As noted by HealthcareDIVE, today’s hospitals are under relentless pressure to find efficiencies that reduce operational costs but without compromising patient care standards. In simpler terms: they need to do more with less. And that’s why hospitals across the country have made the switch to a cloud telephone system.
Here are 5 key reasons why a cloud telephone system helps hospitals do more with less:
- Substantial Year-Over-Year Cost Savings
With a cloud telephone system, hospitals eliminate the need to purchase, support, and maintain costly PRIs, bonded T1s, or other trunk lines that are required to connect their on-premises private branch exchange (PBX) to the local telephone company. This is because the system leverages the existing data network infrastructure. There is no need for a separate — and very costly — voice network.
Furthermore, with a cloud telephone system there are no long-distance fees, adding users is quick and affordable, and the built-in video calling feature can dramatically reduce travel expenses as staff can connect and collaborate face-to-face — even if they are on other sides of the city, state, country or world.
- Enhanced Communication
Effective communication in a busy “controlled chaos” hospital environment isn’t just important: it’s essential, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that in some cases, the quality, speed, and reliability of communication can be a matter of life and death.
A cloud telephone system connects all staff members on a centralized and unified platform, which they can access from anywhere — including their smartphone. As such, they can instantly send instant messages, change their availability status (and check their colleagues’ status), pick up voicemails and faxes from their inbox, and the list goes on.
- Stronger Governance
More flexible and user-centric communication cannot compromise compliance and security. This isn’t a concern with a cloud telephone system, which drives stronger governance and internal controls. Calls can be recorded for quality assurance and audit trail purposes. Plus, calls are encrypted from IP handsets into a secure network, and all data is protected in carrier-grade data centers.
- No On-Site IT Burden
Healthcare information technology (HCIT) professionals are under siege as they scramble to handle everything from software upgrades to help desk tickets. A cloud telephone system doesn’t add to their heavy burden, because all support — including maintenance and updates — is handled by the cloud solutions provider. What’s more, help is available 24/7/365.
- Improved Billing Processes
Last but not least: to become and stay lean and efficient, hospitals need streamlined billing processes that minimize the cost, resources, and time they spend on accounts receivables. A cloud telephone system is part of the solution in several ways. These include: staff can access real-time patient account information vs. waste time searching for it; patients with overdue accounts can automatically receive reminder calls based on customized rules (e.g. 15 days overdue, 30 days overdue, 45 days overdue, etc.); interactive voice recognition (IVR) can facilitate automated payments 24/7, and patients can receive automated appointment reminder calls to cut down on the number of costly no-shows.