MightyCall is a fast-growing virtual phone system provider based in Seattle. MightyCall is designed for small business owners and their companies.
Every healthcare facility from small to large understands the priority of fast and reliable communication. Unfortunately, most medical practices are also faced with a paradox: upgrading service while economizing on costs. This results in a vicious circle of compromises between communication convenience and affordability.
To cure this condition for good, a large number of hospitals and clinics worldwide are switching their communication network from landlines to VoIP or a Virtual Telephony service. But surprisingly, even VoIP-friendly clinics often miss out on the extensive rewards that a properly set up VoIP system provides.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 7 simple steps for your healthcare practice to start using VoIP like a pro. These steps will take you from basic to insider tips on making virtual telephony solutions run in a smooth and easy manner.
Step 1: Know VoIP FAQ
What is VoIP?
VoIP or “Voice over Internet Protocol” is a modern telephony solution that transfers voice communication to a Cloud environment instead of utilizing landline wires. Though the feeling is comparable to that of finally going mobile after years of being tied to a desk phone, VoIP provides your business with features that mobile providers alone would never be capable of handling. With Virtual Telephony, business communication becomes virtually unrestricted across any device– from smartphone to laptop to hard phone.
Who’s using Internet Telephony?
Heap together over a third of the nation’s total population and you’ll get the approximate number of VoIP subscribers in the U.S.: over 118 million. Moreover, telecommunications giants are switching their customers to VoIP with as much as a simple asterisk to the contract: AT&T set the goal to replace its legacy PSTN network with a fully VoIP infrastructure by 2020 and the process is now in full swing.
How is VoIP useful for SMB in the healthcare field?
VoIP is about cost-effectiveness, mobility, and customer experience. For a monthly fee that’s up to 60% lower than landline costs, you get a whole bundle of rewarding features like unlimited minutes and extensions, multiple toll-free or vanity numbers, customizable voice greetings, voicemail, and prompts, voice to text features, call analytics, and much more. Best of all: these features demand no IT guys to set them up.
Here are just a few medical facilities that will find VoIP telephony a perfect solution:
• General practice clinics and hospitals
• Pediatric and other specialty clinics
• Dental clinics
• Medical aesthetics and cosmetology clinics
• Orthopedic and sports medicine practices
• Rehabilitation centers
• Mental health practices and clinics
• Imaging and radiology centers
• Therapeutic massage centers
• Nursing homes
and many more
Step 2: Research rewards - 5 problems VoIP cures for good
What are the benefits of using internet telephony for a healthcare practice? Is it a reliable answer to the financial challenges clinics are concerned with? And how does Virtual Telephony go about transforming communication?
Here are the problems you will say NO to with VoIP:
• Piling costs–A business typically saves 60% on communications costs after switching to VoIP. No wonder professional VoIP usage is seeing tremendous popularity worldwide
• Extra administrative staff– your healthcare practice won’t need extra people doing the same job: with a VoIP phone system, different phones and even office locations can be managed by one receptionist.
• Maintenance fees and tech service. Virtual Telephony solutions involve no additional hardware to set up, maintain, or upgrade. A VoIP system is automatically updated with the newest version of features and will never suffer glitches because of outdated equipment.
• Risky communication delays - Delays in staff and patient communication can have life-threatening implications in the medical service field. Internet Telephony is the single solution for doctors, nurses, administrators, and patients to always be within reach of each other in case of emergency.
• Extra features for extra money– VoIP solutions mean there’s no need to choose between exceptional service and cost-effectiveness for healthcare practice owners
Step 3: Choose the right plan for your healthcare practice
To get the most out of Virtual Telephony, you need a powerful duo: a trusted VoIP provider plus a monthly plan that ‘fits’ your business just right. A reliable provider means you get great service and 24/7 customer support while the right package is vital to making the most out of Internet Telephony. As features may vary considerably depending on the monthly plan, taking 5 minutes to do the math now will save you a lot of hassle and costs later on.
To better understand your business needs, just check out (and check off) these 4 questions:
How big is your healthcare practice? (Do you need a minute-based or unlimited plan?)
Do you have one or multiple office locations? (How many business phone numbers do you need to port in or add?)
What devices will you be using? (VoIP services are accessible on mobile phones/softphones/SIP hardphones. However, compatibility may depend on plan.)
Do you need advanced features like call recording or visual voicemail?
Step 4: Get friendly with VoIP features for healthcare
With landline business communication providers, you get extra features at the expense of hidden fees. With a VoIP provider, everything is super transparent. After picking a plan, you automatically get a set of pre-packaged features without handing a penny more. So how does all this seemingly “tech stuff” benefit a healthcare practice? Let us introduce a powerful virtual phone system from a VoIP provider that’s focused on small and medium-sized business needs:
Using the example of features, we’ll see just how and why they can be a treasure trove for a healthcare business.
• Unlimited extensions- when administrative staff and each doctor has a personal extension, they can pick up calls directly from their mobile phone. You’ll see how fast and reliable your communication becomes and no information gets lost through missed calls again.
• Caller ID – always know whether an incoming call is a business or personal one. When forwarded to your smartphone, all business calls will be appropriately identified.
• After-hours call routing – when you are a doctor, after-hour calls force you to delicately balance personal time with possible emergencies. VoIP allows you to pre-plan when and how after-hour calls are distributed among you and your staff. Just log in to your profile to change these or other settings anytime.
