Tag Archives: vendor lists

Medical Answering Service Software Vendors

The foundation of every medical answering service is the ability to effectively and efficiently take messages from patients and callers and then process that information for doctors and offices. Doing this successfully is a proper melding of selected, trained, and supervised staff with the ideal technology that allows each employee to do their job to the best of their ability.

Selecting the medical answering service system can shave seconds from each call. When thousands of calls are taken each day, these seconds per call quickly add up to hours. The result is unnecessary hours can be removed from the operator schedule, reducing payroll costs and freeing up funds for other functions.

In addition to increased efficiency, the right software solution can be used to offer more services to your doctors, their on-call personnel, and their office staff. This accomplishes two things. First, offering more services results in increased billable activities, which again increases revenues — assuming that the services are properly accounted for and billed. By offering more services and in a more accessible and user-centric manner, doctors and their practices are increasingly connected to your medical answering service and less likely to switch to a competitor.

Another benefit of the right software — coupled with the right staff — is increased accuracy, reduced errors, decreased stress, and greater job satisfaction for agents. This results in increased quality and reduced liability.

While the answering service equipment of the past were either manual systems or cumbersome computerized representations, today’s leading answering service software produces highly automated systems that greatly assist operators in answering medical calls, capturing patient information, and dispatching that information quickly and effectively.

See our list of the leading medical answering service equipment and software vendors to consider when providing your medical answering service with the best technology available today.

[From the February/March 2009 issue of AnswerStat magazine]

Telephone Answering Service Vendors

Telephone answering services have a long history, dating back to the 1920s. In those early years, enterprising entrepreneurs began opening localized telephone answering services around the United States, primarily focused on the needs of the medical community.

In those days and until the 1980s, calls were answered using various electromechanical devices and messages were handwritten. With the advent of the microprocessor, a new breed of entrepreneurs began harnessing computer technology to automate, control, and organize portions of the call handling process. As technology has advanced so to has the equipment and software that powers today modern telephone answering service.

The following list includes the leading vendors or telephone answering service equipment and software:

1Call Division of Amtelco provides call center services, PC-based PBX consoles, soft agent, secure communications, emergency notification (HICS), event notification, appointment reminders, and communication systems for healthcare organizations.Amtelco’s Intelligent Messaging, an advanced messaging module, is a core component of the Infinity system. It uses scripting to guide agents through gathering and dispatching the information that each client requires. Operators simply follow the steps presented by the message scripts. The account of each clinic or doctor can be completely customized as the information is gathered from the patient or caller. The manner in which that information is dispatched or passed on to the doctor’s office or clinic can also be customized.

Scripts can branch according to the type of call, the time of day, the day of week, and other factors. Scripts can look up and insert previously collected information, such as account numbers, addresses, and phone numbers, without operator involvement. Scripts can dynamically link to other modules, such as Intelligent on-call scheduling, Intelligent directories, information pages, and client fields. In addition, they can automatically retrieve or update the information in the other modules.

Infinity Intelligent Messaging can reduce training time, virtually eliminate messaging errors, and improve customer satisfaction. Infinity offers detailed reporting, fax capability, and built-in voicemail. Amtelco’s Intelligent Messaging is software-based, incorporating Microsoft SQL Server 2003.

For more information, call 800-356-9148, email info@1call.com, or visit www.1call.com.

OnviSource’s OnviCenter 6 brings individual call handling components together into an affordable solution for medical answering services and medical call centers. It incorporates essential functions for optimized call handling, such as intelligent and automated call distribution, voicemail, unified communications, IVR, telemessaging, and message dispatch.

Medical answering services also benefit from OnviCenter 6 products that automate and optimize interactions with patients and callers, enabling operators to deliver superior customer experiences to doctors, clinics, and hospitals. OnviCenter 6 offers cost-effective workforce optimization applications like call recording, screen capture, speech analytics, and workforce scheduling to ensure quality, satisfy compliance requirements, and manage labor costs. Optional customer interaction management applications, such as automated agent workflows and revenue-building business applications like order-entry and payment processing, are also available.

For more information, call 800-311-3025, email sales@onvisource.com, or visit www.onvisource.com.

Startel’s Call Management Center (CMC) offers intelligent form routing that provides advanced scripting capabilities and enables medical answering services to script a call flow, helping guide call center staff through the call process. CMC provides flexibility to enable operators to accommodate patients and callers whose communication doesn’t follow the order of the script while applying the form’s logic. Available in both the message slip and IntelliForm, intelligent form routing can be combined with intelligent dispatching, enabling scripting to define the specific information that is to be delivered based upon the call flow.

