platforms: Communication technology must equip healthcare workers, not hinder them. Maximize every minute that physicians spend with their patients or communicating with the rest of the care team. Take the complication out of staying in touch by using a HIPAA-compliant secure messaging app that can be used on mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops. Allowing staff to use their own devices also simplifies the learning curve, resulting in faster adoption of the communication technology.

Make quick communication updates easy and intuitive: Sometimes, long replies aren’t feasible, especially in the fast-paced world of medicine. Make it easy for your team to give each other the immediate replies they need to be efficient and accurate. Look for platforms that offer customizable, quick replies that can be sent with just a few taps or clicks. 

Set clear on-call times: Automatically sync your communication platform with your staff’s schedule. This will make it easier for your staff to know and respect each other’s on-call times. It will promote a healthy work-life balance and avoid the frustration of wondering who is available.

Build trust: Create a culture that trusts each other to answer messages when they’re received. You can do this by selecting a platform that displays when messages have been delivered, if they have been read, and what their urgency level is. Don’t contribute to alarm fatigue by inundating your employees with irrelevant or non-urgent messages.

Integrate with EHR to decrease data entry: Reducing the number of places data needs to be entered improves efficiency and accuracy. Your communication platform should sync with your organization’s EHR (electronic health record). This way, physicians can check lab results from another location, pharmacists can order prescriptions remotely, and surgeons can verify schedules ahead of time.

Insist on security and HIPAA compliance: While some HIPAA rules related to telehealth were relaxed in 2020, they may tighten up in 2021 and beyond. Instead of requiring your staff to take home additional secure devices, choose a platform that runs securely on their personal devices. Be sure to select a solution that offers end-to-end encryption of all messages and can be locked remotely in case it is lost or compromised. 

Move to the cloud: An on-premises-only solution limits your ability to shift workers to remote settings. Your staff should be able to securely access the data they need wherever they are. Storing information on the cloud will also reduce the need for on-site server maintenance. Your care teams can have synchronous, secure access to their patients’ data, wherever they are.

Summary

The ideal remote workers are self-starters who can focus on work despite the distractions inherent in working off-site. And the best remote managers are those who understand how to intentionally foster connection and communication without micromanaging. Last, invest in technology that is flexible enough to work with your staff and support your team’s unique capabilities and needs. 

1Call Announces that Amtelco Wins Top Workplaces 2021 Award

1Call, a division of Amtelco, announced that Amtelco received a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by Wisconsin State Journal Top Workplaces. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey measures fifteen culture drivers critical to the success of any organization, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few. 

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Amtelco president Tom Curtin continues to be proud of the entire Amtelco employee team. “While 2020 proved to be very different from any other time in recent history,” Curtin said, “the Amtelco team stepped up and customer support became the top priority for every one of us. Our customers provide essential call center services to their communities, so we reached out to them to find out how we could help. Since our beginning in 1976, many challenges have arisen, and each time the Amtelco team prevailed, as we did once again in 2020.”

1Call Announced Amtelco’s U.S. Patent for Auditing Communication Sessions



1Call, a division of Amtelco, announced that Amtelco received a U.S. patent for “Auditing Communication Sessions.” Existing call center systems only allow rudimentary forms of call auditing, limited to a single method (such as listening to the communication session in mute-mode). If the communication occurs via text message, web chat, or electronic mail, call center managers can’t appraise the interaction. 

“The ability to audit different types of communication sessions helps to ensure that a patient’s experience with the hospital call center is satisfactory,” said Amtelco and 1Call president Tom Curtin. “A good patient experience is critical for both patients and a healthcare organization.”

Amtelco’s improved auditing enables hospital call center supervisors to assess communications from different platforms to help ensure a satisfactory patient experience. The healthcare industry asks patients to provide information about their care experience with a hospital via the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Unacceptable survey outcomes can result in hospitals losing some reimbursements.

