The acquisition of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system to replace an outdated telephone system at a hospital. The old Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system was incapable of handling customer inquiries during the busy winter season. The inefficient systems exposed the organization to missed and delayed calls, which lead to a considerable number of customer complaints and lost revenue. Guided by the system-friendly approach of updated retooling, computer engineers followed the steps of problem diagnosis, analysis of competing solutions, implementation, and assessment of the VoIP system as the replacement telecommunications platform. System overall performance and evaluation data were collected during and after system implementation. Assessment of the new VoIP system demonstrated improved availability, speed, and reliability of the information provided to customers. New functionalities, such as patient and hospital staff’s inquiry of the database, provided through the VoIP system pushed the self-service adoption to a record high level.
To become successful, the retooling process could also need to involve the participation of a wide range of stakeholders at all levels and the consideration of a number of key components, technical and non-technical. The central concept of retooling, like many other technology updates and implementations, often involves problem-solving to address a specific technical issue of ineffectiveness, inefficiency, or dysfunction. On problems solution based demonstrates its importance as well as its broad impacts in almost all fields of scientific and practical operations. In the field of information technologies, problem solving is one of the most frequent activities carried out to address technical concerns such as trouble-shooting.
To meet the business requirements at the hospital, the new VoIP system needed to support the following ten capabilities:
- A minimum of 15 stations utilizing a VoIP telephone device with ability to support up to a total of 30 stations
- IVR capability
- Voicemail for individual users and for groups, available during and after-hours
- Time conditions for open and closed settings
- Five incoming (FXO) phone lines
- Three analog (FXS) station lines
- Station to Station calling
- Transfer of calls
- Intercom function
- Historical call records
The initial challenge faced was an old phone system that could not adequately support call volumes. Guided by the problem-solving strategy, the project analysed the technical issue, evaluated three feasible technological solutions, and implemented the VoIP system with satisfactory results. With VoIP quickly becoming a standard system for telecommunications, there are many additional features that can be implemented. After the successfully implemented of the VoIP communication systems, the allowing recommendations were made to the hospital’s future IT plan. First, the company should move from hardware phones to softphones (a software application for phone functions). The softphones program will reduce dependence on additional hardware components and provide additional flexibility to users. Features such as videoconferencing and instant messaging can be incorporated in a softphone with just a code upgrade. Hardware phones have limited upgradeability.
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