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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
Those of us in the healthcare communication field already know the value of telehealth and virtual care. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, telemedicine gained worldwide recognition as a critical healthcare tool to keep both patients and medical staff safe.
Telehealth has predominantly been used to bring healthcare to rural areas or isolated populations, such as overseas military personnel and those who work in the maritime industry. Until recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) placed certain stipulations on telehealth providers and would only reimburse for services provided in rural areas with specific audio-visual equipment.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 6, 2020 CMS relaxed restrictions and removed many of the conditions clinicians had to adhere to in order to provide telehealth services to patients living across the United States. Later, CMS expanded its telehealth adoption to include eighty-five new telehealth services to their covered list and set provider reimbursement rates for telehealth visits to be the same as in-person services.
Many people are new to the concept of telemedicine. On July 31, 2019 JD Power reported that nearly three-quarters of Americans weren’t aware of telehealth options or didn’t have access to technology to partake in telehealth. Yet, the American Hospital Association states that 76 percent of U.S. hospitals were already using telehealth before the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, forty-eight states require telehealth coverage in insurance plans.
Healthcare-related industries already had infrastructure in place and were prepared for the use of telemedicine and telehealth. However, few, if any, expected how quickly the use of these virtual tools would grow or how they would be used in new ways when COVID-19 began to spread. The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically accelerated the adoption of telemedicine usage. Telehealth visits sky-rocketed by 50 percent in March 2020 according to data from Frost and Sullivan, and analysts at Forrester Research estimates that virtual healthcare interactions will reach more than one billion by the end of 2020.
The pandemic has affected call centers in every industry. Most business websites have placed a message at the top of their home page warning of long hold times and delays in service.
In healthcare, communication setbacks can mean life or death. Understandably, hospital call centers experienced a substantial increase in calls early in the pandemic. Many healthcare call centers assist with telehealth efforts and they also serve as a hub for their healthcare organization during a crisis.
“We played an immediate role in the hospital’s corporate response to the coronavirus pandemic,” explains Shelley White, MS, CHAM, FACHE, director of patient access services for State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University.
“A COVID-19 hotline was established, and we took calls from multiple counties in our area. Within two weeks, our call volume drastically increased, and we needed more space in our call centers to work while practicing social distancing. We used free operator licenses from our vendor to set-up additional remote operator workstations so more of our agents could work from home. This kept our staff safe while serving the community.”
Running a call center in a virtual server environment, or in the cloud, is giving hospitals the ability to stay flexible and available by using remote operators. These tools are scalable and result in fully functioning call handling to transform any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station.
Call Center Software Assists Telehealth Communication
Using telehealth for virtual appointments with medical staff and patients has been essential during this pandemic. There are other ways healthcare systems use telehealth communications. Hospital call centers are using their communication software, often in new ways, to provide their communities and staff with accurate information, quick responses, and in some cases—hope.
Nurse Triage Centers: Agents use a customized script to triage calls.
Improved Navigation Menus: Callers are directed to additional, updated information.
Non-Clinical Services: Telehealth also refers to remote, non-clinical administrative uses such as establishing and maintaining on-call shifts for COVID-19 volunteer pools. They can even create announcements using a song, tone, or message to broadcast throughout the hospital when a coronavirus patient is released. It’s a wonderful way to spread hope and encouragement to patients and staff.
Many telehealth agents are working from home and it is crucial for them to have access to the IT support they would normally use when working in the call center. Jennie McWhorter, information services operations manager for Ephraim McDowell Health in Danville, KY explains how the system can help here as well. “We have entered a ‘Telehealth Support Hotline’ in the call center software that allows the operators to connect to our help desk directly,” says Jennie. “This is very important as our main help desk line is usually a voicemail-only system that creates a ticket in our help desk software.”