1Call Announces U.S. Patent for Speech-Enabled Scripting



1Call, a division of Amtelco, announced that Amtelco received a U.S. patent for “Intelligent Speech-Enabled Scripting.” The patentable element is Amtelco’s system and method for intelligent speech-enabled scripting. 

This improved system eases the complexity and burdens that hospital call centers face with configuring multiple, separate devices to work effectively together to facilitate the handling of incoming calls, manage the variation in call loads, and provide adequate security measures to safeguard sensitive information conveyed during a call.

“Our call center scripting software helps to streamline enterprise-wide hospital communications and is fully customizable to efficiently guide operators through calls that help patients and medical staff with appointments, referrals, prescription renewals, scheduling, and emergencies, while helping to reduce operator errors. Speech-enabled intelligent scripting provides our customers with an efficient system to manage a productive healthcare call center,” said 1Call president Tom Curtin.

The 1Call division of Amtelco is a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace. 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and make them efficient, helping them bring wellness to their members and their bottom line. 

How Hospital Contact Centers Support Emergency Departments During COVID-19



By Nicole Limpert

Emergency departments (ED) in the United States began around 1880 as accident services provided through a workman’s compensation plan. Today, it’s common for healthcare organizations to have an ED within their hospital building, with dedicated staff that offers critical and indispensable care. Approximately 139 million Americans go to the emergency room each year. 

Typically, patients can visit the ED with any complaint, so medical staff need to prioritize cases based on clinical need using a process called triage. Triage is a brief assessment of the patient’s condition usually done in-person by a triage nurse. 

Even though most patients continue to receive care in the ED or are passed to another area of the hospital after triage, estimates show that approximately 32 percent of visits to EDs are non-urgent and can be treated during triage or in other care settings. 

Telephone Triage Nurses

Some healthcare systems provide nurse on-call hotlines and telephone triage nurses as part of their telehealth services. Patients who are unsure if their medical need is urgent enough for an emergency room visit can speak to a registered nurse on the phone. The triage nurse asks a series of questions to quickly assess the caller’s condition and give advice for minor complaints or recommend an ED visit for more serious concerns.

Nurses who work as contact center agents are part of a hospital’s comprehensive response to emergencies. They provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just like a brick-and-mortar emergency department. Patients experience the additional convenience of receiving care remotely without having to travel.

In a study published in 2017, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that an EDs delivered 47.7 percent of all medical care in the United States. Helping non-critical patients in the comfort of their own homes also means more time can be dedicated to those who are experiencing an actual emergency.

COVID-19’s Impact on Hospitals

When the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020, emergency departments in the United States experienced a six percent increase in patient visits. Some hospitals asked for support from their call center operators who were able to help relieve the burden of short-staffed departments by assisting patients with insurance, registration, and other services over the phone. 

As the virus spread, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asked EDs to screen patients for COVID-19 in an effort to keep patients and medical staff safe. Many people became afraid to go to the emergency room despite the assurances of safety from healthcare organizations, resulting in a decreased in visits to the ED by more than 30 percent in April 2020.

Hospital’s began to postpone elective surgeries to free up space and supplies for treatment of COVID-19 patients. Various departments experienced a drastic decrease in patient visits and some hospital systems began to lay off staff.

Healthcare organizations were able to leverage their contact centers and train staff members, who would otherwise have been laid-off, to answer the ever-increasing calls to their call centers. 

“We were able to redistribute existing staff from other departments and tap into their skills to cross-train them to work for the switchboard,” said Shelley White, director of patient access services for State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. “In our situation, patient access staff and medical answer teams were trained on easy calls and were then able to work from home as remote operators. These staff members are now even more valuable to our organization,” 

COVID-19’s Impact on Hospital Contact Centers

“We are experiencing extremely high call volume related to COVID-19 information and vaccine interest. Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for urgent medical care needs. We are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time.” Messages like this one are appearing in banners at the top of many hospital websites.