With the enhancements available in Startel’s CMC platform, medical answering services will be able to reduce operator error while processing calls more efficiently. This results in reduced overhead and increased customer retention.

Startel’s Call Processing System (CPS) provides many of the CMC features for smaller medical answering services looking for advanced features that fit within their budget, offering them the ability to easily handle complex medical accounts while reducing the agent stress in meeting the advanced requirements of doctors and clinics.

Startel’s CMC platform has both a CTI interface as well as an interface for Startel’s 5700 Digital Switch for those that would like to utilize an ACD platform.

For more information, call 800-782-7835 or visit www.startel.com.

[From the February/March 2008 issue of AnswerStat magazine]

Telephone Nurse Triage Software Vendors

Telephone nurse triage software provides established and proven protocols, which can be used by trained and experienced nurses to verbally assess patient symptoms and conditions, making and documenting the recommended course of action. Here are vendors that provide Telephone Nurse Triage Software:

Clinical Solutions
6470 E Johns Crossing Ste 400
Duluth, GA 30097, USA
Contact: Darin Southard at 770-813-2114, 888-531-9206, or darin.southard@clinicalsolutions.com.
Clinical Solutions is a developer of software applications for health care call centers.

Echo, A HealthStream Company
17085 Camino San Bernardo
San Diego, CA 92127, USA
Contact: Richard D. Stier, Vice President, at 800-733-8737 or rick.stier@healthstream.com
HealthLine systems’ healthcare contact center software solutions Sharp Focus® and EchoAccess™ support organizations’ priorities with tangible outcomes: Improve access; expand market share; create new revenue streams; and document ROI. Sharp Focus is the proven solution selected by leading healthcare providers nationwide. EchoAccess is healthcare’s first fully web-enabled contact center solution with a web-browser user interface. It integrates both inbound and outbound access portals, telephone, and website. EchoAccess is an uncommon solution for Uncommon Results. Yours.

Clinical: EchoAccess by HealthLine Systems features clinical guideline protocols from Cleveland Clinic, which are endorsed by leading health care organizations nationwide. Cleveland Clinic’s award-winning Nurse on Call clinical contact center has successfully triaged over 5 million clinical calls. Cleveland Clinic guideline protocols enable nurses to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of an experienced medical professional to review and recommend a care plan thoughtfully tailored for them.

LVM Systems
4262 E Florian Ave
Mesa, AZ  85206, USA
Contact: Robert Cluff, Vice President of Sales, at 480-633-8200 x223 or robert@lvmsystems.com
The triage module in LVM’s E-Centaurus software uses the protocols authored by Drs. Barton Schmitt and David Thompson. The software fully supports triage nurses – making their jobs easier and more efficient. Advantages include:

  • Customization: LVM will customize the software screens and fields to support users’ unique call process.
  • Frequently Used Protocols: This option presents a pick list of the “top 15 or 20” protocols of your choosing. This time-saving feature can be changed as needed to reflect seasonal variations.
  • Medication/Dosage Calculator: When OTC medications are recommended within Care Advice, the nurse can access the software’s dosage calculator – saving time while enhancing accuracy.
  • Quick-entry screens: This is for call registration by a non-clinician. If your organization chooses to implement this call flow to improve service standards, the software fully supports it. Call queues can bridge multiple databases and/or be filtered by role and service line.
  • Question or Advice-specific Comments: E-Centaurus allows ad hoc information to be captured at the point (question or advice piece) it occurs.
  • On-call Schedule Automation: The software supports automated on-call schedule imports, allowing practices to send any updates to the on-call form via email and reducing manual maintenance.
  • Integration with Electronic Office Triage:  E-Centaurus can be integrated with Doctor’s Office Calls (D.O.C.) – an office-hours triage product for daytime use in physician practices and clinics (both use the Schmitt/Thompson protocols).
  • Analysis and QA Reports:  LVM’s software can report on every data element collected. Analysis of outcomes, referral rates, protocol usage, and operational performance is included in a comprehensive Management Report module.

