Community Physicians Group Case Study
ShoreTel VoIP is the antidote to improving collaboration and maximizing patient revenue at Community Physicians Group
Time to transition from an aging, maintenance-intensive Toshiba
Community Physicians Group has nine clinics in Arkansas and Oklahoma, which cover 900 square miles. The organization participates in meaningful use, CPCI initiative, PQRS, CQM, and other health measures, so its technology needs to be topnotch. To date, four locations have transitioned to the ShoreTel unified communications VoIP system. And the rest of the clinics are in the deployment queue.
With budgets squeezed by funding cuts, Community Physicians Group needs to do more with less
Neal Holt, Director of IT at Community Physicians Group (CPG), needs to stretch his budget without compromising operations, compliance with health measures, or patient care. He inherited a Toshiba system that required a monthly service premium and truck roll every time the group needed to troubleshoot. With a new clinic in the works, it was time to consider upgrading to a more up-to-date and affordable telephony system.
During the due-diligence process, the IT team evaluated ShoreTel, Mitel, and Avaya, as well as its Toshiba legacy system. Aside from ShoreTel’s robust features, created specifically for the medical profession, the system integrated with the Toshiba system, accommodating a phased rollout as budget permits.
ShoreTel cures CPG’s telephony ills by streamlining daily business processes
Many features included in the ShoreTel interface and ShoreTel communicator make it possible for the group to conduct its daily business with greater efficiency. The status indicator, dialing by name or four-digit extension, and softphone capabilities optimize workflow. Maintenance can be easily handled in-house.
Inbound and internal calls are handled more efficiently as well. When a staff member calls the IT department, the call goes directly to the help desk. If the help desk member is not available, then it rings on all of the IT phones. A similar hunt group is set up at all of the clinics for inbound patient calls to ensure patients receive attention as promptly as possible.
“SHORETEL’S EASE OF USE AND INTUITIVE INTERFACE HAVE ATTRACTED QUITE A FOLLOWING. FROM DAY ONE, STAFF MEMBERS COULD SIT DOWN IN FRONT OF THEIR PHONE, PUSH THE TRANSFER BUTTON, AND SIMPLY USE SOPHISTICATED FEATURES BY FOLLOWING THE MENU. IN ONE OFFICE,
EMPLOYEES HAVE THE LIST OF ALL OF THE PHONE EXTENSIONS ON SHORETEL COMMUNICATOR. ONE CLICK AND THE LINE TRANSFERS TO THAT EXTENSION.
Neal Holt, Director of IT
Community Physicians Group
Another ShoreTel feature connects all of the clinics’ TelMed during off hours. That notifies doctors so they can access the database and receive phone calls from patients within 30 minutes. In other clinic locations, CPG is using ShoreTel scheduling for day, night, lunch breaks, and holidays. Another clinic uses that feature to offer self-service options to direct patients to the right department or person immediately.
The ShoreTel VoIP solution runs on the same network as all of CPG’s servers, workstations, switches, and routers so the ShoreTel deployment didn’t require IT to spend any additional time on maintenance.
“We have MPLS running between clinics, and having ShoreTel on the network ensures reliability. You just plug the network into the back of the phone. If it’s a workstation, you plug the network cable from the computer into the back of the phone. It’s that easy. You don’t have to pay anybody to come in and run telephone wires,” says Holt. “There is very little maintenance in the ShoreTel system, and that’s why love it.”
Cost savings are significant. “ShoreTel was not that expensive to deploy. So we’re saving money with the system and bringing in revenue because we no longer experience any missed calls. When a patient leaves a voicemail, we’re able to call them back the same day and get them scheduled. Patient visits bring in revenue,” explains Holt. “With Oklahoma cutting Medicaid payments almost 60 percent over the past several years, every penny we can save or generate helps the bottom line.”
ShoreTel customer service, ease of use, and affordable pricing keep CPG’s budget healthy
ShoreTel’s ease of use and intuitive interface have attracted quite a following. From day one, staff members could sit down in front of their phone, push the transfer button, and simply use sophisticated features by following the menu. In one office, employees have the list of all of the phone extensions on ShoreTel Communicator. One click and the line transfers to that extension.
“You have customer service, ease of use, and a very competitive price point. And then included features like softphones and tools to set up all the bells and whistles. In comparison, ShoreTel is easier to use than Mitel. Avaya’s system is so big, it’s like you have 13 18-wheelers coming down the freeway side by side,” says Holt. “If I ever move on to another facility, and have to replace the telephony system, there’s no question that ShoreTel will be my number-one choice.”
“IF I EVER MOVE ON TO ANOTHER FACILITY, AND HAVE TO REPLACE THE TELEPHONY SYSTEM, THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT SHORETEL WILL BE MY NUMBER-ONE CHOICE.”
Expensive maintenance, uneven performance, dropped calls, and a myriad of other issues necessitates an upgrade to a modern telephony solution that is fully featured, affordable, and offers the opportunity to incorporate additional offices over time.
ShoreTel VoIP unified communications with 400-series phones, ShoreTel Communicator with customizable features to meet individual office preferences.
- Significant cost savings
- Ability to work remotely via softphone features
- Ease of maintenance, intuitive user interface
- Self-service options for inbound patient calls
- After-hours forwarding to TelMed