Tag Archives: vendor news

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.

TriageLogic Releases Data on Remote Nurse Triage Calls



TriageLogic®, a leader in telephone nurse triage and remote patient communication, released data pertaining to remote nurse triage in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study provide insight into how triage nurses can help hospitals and healthcare organizations provide high-quality remote care for patients during major public health episodes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how doctors and health facilities care for patients. Between lockdown orders and public fear of going to doctor’s offices or hospitals, telemedicine and remote nurse triage has become a vital service for the healthcare industry. Through these changes, TriageLogic has kept meticulous records on patient sentiments, attitudes, demographics, and triage outcomes to help providers and hospitals better understand their patients. While doing so, TriageLogic has provided high quality care to callers by diverting patients without worrying symptoms with homecare advice or by scheduling telehealth visits.

With this data, TriageLogic extrapolated trends and insights to help the healthcare industry better understand the pandemic and patient responses to it. The white paper, “Nurse Triage: Patient Phone Calls About COVID-19,” is for all healthcare providers and organizations. 

The insights from this paper are helpful in explaining the importance of telephone triage and remote patient care. The numbers clearly support the fact that patients, in times of anxiety and genuine sickness, turned to these lines because they are an effective, convenient, and safe alternative to going to the emergency room or doctor’s office. This has helped alleviate the healthcare system during a time of record hospital admissions due to COVID-19.

This data is provided to the medical community in hopes that it sheds light on patients and their behavior during this challenging time. 

TriageLogic (info@triagelogic.com) is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions, all with the purpose of encouraging positive patient behavior and improving access to healthcare. Founded in 2006, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide.

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.

Keona Health Remote Work Capabilities Thrive for Healthcare Contact Center



Keona Health Inc., a healthcare CRM and patient access platform announced that Assistance Services Group, a Sykes Company, experienced enormous spikes in volume for its 235 call center agents. Assistance Services Group operates a healthcare contact center covering 18 million patients in Canada.

 “Covid-19 created a surge well over 600 percent our normal volumes. The combination of productivity, clinical safety, and the ability to work remotely were crucial elements needed to defeat the first COVID wave,” said Diane Legault, senior director of telehealth operations & client relations, Sykes Canada. Their use of Keona Health’s Health Desk solution helped them “deliver a responsive and reliable platform that would weather any type of surge, such as COVID-19.”

Keona’s Health Desk provides one seamless interface for handling any patient question including triaging patients with rules-based algorithms and AI-driven workflow. “Health Desk is a mission-critical resource and one that has to deliver robust reliability. We committed hundreds of hours to ensure that every one of our clients successfully navigated the first wave of COVID-19,” said Oakkar Oakkar, Keona Health CEO. “Keona focuses on improving patient access, cutting contact center redundancies, and providing real time intelligence to optimize care.”

Visit KeonaHealth.com to learn more.

TriageLogic Software and Services Play Critical Role in COVID Telehealth



As the COVID pandemic rapidly evolved, TriageLogic jumped into overdrive to help new and existing clients handle the coronavirus outbreak. They saw call volume skyrocket and knew that systems and software would need to be put into place for healthcare institutions to assist with the increased demand in a remote care environment.

TriageLogic software solutions, which use the gold-standard Schmitt-Thompson protocols, had COVID protocols included to provide the latest standard of care as CDC recommendations evolved. TriageLogic implemented the COVID protocols in their system and on their call center software client systems. They also quickly set-up additional hospitals with a nurse triage software platform to allow their nurses to work remotely and assist in the screening of COVID phone calls.

Using nurse triage protocols in conjunction with doctor e-visits improves coordination of care and allows doctors to safely delegate responsibility to their nurses. TriageLogic software has recommendations for nurses to transfer to doctor telehealth visits when applicable. The software also enables the nurses to text or email custom information sheets to patients when scheduling their e-visit, so the patients are informed about the process and how to connect with their doctor.

To help doctors evaluate triage protocols for their practices, TriageLogic is offering a free 30-day trial for the office triage software.

TriageLogic Provides Remote Patient Monitoring Services



TriageLogic has been working with device companies to provide monitoring of dashboards and evaluation of patients with abnormal readings. They can provide coverage 24/7 or just after hours to supplement healthcare providers’ current remote patient monitoring programs.

TriageLogic staff observes these patient dashboards. When an alert comes in, the staff can contact the provider or send the message to TriageLogic nurses for further evaluation. The nurses will follow the practice’s instructions to triage the patients and get them the appropriate follow up. Remote patient monitoring improves health outcomes and increases revenue for practices.

While TriageLogic has grown and participated in plans to confront this major health event, they’ve taken a close look at their vision and where they see themselves in the future. Their use of protocols ensures that everyone, no matter their situation, gets the best care advice to address their medical symptoms. Holding onto this thought, they hope to continue providing top-notch care through COVID and beyond.

TriageLogic’s vision is simply this: “To provide a uniform, high-standard of care to everyone, everywhere.”

Learn more about TriageLogic and remote patient monitoring.