Triage Logic
1959 N Peace Haven Rd
Winston Salem, NC  27106, USA
Contact: Ravi Raheja, MD, at 855-734-4463 or info@triagelogic.com
Triage Logic is a health care company that creates sophisticated telephone medicine technology based on practical experience and a thorough under­standing of the field.  Having thirteen years of experience with call centers and triage calls, Triage Logic software has been developed by a team of physicians and triage nurses to be stream­lined, flexible, and cost effective.

They provide hosted solutions to some of the largest triage centers in the country and have the technical and medical experience to meet the unique needs of any call center, regardless of size. They are proud of their expertise in the field of telephone medicine as well as with the software’s ease of implementation.

Triage Logic software provides:

  • The latest standard-of-care triage protocols
  • Decreased training time for nursing staff
  • Remote monitoring of call volume and workflow
  • Thorough and accurate documentation
  • Fully integrated administrative and reporting tools
  • Fully streamlined and integrated data entry
  • Reliable, customizable web-based system
  • Optional secure, hosted, HIPAA compliant solution

If your organization should have been included in this section, please let us know so that we can immediately add your information to our online coverage and include you the next time we feature telephone triage software vendors. Email dehaan@answerstat.com.

[From the October/November 2006 issue of AnswerStat magazine]

Physician Referral Software Providers

Contact the following vendors for more information about physician referral software for your call center.

1Call, A Division of Amtelco
800 Curtin Dr
McFarland, WI 53558
Matt Everly, Marketing Manager
1Call’s physician referral application can be customized to allow referrals on any criteria. The template script includes search on specialty, including a primary care physician or a specialist. It can even be used to locate a physician for a particular procedure or one with board certification. Additionally, physicians can be referred based on proximity to a particular clinic or hospital. The caller requirement criterion includes gender and insurance accepted, along with special accessibility and language needs. In addition, 1Call’s physician referral application includes physician-to-physician referrals and patient-to-physician referrals.

Echo, A HealthStream Company
17085 Camino San Bernardo
San Diego, CA 92127
Rick Stier, Vice President
800-733-8737 x7265
EchoAccess™ is a fully web-enabled solution to manage physician referrals, class enrollment, and event registration, both by phone and on your website. It can document return-on-investment (ROI) from physician-to-physician referral and physician liaison solutions. Use it to end the duplication of physician data and reduce costs with their master provider database that integrates physician information from medical staff office, contact center, and web site.

LVM Systems, Inc.
4262 E Florian Ave
Mesa, AZ 85206
Robert Cluff, Vice President, Sales
480-633-8200 x223
LVM’s E-Centaurus software package includes a physician referral module; it is one component of their Marketing and Referral call center solution. E-Centaurus matches consumer preferences and health plan mandates with the physicians database to drive the referral or appointment-scheduling process. The software has 47 standard and 10 user-defined selection criteria upon which to match. Features include safe harbor tracking, ability to designate attributes as “Exact Match Only,” and the “Can’t Fill” function for tracking criteria combinations which cannot be satisfied by the physician database. The physician appointment feature supports appointment-setting at the time of the call.

[From the June/July 2006 issue of AnswerStat magazine]

Appointment Scheduling and Reminders

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

For as long as call centers have been answering calls for doctors, there have been requests to handle appointments, be it to set, cancel, or change an appointment. Although the doctors were serious about these requests and the call centers anxious to assist, the result was, at best, less than desirable and at worse, a complete failure.

Problems with double booking, tracking cancellations, and coordinating openings were rampant, often overshadowing the benefits. The root cause of this was the lack of a centralized and common scheduling resource. Even after the advent of computers allowed schedules to be accessible electronically, connecting to a remote database was slow, cumbersome, and unreliable. Fortunately, the Internet has solved this last dilemma.

When powerful appointment scheduling software is married to the ubiquitousness of the Internet, the result is an up-to-date schedule, available to both the medical practice and the call center. This allows both medical staff and call center agents to fill, cancel, or change an appointment at any time, without the concerns of double booking or appointment overlap. With the Internet, accounts can also be easily dispersed throughout a multi-location practice or call center.

These programs can address a medical practice’s appointment-taking needs, while providing the option for remote access by supervisors, managers, and even doctors as they plan their day. Many of these scheduling setting programs are hosted software. This means that the call center does not need to purchase, install, maintain, or upgrade any software, but rather accesses it via the Internet. Fees vary from flat rate to usage sensitive. Some packages can alternately be purchased by the call center for in-house installation. This allows call centers to use the hosted version as they get started, with the option to purchase the software later, if it becomes cost effective to do so.

