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Case Study: Medical Group ‘Doctors’ Communications Systems With NEC

Founded in 1946, Mount Kisco Medical Group, PC (MKMG) is comprised of more than 170 physicians including experts in more than 40 specialties and subspecialties. The practice makes it easy for patients to access a broad range of comprehensive services with a highly coordinated approach to patient care. All physicians are board certified, ensuring the quality of care for which MKMG is renowned.

Among medical professionals today, it is well established that the term “high-quality care” includes every touch point in the patient’s experience as well as many processes that go on behind the scenes. Starting more than a decade ago, MKMG developed a vision for dramatically enhancing patient care by employing multiple strategies including telecommunications. It chose NEC Unified Solutions to help it migrate to IP telephony and advanced call center functionality, making it easier and more convenient for patients and care professionals to communicate. As a result, for some time now, MKMG has held a clear competitive advantage over other practices in its service area.

Problem:

In 1998, MKMG consisted of three buildings — two in Mount Kisco and one in Yorktown, N.Y. Practice leaders were planning to expand into multiple specialties and sub-specialties by acquiring high-quality practices in the local area.

According to Joe Abate, director of MKMG Information Technology, “At that time, we had an expensive, inflexible, high-maintenance TDM system that would not support our expansion plans. We were in a difficult situation where our supplier did not share our vision; they provided poor service. As a result, we were not able to keep up with system moves, adds and changes. I escalated the issue to my COO who agreed we should approach NEC directly. We needed a partner rather than just a vendor,” he said.

According to Leslie Niles-Tooley, director of Patient Care Services, “MKMG strives to provide the best patient care possible. For us, communications responsiveness is integral to our patient-care process.”

Solution:

As MKMG expanded, it installed NEC’s UNIVERGE NEAX 2000 IPS, UNIVERGE SV7000 and UNIVERGE NEAX 2400 IPX communications servers. It also installed CallCenterWorX ACD with QueWorX, an efficient call center environment, as well as Global Navigator, a sophisticated contact center management information system which has boosted efficiencies even further.

Clearly, the role of a nurse is far different from that of an appointment specialist; they have different communication and information needs as well. MKMG’s IP telephony and call center applications were implemented based on each individual employee’s role within the organization, using NEC’s UNIVERGE 360 vision to determine the best communication method and technology.

By deploying NEC UNIVERGE IP communications servers and applications, MKMG has been able to address the various roles of its employees, providing everyone efficient, effective access to the people and information they need to excel at their jobs.

Results:

MKMG now consists of 15 buildings throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley. By migrating from its outdated TDM telephone system to advanced NEC IP communications and ACD applications, MKMG has streamlined the patient-to-health care provider communications process and reduced decision-making latency.

Using NEC’s robust UNIVERGE IP telephony solution, MKMG was able to centralize its scheduling process behind the scenes and balance technology while retaining a personal touch. In addition, Abate and his staff appreciate the simplicity of setting up, installing and managing its NEC IP telephony solutions.

Although communications technology benefits may not always be obvious to patients, NEC’s CallCenterWorX call handling is seen by many MKMG employees as a valuable patient-relationship management tool.

For instance, every Monday morning during cold and flu season, five or six pediatric nurses handle the influx of calls that begins at 8:00 a.m. The NEC QueWorX application’s call-back feature allows parents to quickly reserve their place in the call queue and hang up. When a nurse is available, the system automatically returns the call, making efficient use of everyone’s time. This application has received such positive feedback that MKMG is rolling it out to other departments.

“Since deploying NEC’s solutions, our ability to respond to patient needs, and more specifically, quickly and efficiently manage and respond to parent inbound calls to our pediatric department has increased tremendously,” said Niles-Tooley.


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