Here’s How VoIP Can Help You to Meet the Challenges of Your Medical Practice:

VoIP can help meet the unique communication needs of medical practices

VoIP can help meet the unique communication needs of medical practices

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can help meet the unique communication needs of medical practices — because, unlike exam gloves, a VoIP system is not “one size fits all.”  Many medical practices have upgraded to a VoIP system; doctors and staff have been pleasantly surprised with the system’s ease of use and how quickly they were able to adopt it.

A Voice over Internet Protocol system is:

  1. An easy-to-implement, easy-to-use, efficient, and hassle-free communications system that promotes a smooth medical practice work-flow.
  2. A cost-effective voice system that is exceptionally reliable.
  3. Rich with features that streamline the way you communicate; without being overwhelming.
  4. A scalable solution to keep up with your medical practice as you grow.

Here are 12 Essential VoIP Features for Medical Practices:

1. Fax conversion

  • Outbound faxes can be sent via a web-portal.
  • You’ll also be able to receive more faxes since you will no longer be dependent on physical fax machines.
  • Only a fax channel is needed; not bulky, unreliable fax machine equipment.
  • However, if you would prefer, a gateway device can be used to keep your current fax machine.
  • Faxes can also be sent through any computer application by pressing the print button

2. Centralized Reception

  • Your Scheduling Department, Accounting, Billing, and Patient Records can be located at a single office location; this office can manage the communications of all of your offices.
    • Office space is expensive!  Locate your scheduling department, and back office operations to less expensive real-estate.
    • Now you can use your prime real-estate to see more clients and bring in extra revenue.
    • Each of your offices can have its own number, which will automatically be routed to your single, unified communications department.
  • The next feature on our list, Caller ID Prefix, keeps things simple.

3. Caller ID Prefix

  • Enables your reception department’s phones to display which phone number, or for which doctor, the caller dialed.  This way your, staff will be able to answer and direct the call appropriately.
  • For example: If you have offices in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens.  A patient dials the Manhattan office’s number.  Their call rings in your central reception location, located at your Bronx Office.  The receptionist will see that the call was dialed to the Manhattan office; they’ll be able to manage the call appropriately.

 4. Auto Attendant – Serves as an “electronic” operator

  • The caller is presented with a menu; based on their selection, their call is routed to the appropriate location; all without the need for staff intervention.
    • Patient can easily reach doctor or staff member whom they need to reach.
    • Instead of a live operator taking requests for referrals or prescriptions, a voice mailbox can handle it.
  • Menu options can be used specifically to provide patients with information; including: hours of operation and instructions for patients on how to prepare for common procedures.
    • Information can even be played while patients are put on hold. This frees up staff so that they can focus on other tasks.
  • If there should be a day when you cannot open your medical practice, perhaps due to inclement weather, you can adjust your system from wherever you are — have it play a message to anyone who calls, to inform them.
  • Some of our other clients have managed to utilize their staff more effectively and avoid having to hire additional staff.

 5. Call Parking – this is a favorite feature among many medical offices.

  • When reception places a call on hold, the physician can answer it from any extension.
  • Can handle multiple calls on hold.
  • Allows the doctor to take a call in a private room in order to maintain HIPAA requirements.

 6. Easy to Use Reception Phones With Lots of Buttons

  • With some of our other clients, the staff members have greatly appreciated the number of features available on their phones.
  • The receptionists can see which extensions are in use, even at remote offices, and what slots callers are parked in. This enables them to handle phone calls more quickly.

 7. Link Offices for Faster Communication

  • Essentially, you will have an internal phone network which covers your main office and satellite offices.
  • In addition, you’ll have an extension number — to contact anyone, at any of your offices.
    • Any staff member, at any office can contact anyone else in their system by dialing a simple extension number. No more area codes, followed by another 7 numbers.
      • You can also transfer calls between sites
    • Occasionally, at our own office, when someone works from home they can “take” their extension with them — or have it forwarded to their mobile phone (There’s a great phone application called Bria, which will be discussed in our next article). Our calls behave as if we’re all under the same roof, even when we’re not.
      • Doctors can have a physical phone at home which can seamlessly integrate with your office’s phone system.
        • Staff will be able to reach you via your extension number.
        • You’ll be able to call back patients, and it will appear as if your call is originating from your office.
      • Work from anywhere, but only when you want to!

8. Follow Me

  • Have your calls routed to multiple extensions or numbers.
    • Your desk phone and cell phone can ring simultaneously if you would like.
    • If you prefer, the system can do this in a sequential manner: your desk phone can ring first, and if there is no answer, the system will try ringing your cell phone.

 9. Mobility Wireless Feature

  • Intercoms are disruptive.
  • Solution: Via a small wireless phone, which the doctor carries on their person, staff can easily reach doctors without calls to multiple-exam rooms.
  • Calls can also be forwarded, so this way, if a referring physician calls, you’ll be sure to receive it immediately!

 10. Voicemail to Email

  • When you receive a voicemail, it can be sent to your email as a WAV audio file.
  • Archive your messages.
  • Replay a specific part of the message, so you don’t have to guess what your caller said, or need to replay the entire message.
  • Forward the message to anyone with an email address.

 11. Time Conditions

  • Don’t take your work home with you, but remain reachable in the event of an emergency.
  • Menus, options and call routings can be changed to function differently during specified times (ex: lunch, daytime, after hours, weekends).
    • For example: your calls can be sent to a colleague when you’re at lunch, or on vacation.
  • Works in conjunction with your automated attendant.
  • Can be used to RELIABLY replace answering services.
  • For a more detailed example, have a look at our article on Time Conditions.
    • Example 4 will likely be of interest to those in a medical practice.

 12. Call Flows

  • On-demand switching of how calls are handled. Just push a button when you go to lunch, on break, or go home for the day; your system will take care of the rest.
  • The button can also be programmed to override your Time Conditions should your day deviate from your normal schedule.

Professionals in medical practices are upgrading their telephone systems to the cost saving and flexibility of the new VoIP technology. As an industry leader in the telecom industry, Steadfast Telecommunications is prepared to help your medical practice make the transition to a better, more scalable and reliable VoIP phone system. We invite you to talk to us and learn how simple it is to get started.

We want to know what you think of a VoIP system for your medical practice.

If you already have a VoIP system in your practice, in what ways have you found it helpful? Are there any features that you would like advice or help with? Ask! We’re here to help!

If your medical practice doesn’t yet have a VoIP system, what are your feelings about VoIP after reading this blog?  Do you have any questions or would like some advice about VoIP and your medical practice?

You can write your comment in the box below.