• Custom voicemail, voice greetings and prompts –Patients should never feel like they’re just “hanging on the line”. By prioritizing the convenience of patient service, VoIP solutions help you gain a loyal following.
• Web widgets – does your healthcare practice have a website? Great! Add a click-to-call web widget to have patients dial your office with a click of a button.
• Unlimited text messaging – your patients will be thankful for attentive appointment reminders while colleagues and staff will appreciate a text to clarify some less vital information. With VoIP telephony, you’ll be able to send and receive text messages from your business phone number.
• Call history - easily check call logs and never miss important calls
• Mobile app –As if all of the above isn’t terrific enough, VoIP gifts you with an additional smartphone app to have the same convenience on the go
Example of an organized call flow for a healthcare practice made possible with VoIP business phone services
Step 5: Distribute roles
Now that you feel no apprehension about the tech side, it’s time to evolve past the basics and put the features to work within your healthcare environment. This is precisely where the greatest help of VoIP lies: in the opportunity to divide communication responsibilities between those people who can answer to them best.
Receptionists should start with curing the sore spots of their present call flow. This includes forming a clear call flow structure, uploading professional audio prompts and voice info, and ensuring fast responses to call queues. VoIP also lets you customize call routing to direct general calls from any office to one operator: they will know exactly which location patients are dialing and will answer accordingly. Other uses for medical receptionists will include call history to get back on missed calls and web widgets: if you choose to add those easy click-to-call buttons to your website, your operator will pick up calls made from your clinic’s site.
Pharmacies/Rx refill departments
A modernized phone and SMS system can do wonders for your pharmacy or prescription refill department. Pharmacists will benefit from VoIP features such as call history and logs that will allow getting back to any missed or after-hours calls in a timely fashion. Customers will enjoy the modern call flow, the extra flexibility to place/request calls via web widgets on your pharmacy website, and SMS notification for ready prescriptions.
To ensure that all healthcare professionals can be reached immediately, doctors need to set up extensions for themselves and their colleagues. As mentioned earlier, don’t worry about extra costs–VoIP providers like MightyCall give you unlimited extensions as part of your monthly plan. Next, make sure your regular and after-hours call forwarding is customized appropriately. For doctors, this is an essential feature that will determine how you and your colleagues handle emergencies.
Aided by professional voice prompts, patients who need to reach their physician directly can do so without an operator. Moreover, as VoIP numbers and extensions connect directly to doctors’ mobile phones, patients will avoid the frustrating wait for their doctor to pick up the office phone or the doctors after hours voicemail box. This approach makes communication direct while preserving privacy: the business number redirects to the doctor’s mobile phone or another specified device without the caller’s knowledge. Via automated text messages, patients may also receive appointment reminders which always come in handy and testify to the care and service your facility provides.
Step 6: Give your healthcare practice a unique voice
How you greet patients when they call is not mere courtesy – it’s a lasting part of your professional image. Robotic voices, annoying music, and boring “stay on the line” announcements send an impersonal message to your patients. Now, imagine if you could add a warm, human touch to the technology and have a real voice artist record a set of unique messages just for your healthcare practice. This is exactly the experience Snap Recordings offers its clients.
How Snap Recordings works:
1. You choose the unique voice artist that will represent your healthcare practice from over 100 people and several languages, including bilingual.
2. Snap Recording’s intuitive assistant makes it super easy to create custom messages adapted specifically for the healthcare industry. These include voice greetings, messages on hold, and voice prompts.
3. After the voice professional records your message(s), you get it in an audio file format that will take a few seconds to upload to your VoIP web profile
Why custom voice greetings, prompts, and on hold messages are so important:
• Recognizable: staying consistent and using a single voice artist for all office locations, avoiding drilled words and bot recordings will make your healthcare practice recognizable among thousands
• Caring: when caring shines through every detail of your service, your patients feel sincerely confident about trusting you and your clinic
• Helpful: use time on hold wisely to provide helpful information or updates about your clinic
Step 7: Make exceptional service your priority
As we’ve seen above, revolutionizing your medical facility’s service while cutting back on costs is no longer an unsolvable paradox: every feature that VoIP providers are developing is focused on doing more with less. More cost-effectiveness, more powerful simplicity, more exceptional service for your staff and patients. Less confusing hardware, less wasted time and money. Doing your part is easy: simply fine-tune the details to work for you.
Here are a few last tips to make your VoIP business phone system run smoothly from year to year:
• Regularly update your communications system with relevant information – don’t let any voice announcements or info get outdated
• Listen to your patients- gather feedback to understand patient needs and wishes regarding your call flow and communications system
• Give your call flow and business phone system regular checkups: pay attention to the upgrades your VoIP provider notifies you about
Explore VoIP phone solutions for your healthcare practice now to have your staff and patients reap the rewards for years to come.
With the combined energy of MightyCall and Snap Recordings, becoming a leader in your area of healthcare is more user-friendly, cost-effective, and reliable than you ever imagined. As a special offer for all Snap Recordings blog readers, MightyCall is offering a super discount on all its VoIP plans. Sign up today and enter the promo code snap_mc_50_2 at check-out to get -50% off regular price for 2 months!