For all of this power and flexibility, these programs tend to be intuitive and easy to learn. The learning curve for agents is quick; they often comprehend the basics after just a couple of appointments and master the details within an hour.

Also, there is often a web component available, which can be extended to the patient or referring partners for self-scheduling. This can serve to increase visits and maximize doctor’s schedules. Common features include:

  • Multiple schedules (such as separate doctor and nurse schedules)
  • Multiple event or appointment types
  • Various length appointments
  • Ability to perform database lookups (to pre-populate fields with patient information)
  • Provision of drop down menus (to enforce database consistency)

Booking a full day’s worth of appointments, however, is just the first step. Unfortunately, it is all too common for appointments to be missed, either through neglect, forgetfulness, or patients who are simply too overloaded to remember. As such, reminding patients of their scheduled time, a day or two prior, is a needed task. Therefore, most appointment setting software also includes a means of confirming or reminding patients of their scheduled time. This can be completely automated and technology assisted, and often includes multiple contact methods, such as a phone call, email, or fax. Here are appointment scheduling vendors to consider:

1Call, a division of Amtelco: 1Call’s Web-based scripting product, eCreator, includes an appointment-taking application that can be customized to meet each scheduling need. Most of the scripting work is already done, making set-up fast. A customizable SQL database is included to provide speed and scalability.

Callers can be reminded of their appointments by email, fax, or on a website. The script walks agents through the call process, reducing training time. The data collected can be required and validated, reducing agent errors. The main features include:

  • Flexible script flow and customized screens
  • Web-based script, which allows for end-user access
  • Scalability to unlimited schedules, resources, and appointment lengths
  • Delivery of appointment data according to client needs, including Web access

For more information, contact 1Call at 800-356-9148, info@1call.com or www.1call.com.

Linx Appointment: Linx Appointment, from Szeto Technologies, is an appointment setting software package that can be purchased by call center and installed in their facility. It is one of the optional integrated functions offered in their Call Linx TAS System.

Although it is installed in the call center, the call center may in turn host the appointment service to their clients via their website.  No third party involvement is necessary.

For more information about Linx Appointment, contact Szeto Technologies at info@szeto.ca, 888-421-3737, or visit www.szeto.ca.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.

Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.

[From the June/July 2005 issue of AnswerStat magazine]

Class and Event Registration Software and Service

Class and event registration software can streamline the registration process for call center agents. It also can reduce errors, increase accuracy, and synchronize with other databases. Some offerings have web-based and/or IVR components that allow for multiple customer touch points and self-service options. If your call center is using a manual registration system, or wants to add registration service, it will be worthwhile to check out these leading vendors and service providers.

The following vendors offer class and event registration software:

1Call, a division of Amtelco
4800 Curtin Dr
McFarland, WI 53558
Matt Everly, Marketing Manager
The 1Call Division of Amtelco is a developer of call center PC-based PBX consoles, emergency notification (HEICS), and communication systems designed specifically for hospitals and healthcare organizations. The 1Call systems are designed to streamline communications when time is of the essence in sending or sharing information with healthcare professionals and personnel enterprise-wide. 1Call’s eCreator system simplifies time-consuming calls, such as class registration. eCreator can also create customized Web-based scripts and integrates with databases, facilitating the flow of information and ensuring that the call center and all departments have access to current information.

LVM Systems
4262 E Florian Ave
Mesa, AZ  85206
Robert Cluff, Vice President, Sales
480-633-8200 x223
LVM Systems, Inc. develops software and related Internet products exclusively for the healthcare call center industry. Their primary niche is solutions that support nurse triage and disease management, as well as referral and marketing services. They have served this market for 16 years and have hundreds of healthcare organizations as clients. The company’s cornerstones are comprehensive software, outstanding customer support, and proven clinical content. They have collaborated with Drs. Schmitt and Thompson to provide after hours, office hours, and website versions of their triage protocols. The LVM team also provides implementation services, on-site training, phone and remote-access support, network consultation, and customization of screens and reports.

[From the February/March 2005 issue of AnswerStat magazine. Updated as September 2018.]

Telephone Answering Service Systems

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

Peter DeHaan, Publisher and Editor of AnswerStat

Telephone answering services are by definition a subset of the call center industry. However, while the greater call center industry has a history spanning more than 30 years, telephone answering service has an 80-year history. In the 1920s, and the decades that followed, enterprising entrepreneurs began opening localized telephone answering services around the United States. In those days and until around 1980, calls were largely answered when an operator plugged into a ringing line, client data was in paper form, messages were handwritten, and calls were placed using a rotary dial telephone.

