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Medical offices and practices in the healthcare sector face a particular challenge in stretching their already strained budgets to include a medical office phone system versatile enough to enable real or near real-time contact with patients, consultants, and sources of critical supplies – while also supporting monitoring and data management requirements that may be of immense volume and complexity.
A medical office VoIP phone system can go a long way towards resolving this dilemma, for cash-starved medical offices and practices at all levels.
Advantages of Medical Office Phone System
Medical phone systems have many advantages for both patients and administration. Medical office staff can integrate voice, video, messaging and other data types to Unified Communications solution. Patients can stay up to date with their vital contacts in a medical office, get instant test results and alerts.
The integration of voice, video calls, messaging and other data types, and multimedia capabilities result in an environment producing what’s known as Unified Communications, or UC.
For medical office staff and administrators, this allows information from various streams (the medical phone system, office productivity applications, accounts, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning software etc.) to be co-ordinated and managed from a single platform.
As in so many other sectors, the current trend in phone systems for healthcare is consumer-centric, with the consumers, in this case, being patients, their sponsors, and other stakeholders. Medical phone systems enable a multi-channel approach to keeping patients in touch and up to date with their vital contacts in a medical office or practice, with call-handling and messaging efficiency that keep waiting times minimized, and waiting lines as short as possible.
Support services and feedback in the form of the rapid delivery of test results, billing support, and customer satisfaction surveys all help in maintaining the necessary focus on the patients and their well-being.
Top Benefits Of VoIP Phone System For Medical Offices
The main benefits of a VoIP phone system for small medical offices and practices include remote consultation, mobility, call handling, account processing, IVR system, video conferencing & video consultation, information dissemination & alerts, and money saving.
For patients who are too unwell to move, motion impaired, lacking available transport, or simply located in areas too remote for a visit to the nearest healthcare facility to be practical, the ability to have consultations or receive prescriptions and therapy from medical staff via digital means can be a life-saver.
Medical office VoIP phone systems make this possible, with the enhancement of voice communications.
Presence & Mobility
Phone systems for medical office typically come with an associated set of mobile applications, to allow users to connect to their office telecommunications network from mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, or using USB headsets and software (“softphones”) on desktop computer systems.
These apps enable medical professionals to have access to their patients and their centers of operations from any location, and at any time of day. This extends the functionality of their medical office VoIP platforms not only to doctors and nursing staff, but also to those involved in paramedical and Emergency Response services like ambulance crews and firefighters.
VoIP features like presence panels enable administrators and dispatchers to monitor the status and availability of their team members, and for the medical staff themselves to co-ordinate duties with their colleagues based on their displayed status (“On Call”, “Do Not Disturb”, “In Transit”, etc.). And features like “Find Me/Follow Me” enable calls and messages to be routed to medical workers on their nearest convenient device.
Ensuring round the clock availability to patients and stakeholders effectively transforms the function of a medical practice’s reception service to that of a call center, with the need to field high volumes of calls, many simultaneous callers, specific and critical demands for particular calls, or a combination of these conditions.
Medical phone system solutions give medical organizations the contact center capabilities necessary for processing multiple calls at the same time, and hundreds of calls every day.
The monitoring and record-keeping facilities of VoIP-powered medical office phone system make it easier for healthcare administrators to manage patient registers and account information. Reminders and bills can be sent out automatically, while patients can even settle their accounts over the phone.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Interactive Voice Response or IVR technology makes it possible for users on both the service and consumer side of the healthcare equation to easily find the information and resources that they’re looking for.
With a VoIP for medical offices system, IVR may be supported on multiple levels, with settings for each level configured via a simple web-based console.
Medical staff can use IVR to prioritize certain services or patient profiles, and to verify their scheduled appointments and the current status of specific patient reports.
Patients can use the technology to find information on specific healthcare facilities, the availability of specialists and nursing staff, or the current state of their own doctor’s report.
Video Conferencing & Consultation
The multimedia data-handling capabilities of medical office VoIP phone system allow video conferencing applications to be fully integrated into hospital and healthcare facility telecommunications systems. These tools may be used for hosting appointments and check-ups with remote patients, mentoring and collaboration on surgical procedures, the dissemination of healthcare advice to patients via on-site monitors or their mobile devices, and numerous other applications.
Information Dissemination & Alerts
Beyond video, the unified messaging facilities of a medical office phone system may include email, instant messaging, SMS text messaging, live chat, and integration with on-premises hardware like buzzers, alarms, and public address systems. These may all be used for broadcasting reminders, alerts, and emergency condition warnings in real time.
Availability & Business Continuity
Assuring the safety and confidentiality of sensitive health data is only part of the story. Healthcare facilities also need to remain available to their stakeholders on a permanent basis. The virtual numbering and call routing capabilities of medical office VoIP platform ensure that facility staff can be contacted at any location or time of day.
Hosted PBX providers with mature cloud networks can further ensure availability by having “failover” options, in the event of a natural or human-made incident that results in the loss of local network connectivity. These may include the automatic transfer of calls to designated mobile phones, and the provision of connections to alternate sites to reduce or eliminate downtime and delays in data transfer.
Finally, the use of VoIP for medical offices has significant cost benefits for healthcare institutions. Hosted services eliminate the need for purchasing, managing, and maintaining on-premises PBX hardware – with the burden of management and infrastructure provision shifted to a service provider in the cloud.
And best VoIP for medical offices solution offers considerable reductions in call tariffs, when compared to traditional telephone systems. Calls to numbers within the same VoIP network are typically free, while long-distance and international calls are routed over the internet, and generally attract local call rates.
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