Healthcare providers are always striving for the most efficient and high-quality service delivery. With patient care being the first priority, medical practices across the U.S are focused on making the delivery mechanisms that support their service as best as they can.
It’s a challenge that sees clinicians aiming to balance spiraling overheads without impacting on the service they provide – and this can be difficult at times. In the struggle to make these two elements work together, medical practices have a secret weapon that can help to support them, and that is smart technology.
Driving efficiencies through the adoption of tech solutions can frequently achieve the desired result. It allows clinics to give a seamless experience that leaves patients feeling prioritized and well-cared-for.
At the same time, it drives both operational efficiencies and cost savings – and this is particularly apparent when it comes to healthcare phone systems. This is a factor that can really make the healthcare providers who get it right stand out from the crowd. It can balance their pressures and provide an effective, scalable solution that can grow along with the practice.
There are many areas where technology can be applied, so for providers, it is primarily a case of deciding which areas present the greatest impact on patient experience and also present an affordable option.
Efficiency In The Medical Business
Efficiency is a key value within healthcare settings, because of the wide-ranging impact it has. Practices that get the balance right lead physicians to feel more purpose-driven and happier at work, as they get to concentrate on the right tasks rather than getting weighed down with admin.
It allows them to focus on and provide a higher quality of patient care – the reason most got into medicine – which improves job satisfaction and lowers staff turnover. When a medical office runs smoothly, patients notice. Similarly, when hospital phone systems are bad, patients lose confidence in the whole of their treatment experience.
When medical staff isn’t battling inefficient systems, they simply have more time to spend listening to patients, addressing their needs, and providing the emotional support that is a key but often underrated component of the holistic approach to healthcare that patients value so much. And with this increase in good feeling also comes another key factor – cost savings.
Technology used to lower business running costs means an increase in revenue along with staff morale. Efficient processes lead to lower recruitment and administration costs, increased patient revenue and loyalty, and a healthier work-life balance for physicians and other practice staff.
So it’s clear that technology solutions are the way forward that can provide the best all-round answer to many common issues faced by healthcare providers, and improving hospital phone systems can lead to big gains.
What Is SIP Trunking And How Can It Help?
One technology development of significant value is something called Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP Trunking. This offers a way to process telephone communications efficiently using a high-speed internet connection rather than traditional telephone lines.
When combined with supporting technology, medical practices can place outbound calls to any phone number and also receive incoming calls. The system can be set up with varying numbers of channels, and these determine the number of calls that can be active at any one time – the more channels, the more calls can be placed.
In addition to telephone capabilities, SIP trunking also offers high definition video. During the recent global Covid-19 pandemic, this has become more important than ever, as it allows medical practitioners to see patients remotely, examine some types of physical symptoms, give a sense of face-to-face care, and determine whether a follow-up examination is necessary.
Even under normal circumstances, this can be extremely helpful to both busy, time-poor patients and the smooth running of the practice, by effectively allowing clinics to pre-triage appointments and keep wasted time to a minimum. Telemedicine is becoming more and more prevalent, especially for routine appointments, so implementing a SIP trunking system allows this service offering to be accelerated.
The Benefits To Your Practice
The benefits to the medical practice of this type of system are numerous. As one system is capable of replacing all the physical telephone contracts in the practice, there is an integrated user experience usually at a significantly lower cost to the running of the clinic.
SIP trunking systems can be found at a flat-rate monthly charge, no matter the call volume you process, meaning that that practice benefits from fixed overheads which are known – and you only buy the channels that you need, which ensures no wastage.
In practice, this also presents a scalable solution that can grow as your practice does. The flexibility of being able to easily scale up or down to meet demand is a huge benefit to an efficient business focused on reducing unnecessary costs.
The single system approach also means that practices do not have to support separate internet and telephone providers, which again saves money and also time and frustration in administration terms.
Increasingly, patients will demand the option of virtual appointments to fit into their lives. This on-demand culture has been seen in every other sector, and it’s increasingly coming into the world of healthcare. Not only will SIP trunking allow your business to offer this service and satisfy patients, but this can also save further time and money on only offering in-person consultations.
Freeing up the time of your staff to concentrate on their core responsibilities and even innovation, as well as giving them more job satisfaction.
HIPAA Compliant Communications To Safeguard Your Practice And Patients
Call security is a huge issue within the medical world. When you’re dealing with sensitive, confidential, and life-altering information, communication becomes critical. And when you introduce SIP trunking, you can ensure both tighter security on calls and clearer, more confident voice and video conversations.
Maintaining patient confidentiality and keeping data secure are at the heart of HIPAA legislation. Installing this system gives you much greater control over your information security. Being able to safeguard your IP PBX along with the rest of your Information Services is a great asset.
You can use secure telephone passwords to keep system security rigorous and work from a dedicated VLAN to shield your communications further. Making sure that there are adequate technical and administrative controls over your network through the safe use of SIP trunking keeps you both legally compliant and protects your practice reputation for handling confidential patient data with the utmost care.
Because the signaling and the media travel separately within the system you can even set things up so that the media (containing the more sensitive information) can bypass the carrier’s data center, minimizing the risk of calls falling into the wrong hands.
Making Scheduling Appointments Simple
Of course, after confidentiality, what patients are most concerned with is being able to access the care they need, when they need it. SIP trunking supports your healthcare business to achieve this key marker of patient satisfaction easily.
When you have the capability to offer virtual appointments, you can both cater to the patient demand for convenient healthcare that fits into their own schedules and reduce physical traffic into your center.
This has the knock-on effect of freeing up more time, both for healthcare professionals and for support staff, which makes everything run easier. You’ll be presented with an intuitive interfaced that takes full control of the practice appointment booking system far easier.
With this support, practice efficiency can increase, and that means that booking appointments are easier and less stressful both for staff and for patients.
With more in-person slots available due to the delivery of more virtual healthcare, you also have a greater chance of patients who do require an in-person consultation being able to access the appointments they need at the time they need it. A well-run practice makes available appointment booking much easier on both sides and increases the satisfaction of all involved.
A Clear Route To Enhanced Patient Care
The way forward is clear. From cost savings to patient satisfaction, there are many benefits to a healthcare practice that decides to make the switch to SIP trunking. Technology should be seen as an enabler – of great patient experience, of happier staff, and of cost savings as well.
From the flat pricing structure that is easier to understand, to the reduction of staff time spent on overly-complicated administration, it can certainly lead to better run practice. The ability to meet the increasing demand for virtual appointments is also a huge perk to both sides and is something that is rapidly becoming industry standard as well.
There are many reasons for choosing SIP Trunking for your medical practice business phone so it could be hard to decide which is best.
With fast, easy installation, low set up costs and so much to gain, SIP Trunking is the business phone system that you’ll wish you’d taken ages ago. It’s simple to get started and could create so much benefit for your practice.
An easy connection with patients lets everyone focus on what’s really important – the quality of care and patient satisfaction. Place this at the heart of your medical practice and you will see the results rapidly.