With the advent of affordable computer technology in the late 1970s, a new breed of entrepreneurs, the technologists, began harnessing the nascent microprocessor to automate, control, and organize portions of the call handling process. Thus was born the first-generation Computer Telephone Integration (CTI) systems. Although primitive and basic by today’s standards, they represented a fundamental shift in the call processing mindset. These systems allowed calls to be answered with a single keystroke and a basic repository of client data would be automatically displayed on a computer screen.

Second generation CTI systems allowed messages to be entered into the computer, giving way to a plethora of distribution methods, including alphanumeric paging, faxing, and eventually email. Today’s leading-edge answering service systems are third generation CTI platforms. These systems dominate the market, offering laborsaving automation, client conveniences, agent-assisting features, scripted call processing, integration with remote databases, and Internet access to web-based tools and information. “The evolution of CTI systems has helped the telemessaging industry grow into a sophisticated industry capable of much more than just answering the phone and taking a message,” stated Linda Osip, Executive Director of the Canadian Call Management Association. “We have so much information at our fingertips that we can now act as a true representation of our clients to their callers.”

Among the benefits afforded by these third generation CTI answering service systems, labor savings is a frequent and well appreciated result. Jim Geary, the owner of Complete Answering Service, in Jackson, TN, stated that with his Startel 5700, he “was able to handle the same amount of call traffic with over 50% staff reduction.” He also cited “a massive reduction in errors” as another important benefit.

Tom Gelbach, owner of Answer Connecticut, in Newington, CT concurs with the labor saving aspect. His center uses an Amtelco Infinity system. “We are barely scratching the surface of its capabilities,” he stated. “We have found that in our dispatching operation alone we have been able to reduce the time per call by 31 percent.”

Julie Barr, Call Center System Director at Banner Health, is equally enamored. “With the help of Amcom’s Smart Center, we’ve transformed operator services. By combining independent call centers into one centralized center, we’ve improved efficiency, reduced operational expense, and enhanced customer service.”

Call center managers of other telemessaging systems are also quick to applaud the features, efficiencies, and effectiveness of their respective call center technology.

Please refer to our updated listing of the major telemessaging system vendors in the industry.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.

Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.

[From the Summer 2004 issue of AnswerStat magazine]

Voice Logger Vendor Information

The following vendors provide voice logging equipment and software. Contact them directly for more information.

1Call, a division of Amtelco: The Infinity voice logger is a software-based call recording solution that automatically records all operator involvement with incoming and outgoing calls. The voice logger records the call audio, agent screens, account name, account number, agent, and call number. It can search for specific call recordings and comes with playback, backup, and archival capabilities, along with tools and reports to track recordings. The Infinity voice logger is useful for healthcare organizations that need to maintain call records for historically accuracy and want to ensure they are providing excellent customer service 24 hours a day.

Contact 1Call at 800-356-9148, info@1call.com, or visit www.1call.com.

OnviSource‘s OnviCord voice logging system is the voice and data logging component of OnviCenter, a suite of vertically integrated customer interaction management applications. OnviCord provides all the functionality required to engage in call recording, quality monitoring, and compliance management. OnviCord logs 100% of voice data and video recordings while engaging in agent evaluation, quality assurance, liability protection, and call archiving. OnviCord captures activity in single or mixed telephony environments. The system records calls and on-screen transactions for a virtually unlimited number of users, with protected Web-based access for convenient management on- or off-site.

For more information, go to www.onvisource.com or call 800-537-1827.

Record/Play Tek, Inc. provides the SCL 8900 Simple Computer Logger, which records nine, eighteen, or twenty-seven channels of audio from operator headsets, DID lines, POTS lines, and room microphones. The nine-channel system has 150 days of conversation recordings on an 80 GB hard drive, regardless of the activity level. Call center agents can search by customer account number (on Startel ®, Amtelco®, Telescan®, Morgan® systems) or by SMDR/DID information. The system runs on a standard computer or server and is easily installed on a standard telco punch block. The normal delivery time is two weeks.

For more information, contact Record Play/Tek at 574-848-5233, Stoll@recordplaytek.com, or visit www.recordplaytek.com.

[For more information, see our Voice Logging feature article and the Legal Requirements of Voice Logging.]

[From the Fall 2003 issue of AnswerStat magazine]