Call volume related to COVID-19 information has been overwhelming. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises to, “Establish a coordinated call center system to divert non-emergency calls from a community’s 911 system, and non-critically ill patients away from the emergency healthcare system. A coordinated call center system allows multiple agencies and organizations to share the high load of calls during a pandemic by integrating components of those organizations such as call centers, information lines, and crisis centers.”

Hospital contact centers help in this endeavor by establishing hotlines in their region. Jennie McWhorter, IS operations manager for Ephraim McDowell Health in Danville, KY said, “Our call center agents are also the hub of our COVID-19 hotline. The community can dial the number they already know and get the updated information they need through our 24/7 operators.” 

Healthcare call centers continue to use technology in new ways and pivot when needed to assist patients and try to ease the strain on hospital emergency departments. Shelley White stated, “Our call center software has given us so much flexibility to keep up with this ever-changing COVID-19 crisis. We are able to smooth workflow peaks and valleys and went from being overwhelmed with calls at the beginning of this situation, to having improved call metrics.”

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.

Amtelco Celebrates Misecuremessages



1Call, a division of Amtelco, is celebrating the 10-year anniversary and continued growth of miSecureMessages, their secure messaging app. 

The HIPPA and HITECH-compliant miSecureMessages helps hospitals and clinics unify their communications and streamline care team coordination by enabling staff to easily share texts, photos, audio files, and videos for secure, accurate communication while protecting electronic patient health information (ePHI). The app also integrates with existing hospital alert software to help reduce notification time when an emergency code occurs. 

“MiSecureMessages is more than just an encrypted texting app,” said Tom Curtin, president of Amtelco and 1Call. “Our app can seamlessly integrate with an organization’s nurse call system and other alert software to expedite emergency code notifications. Hospital call center operators use miSecureMessages to contact on-call staff. Maintenance crews can take a photo or video of a building issue and collaborate to address it. Housekeeping uses it for bed management to quickly inform intake that a bed is ready for a new patient, which improves their bed turnover rate. And lab personal and radiologists use it to promptly communicate critical results.”

Learn more at misecuremessages.com and 1call.com.

Amtelco’s Soft Agent Helps Customers Transform the Agent Experience



Soft Agent now rated “Avaya compliant,” compatible with Avaya OneCloud CCaaS solutions

Amtelco, a leading supplier for more than 40 years of communication technologies and software communications applications, announced that its Soft Agent application version 5.4 is compliant with key Avaya OneCloud CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) solutions, helping customers optimize the agent experience by turning any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station. 

Amtelco solutions helps customers simplify and optimize their contact center operations. Applications like Soft Agent can be integrated with both hard-wired legacy systems and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based Voice Over IP (VoIP) networks. The backbone of the Soft Agent application is the Amtelco sandbox, a single-point-of-entry solution that provides agents with the most current information possible to process calls. The application is now compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with the Avaya Aura® platform 8.1.

“We are excited that this latest release of our Soft Agent application has successfully completed Avaya DevConnect compliance testing,” said Tom Curtin, president, Amtelco. “Our mutual customers can confidently deploy Soft Agent with their Avaya OneCloud CCaaS solutions, helping them uncover new possibilities for getting more out of their communications infrastructure.”  

“Technology partners like Amtelco are helping customers make the most of the Avaya technology they deploy, while improving the customer service experience by optimizing contact center efficiency,” said Eric Rossman, vice president, Partners, Developers and Alliances, Avaya.

The 1Call Division of Amtelco is a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace. 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and increase efficiency, helping them bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

Reducing Hospital Readmissions with Simple Post-Discharge



By 1Call

Each year, approximately 16 percent of patients in United States hospitals are readmitted within thirty days of discharge. Readmissions and the additional treatments they entail are costly to both patients and insurers. Increasingly, they are costly to hospitals as well.