Remote Operators Help Medical Staff
Shelley White’s team has also been able to help staff who are still located within the hospital. SUNY Upstate Medical University is the only ACS certified Level I Trauma Center in the region and serves about 1.7 million people and 28 referral hospitals. Shelley says, “During this coronavirus crisis, our ER registration is short-staffed, but we are able to help by watching our track board, which is tied into the EMR system with Epic. When a COVID-19 patient is admitted, we can call the patient to register them and verify insurance information over the phone. This process would normally be done in-person by ER staff, but we can do it remotely and ease some of their workload.”
According to numbers reported from Becker’s Hospital Review on April 7, 2020, employees from 243 hospitals have been furloughed during the pandemic. Hospitals are taking steps to save supplies, suspend elective procedures, and focus on treating COVID-19 patients.
To avoid layoffs, some healthcare organizations reassigned their medical staff as remote call center operators. “We were able to redistribute existing staff from other departments and tap into their skills to cross-train them to work for the switchboard,” states Shelley.
“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.”
Kathleen Kerrigan BSN, RN, and manager of medical communications center, radiology contact center and pager services for Nebraska Medicine mentions her experience: “Nebraska Medicine has created a flex pool for employees that work in areas of the organization that have closed or severely cut their workflows due to COVID-19. I was able to add nineteen of these employees to my team, including both nurses and agents.”
Telehealth as the New Normal: Telehealth has suddenly become crucial for patients and healthcare organizations. The use of telehealth has undeniably shown what a valuable tool it is in maintaining a healthy population.
Hospital call centers and healthcare professionals have already shown agility in adapting communications software in new ways to improve telemedicine applications while enhancing patient care—even during a pandemic. Advances in technology and our ability to use it could soon make the use of telehealth a standard healthcare practice.
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 received a Top Workplaces 2020 honor and a special award for work/life flexibility by The Wisconsin State Journal. These awards are based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage.
Amtelco, founded in 1976, has been developing reliable communication systems and applications backed by the company’s dedication to customer support. Amtelco’s 1Call healthcare division began in 1997. Hospitals and businesses have used their miSecureMessages secure messaging app widely since 2011.
“My father, Bill Curtin, II founded Amtelco in 1976. We have always been family-owned and managed through multiple generations of our family who care for and understand our customers’ business.” said Tom Curtin, president of Amtelco. “We truly believe that our customers and employees are extended family and that culture is what fuels our business success. Each employee clearly sees how their work contributes to our business objectives, which ensures that all employees feel connected to one another and to our mission. Being named in the Top Workplace list is a testament to the importance of continually making our company culture a top priority.”
The anonymous survey uniquely measures fifteen drivers of engaged cultures that are critical to the success of any organization, such as alignment, execution, and connection. “The Top Workplaces award has helped organizations stand out among their competitors to attract talent,” said Eric Rubino, CEO of Energage. “This differentiation is more important than ever in today’s tight labor market. No longer is recognition simply a much-deserved cause for celebration, but it’s fast becoming mission-critical to establish a competitive advantage for recruitment and retention.”
Amtelco is a trusted name in call center communication systems, software applications, and XDS technologies for call centers, contact centers, healthcare facilities, higher education facilities, executive suites, and developers. Amtelco systems and software process millions of telephone calls every day by operations in all fifty US states and more than twenty other countries. Founded in 1976, Amtelco is a family-owned company that has grown to 135 employees. For more information contact Amtelco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-356-9148.
1Call, a division of Amtelco and a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace, announced the promotion of Amber Schroedl to solutions architect.
“Amber has been a key part of our success, and brings a unique, real-world set of skills to our department,” said Kevin Mahoney, director of solutions architecture. “We are thrilled to promote her to this important position and serve our customers better by reducing implementation and go-live times.
The Solutions Architecture Team supports existing and potential customers by performing live product demonstrations, providing custom documentation and templates, and validating customer’s voice, data, internet, and cloud computing application requirements to ensure effective use of all communication solutions.
1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide healthcare communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and make them tremendously efficient by helping them bring wellness to their patients and their bottom line.