Best Practices: IP Telephony in Healthcare Settings

Feb 16, 2010


IP Telephony in Healthcare Settings

These days, many health centers—from smaller clinics to the largest hospitals—are focused on measuring patient satisfaction. Beyond the normal desire of any business to keep customers happy, health centers that get government funding are required to deploy regular surveys to gauge how patients rate their services. Scores depend on the quality of care the entire staff provides, from operators and administrators to nurses and physicians, and is often measured using metrics, such as how long patients must wait to be treated or how many transfers each patient must go through when calling their physicians or administrative offices. After all, nobody wants to keep dialing various numbers or wait a long time on the phone to make an appointment or inquire about a bill.

Such specific measurement mechanisms obviously pressure practices to act efficiently. Unified communications and voice-over-IP (VoIP) technologies can help healthcare IT organizations make service improvements in these areas while realizing cost savings. These systems let clinics serve patients faster by enabling quick and easy call transfers among buildings or departments while providing robust information about callers; for example, a UC system can provide screen pops in which administrators, doctors, nurses and operators can post comments to the notes section as part of the call record. Unified messaging can enhance employee productivity via dozens of time-saving features and by efficiently recording patient data, making paper trails a thing of the past. These systems also help the organization make up-to-the-minute staffing decisions based on logging and reporting on call volume.

No wonder, then, that when healthcare organizations look to make technology upgrades, the phone system is often a prime target. In this InformationWeek Analytics Best Practices report, we’ll cover best practices for health clinics and medical practices looking to choose and implement UC systems that will improve patient satisfaction while saving money.

Research Report