A portion of readmissions is unavoidable, such as a planned readmission for chemotherapy or an unexpected adverse event unrelated to the original diagnosis. However, many other readmissions are preventable through high quality clinical care and effective patient education and discharge procedures.

The Financial Impact of Hospital Readmissions

To reduce hospital readmission rates nationwide, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began financially penalizing hospitals with higher than expected readmission rates via their Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) that began in 2012. The cost of those penalties across United States hospitals increased significantly from a total of 290 million dollars in fiscal year (FY) 2013 to an estimated 563 million dollars in FY 2019.

Failure to reduce readmissions has become more expensive over the program’s lifetime. In the first year of the HRRP, the maximum penalty was 1 percent of Medicare reimbursements withheld. By design, that maximum penalty has since increased to 3 percent.

National hospital readmission rates have dropped since the program launched, but not enough to decrease penalties. Of the 3,129 general hospitals evaluated in the HRRP in 2019, 83 percent received a penalty.

The increases are due in part to additional health conditions included in the program. In the program’s first year, CMS evaluated the readmission rates of patients with heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia to determine whether a hospital faced penalties. Today, CMS also measures readmission rates of patients with chronic lung disease, hip and knee replacement, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Scheduled readmissions are not counted.

Additionally, the program is set up such that CMS evaluates each hospital’s readmission rates relative to the national average for each condition. Even as readmission rates drop overall, there will always be hospitals that have more readmissions than the national average.

A 2016 study on hospital profitability published in the journal Health Affairs found that most hospitals in the United States are not profitable, and the median acute care hospital is losing 82 dollars per discharge. Given those numbers, it’s imperative for hospitals to reduce readmission rates and reduce the amount of Medicare reimbursements left on the table.

Readmission Rates and Causes in the United States

Some patients will always be readmitted after discharge. However, the wide range of readmission rates across hospitals suggests that there are addressable factors behind readmissions. In some cases, a readmission may be related to what happened during the original hospitalization. In other instances, patient readmission ties to what happens after discharge from the hospital.

A study on preventability and causes of readmissions published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2016 reviewed the cases of 1,000 general medicine patients readmitted within thirty days of discharge across twelve United States hospitals from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. Of those 1,000 readmissions, 26.9 percent were potentially preventable.

According to the study, common factors in potentially preventable readmissions were related to what happened at the time of discharge and after the patient went home. The authors cited emergency department decision making at the time of readmission, patient failure to keep important follow-up appointments, premature discharge, and lack of patient awareness about who to contact after discharge as the most common factors.

The study’s authors concluded that “High-priority areas for improvement efforts include improved communication among health care teams and between healthcare professionals and patients, greater attention to patients’ readiness for discharge, enhanced disease monitoring, and better support for patient self-management.”

CMS’s steep penalties are motivated by a desire to provide better patient care and, in doing so, to reduce healthcare costs. One of the best ways for hospitals to prevent unnecessary readmissions is by calling patients after their discharge to check in on symptoms, review medications and treatment plans, and offer patients an opportunity to ask questions about their recovery.

Post-Discharge Patient Education

Often, a patient is readmitted because they didn’t follow the correct medication regimen, lacked understanding of the treatment plan, or failed to follow up with their primary care physician after discharge.

Ideally, patients receive thorough education about medication regimens and treatment plans throughout their stay and at the time of discharge. However, literacy and comprehension rates vary across patient populations, and patients don’t always understand written or verbal discharge instructions.

Additionally, at the time of discharge, patients are preoccupied with the logistics and excitement of going home. Attempts at patient education might not be effective, no matter how well delivered. Once patients have arrived home, the complexity of managing their new medications and daily routines on their own becomes much more apparent.

Several studies have found that other factors, including the patient’s social support network, marital status, gender, and income can affect a patient’s ability to follow discharge instructions and manage their care at home.

Whether it’s addressing a lack of comprehension regarding a patient’s treatment plan or addressing a lack of support in enacting that treatment plan, a post-discharge phone call can provide a way for hospitals to help patients stay well at home.

