While Voice over IP (VoIP) is beneficial to a variety of industries, certain industries tend to benefit more than others simply because of the nature of the businesses associated with it. Healthcare services is one of these industries. From hospitals to elder care facilities and skilled/home nursing, VoIP is proving itself an invaluable technology asset in the world of healthcare.
Large, multi-site hospitals are utilizing VoIP to consolidate communications and reduce reliance on costly multi-zone paging which caused a huge amount of noise pollution in the older hospital environment. By integrating pendant VoIP devices with wireless and integration to the traditional PBX, they can create a nimble communications environment to enhance patient safety and optimize outcomes. They are also finding value in phone number (DID) transfer when acquiring smaller facilities. VoIP is a distance agnostic technology which allows a distributed, and at the same time centralized communications environment with doctors and nurses able to communicate in ways they had never been able to previously.
Smaller hospitals and medical clinics are finding cost savings moving to VoIP as well as enhanced feature sets formerly unavailable from their digital phone system.
In many cases, hospitals are now utilizing VoIP for voice disaster recovery. By coupling hosted VoIP services alongside existing phone systems, hospital administrators can construct fail-over options for their premise-based systems and stay ready in case of a local disaster.
Skilled and Home Nursing
Voice over IP enables communication in an ever-increasing mobile world. Home nursing organizations, for example, typically employ a large number of part-time nurses. Prior to VoIP and its mobility features, home nursing practices relied on prerecorded voicemail and paging systems to communicate with their mobile workforce. Even after the proliferation of cell phones, it was still challenging and expensive for these organizations to centralize management of communications. Most nurses used personal cell phones. That was challenging due to the fact that nurses would give their number to clients directly. If the nurse left, he or she might very well take the client with them, or get calls from patients and family members when not working!
Now with Hosted PBX and IP phone systems, home nursing organizations are able to assign an extension to each nurse and use call forwarding, find me/follow me and “visual voicemail” services to send calls to mobile devices and log all messages from patients and staff for auditing and training. This practice has allowed home nursing organizations the ability to centralize management of their mobile nursing staff without worry about losing clients when staff turns over.
Elder Care Facilities
Unlike mobile nursing, elder care facilities present a different challenge. While residents are fixed, facilities struggle to find a way to add telephony as a “facility-provided” service. The local phone company typically provides service to each resident, billing the resident directly.
VoIP and SIP have allowed elder care facilities to now provide phone service to residents as part of the service. Some facilities include phone service with the cost of living, while other facilities have chosen to act as the phone company and bill residents directly for phone service. In either case, elder care facilities are now able to turn what had been out of their control into a value-add for their residents and a profit center for the facility.
Healthcare VoIP Specialists
We are the VoIP healthcare specialists and can answer questions about VoIP phones, systems, and how VoIP and SIP can help add value to your healthcare business. Contact an N2Net sales professional today for answers to your VoIP related questions.