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Managing Multi-Location Medical Practices with VoIP Business Phone Systems

Medical practices have plenty to worry about in their daily business. It’s no surprise, then, that many clinics and practices hesitate to adopt new office technology. So, why are clinics and practices building VoIP into their office from the start? And what’s in it for those who make the switch the next time the phone contract comes up?

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Medical practices have plenty to worry about in their daily business. It’s no surprise, then, that many clinics and practices hesitate to adopt new office technology. So, why are clinics and practices building VoIP into their office from the start? And what’s in it for those who make the switch the next time the phone contract comes up?

  1. Strong Internal Communication

Strong communication is critical to medical practices. Anything from missed calls to mishandled documents can jeopardize operations, and a multi-location setup only increases the chances of a slip-up.

With a virtual PBX’s seamless call connectivity and forwarding capabilities, multiple locations can reach one another at the touch of a button. And with VoIP apps that work on cell phones and laptops, employees can be available from just about anywhere. This is particularly useful when trying to reach doctors or practitioners quickly – especially ones working at other branches – without needing their personal phone number.

Modern VoIP technology unifies branches and keeps teams centralized. It also strengthens typically inefficient back-office activities and administrative tasks like coding, billing, authorizations while it streamlines front-office functions like new patient entries and appointment scheduling. Tightening these necessary tasks improves overall cohesion and helps ensure employees handle important information promptly and correctly.

  1. Quality Customer Service

Aside from improving internal communication, VoIP’s advanced capabilities also streamline communications for better customer service.

So what problems does VoIP fix? Well, traditional landline service tends to confine employees to their desks, where stepping away means missing all incoming calls. VoIP, by contrast, enables easy call forwarding, allowing employees to send calls to a coworker while they’re away, or take calls on their cell phone or laptop when working remotely. This means fewer missed calls and a better customer experience.

Further, VoIP-based office phone systems can integrate with a practice’s CRM. This allows employees to pull up a patient’s information while on the phone with them, significantly speeding up phone calls by foregoing introductory questions. This also makes calls shorter, reducing missed calls and hold times.

Business VoIP-CRM integration makes patient information more accessible.

Internet-based VoIP PBXs also enable seamless transfers, allowing employees to instantly route calls to different sites based on the callers’ needs, helping callers get their questions answered faster and with less frustration. 

  1. Backup Plans

With a cloud PBX, multiple office sites become back-up insurance for one another during unexpected power failures or other outages; managers can leverage VoIP’s seamless call transferring and forwarding capabilities to send calls to other locations during those storms and outages.

Many VoIP providers will help an office plan and set up disaster recovery protocols which go into effect immediately following an outage. This helps avoid drops in service through steps like call rerouting and internet failsafe procedures.

In addition, troubleshooting and fixing VoIP technology is generally more efficient than working with landlines. Should a technical difficulty arise, medical offices can briefly forward incoming calls to another branch until the provider can resolve the problem, which usually happens much faster than a landline repair, causing minimal disruption in the office and no perceivable effect on callers.

Pro tip: Look for a VoIP vendor that emphasizes its customer service. The most attentive providers take repairs a step further by monitoring functionality so closely they identify and fix problems before clients get a chance to experience them.

  1. Detailed Analytics

Managing multiple offices can be taxing. With VoIP, however, managers can keep an eye on each location with a quick-view dashboard showing employee activity, customer service, office performance and more. Intuitive and customizable reporting allows managers to see exactly what they need to know right away, enabling closer and more effective management.

  1. Room for Growth 

A multi-office practice is likely to see frequent change, from individual on- and off-boarding to expansions and relocations. A hosted PBX’s inherent flexibility easily accommodates such changes rather than confining businesses to rigid preset standards as landlines do. 

First, while analog phone lines come in bundles, VoIP users can be added and removed individually: on-boarding an employee becomes as easy as adding one user to the practice’s VoIP subscription. With landlines, adding one employee could force offices into purchasing an entire bundle of lines they won’t use.

The landline model also strictly limits call capacity, placing a fixed cap on maximum inbound and outbound calls. VoIP, by contrast, has no physical lines to restrict service – capacity is limited only by a business’s internet speed. Further, when VoIP users reach the maximum call capacity allotted in their subscription, some providers will allow them to momentarily surpass their allotted number of lines to avoid missing calls. With this function, managers don’t have to predict their call volume with 100% accuracy – a difficult feat when planning for multiple locations. Interested? Look for potential providers that offer “unlimited” or “burstable” lines when vendor shopping.

Manage Your Multi-Location Practice While Saving with a VoIP PBX

As an added benefit, VoIP packages are much cheaper than their landline counterparts. Though paying less for more advanced features may seem counterintuitive, low VoIP price tags are possible because the technology is newer and far more efficient than analog lines (which have been around since the first phone was invented in the late 1800s). In addition, many phone providers use pricing as an incentive for clients to ditch their landlines for more modern technology that’s easy to work with.

To learn more about the strategic benefits of VoIP, download our infographic on the top 10 advantages of 4Voice’s business VoIP service.

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