Using Calls to Reduce Readmissions

Hospitals have many opportunities throughout a patient’s healthcare journey to reduce the chance of readmission. One commonly cited way to reduce readmissions is by improving patient education around managing their care after discharge.

Specifically, implementing a post-discharge phone call to review medication regimens and treatment plans, discuss symptoms and other concerns, and check in on home health services and follow-up appointments helps reduce readmission rates.

A paper published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2001 found that when pharmacists called patients two days after discharge to review whether they had obtained and understood how to take their medications, patients were much less likely to visit the emergency department within thirty days of discharge. Ten percent of those who received a phone call from a pharmacist went to the ED, compared to 24 percent of patients who did not receive a call.

In another program, IPC The Hospitalist Company (IPC) tested the effect of post-discharge call center outreach on readmission rates. Nurses at the IPC call center called 350,000 discharged patients from October 2010 through September 2011. During the calls, nurses talked through each patient’s symptoms, medications, home health services, and follow-up appointments. The nurses answered patient questions about discharge instructions and, if the patient had a serious medical need, contacted the patient’s hospitalist or primary care physician.

Nurses successfully reached 30 percent of patients. This program prevented an estimated 1,782 avoidable readmissions over the course of a year.

Setting Up a Post-Discharge Call Program

Research suggests that the best time for a post-discharge call is within the first two to three days after a patient arrives home. At this point, the patient has had the opportunity to settle in, fill medications, make follow-up appointments, and it is still early enough for a nurse’s call to make an impact. Many patients won’t answer on the first try, so nurses should plan to call more than once.

The first step in setting up a post-discharge call program is to ensure that call center staff have the best number to reach each patient. Sometimes the number in the patient’s record is different from their home or cell phone number. IPC The Hospitalist Company found that by asking patients for the best number to reach them or their caretaker, they were able to increase their successful call rate from 30 percent to more than 40 percent of discharged patients.

Customized Care Call Scripts

Providing nurses with diagnosis-specific scripts can help make care calls more efficient and effective, as many conditions have standard red flags nurses should check in on, such as weight gain after discharge for heart failure. Virtually any type of script is easy to create, including common scripts for post-surgery, diabetic, and pediatric post-discharge calls. Setting up a unique script with detailed questions for each, helps to ensure patients understand discharge instructions, address any medication questions, and help ensure the patients are not experiencing symptoms that would cause them to be readmitted.

Nurses should also have access to physicians’ discharge notes to review patient-specific follow-ups. Physician discharge notes must be completed in a timely manner to give nurses the information they need for the calls.

To supplement the post-discharge nurse phone call, organizations can also use HL7 integration to receive discharge notifications and set up automated appointment reminder calls. This helps increase the likelihood that patients make it to their appointments and receive the prescribed follow-up care.

Conclusion

To avoid penalties and help patients to stay healthy at home, hospitals can leverage call centers and post-discharge phone calls with customized scripts to check in on symptoms, review medications and treatment plans, and remind patients of follow-up appointments. Studies suggest that such measures reduce the rate of readmissions.

For hospitals, implementing a discharge call center program can help avoid or reduce Medicare readmission rate penalties. For patients, the program can improve their post-discharge care management and health.

The 1Call Division of Amtelco is a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace. 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and make them tremendously efficient, helping them bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

1Call’s Call Center Link App Available in Epic App Orchard



1 Call, a division of Amtelco, announced its Call Center Link application is now available in the Epic App Orchard. The application can reduce hospital call center call times and help provide a better patient experience by integrating its hospital call center software with a hospital’s Epic electronic health record (EHR) system.

Call Center Link serves as a bridge to connect healthcare communication systems, empowering healthcare call center agents to provide better and faster service. It uses the data attached to incoming calls to match callers to patient records, streamlining patient lookup for efficient access and reducing the possibility of error. When a call is received, the system automatically launches the matching patient’s record within Epic.

“Adding Call Center Link to the App Orchard offers a critical time-saving and error-reducing tool to call center operators that helps streamline workflows and improves the patient experience,” said Kevin Beale, vice president for software, research and development at Amtelco. “We are excited to make our communication software integration solutions more easily accessible for the many hospitals and health systems that use Epic.”

The easy-to-use Call Center Link API streamlines patient look-up in the EMR to facilitate efficient access to the patient record by leveraging caller ID technology to match incoming calls with the patient contact information listed in Epic’s EHR system. When a call from a known phone number is received, the system is triggered to automatically launch the patient’s EMR on the operator’s screen.

The 1Call Division of Amtelco is a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace. 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and make them tremendously efficient, helping them bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

1Call Vendor Spotlight



1Call’s 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, on-site and remote operator, web-based communication, 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 over other healthcare communication providers.

Five-Star Service and Support

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. Customer advocates, solutions architects, and product managers are available to help customers and answer questions before, during, and after the sale.

1Call understands that every healthcare organization has unique needs. 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, Pandemic Response

When the coronavirus became a pandemic and hospital call centers experienced a sharp increase in call volume, 1Call supported customers by offering free operator licenses. Because 1Call’s software can turn any desktop or laptop computer into a professional operator station, the service department also helped in setting up remote operator stations so staff could work safely from home. 

“The free license offer from 1Call came at the right time. Additional operators were up and running quickly. I can’t tell you how appreciative I was to be able to have the ability for more agents to cover all of our calls,” said Shelley White, MS, CHAM, FACHE and director, patient access services for State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University

Customers have access to 1Call’s support team via phone, email, or 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.

Streamlined Hospital Communication Solutions

1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, reduce errors, and lessen 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.

Easily Customizable Clinical Communications

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 help 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. “Pretty much all of the 1Call team worked long hours as we trudged towards the cutover. I was constantly amazed to be getting email replies to questions at all hours of the day and weekends,” said Kevin Mallon, project manager for Canterbury District Health Board in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Watch video testimonials.) 

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 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 services to produce a comprehensive solution that satisfies the needs of each organization.

The 1Call technology partnerships include:

  • American Messaging
  • Apple iOS Developer Program
  • Avaya DevConnect Community
  • Black Box
  • Bluestream
  • 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
  • Interbit Data
  • Microsoft Developers Network
  • Mitel Solutions Alliance
  • NEC UNIVERGE Solutions Partner Program
  • ProScheduler
  • Qgenda
  • 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 Web Agent, miTeamWeb, MergeComm, and Genesis: 

Web Agent: 1Call’s next generation, call-handling application, Web Agent, is a web browser-based telephone agent interface. Web Agent is compatible with most modern web browsers, enabling agents to process multi-channel calls on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. Web Agent can perform directory searches, scripted messaging, and dispatching, and provide access to call log recordings, web content, and on-call schedules.

MiTeamWeb: MiTeamWeb is 1Call’s mobile-friendly web application that gives physicians and hospital staff fast access to on-call schedules, messages, directories, call logs, and status information using a secure browser connection on a PC, smartphone or tablet. The app features customizable widgets, allowing each user to personalize their miTeamWeb home screen. 

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, an entire group, or the current on-call personnel. Notification methods include email, miSecureMessages, IP phones, pagers, phones, smart devices, SMS, and Vocera badges.

The Genesis Platform: Provides the Intelligent Series applications with advanced software-based telephony. Genesis provides an all-inclusive call center solution for healthcare call routing, 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.

Priority Call Override is a feature of Genesis that ensures urgent calls receive appropriate priority treatment to provide better care to patients. Code calls, emergency calls, crisis calls, and other priority calls can override less urgent calls, allowing agents to take immediate action. The call routes to the most qualified operator available and notifies all agents that a priority call is in progress.

The Future

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.