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Case Study: Toshiba Provides VoIP Remedy for Interventional Cardiologists

Interventional Cardiologists of Gainesville, PA (IVC) provides cardiovascular health care services with state-of-the art diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. With the mission of providing the highest-possible quality of care to its patients, IVC’s team prides itself on helping patients be involved in their own health care by providing exceptional patient communication.

IVC maintains headquarters in Gainesville, Fla., as well as a smaller office in Lake City, Fla., both of which provide patient care. IVC’s physicians provide care beyond the treatment, including consulting time to help patients understand their options, treatments, and expected outcomes as well as what is required of them to aid in their recovery.

Challenge

The challenge was to deliver a networked system for improved productivity and cost savings. Lonn McDowell, IVC’s CEO, was looking for a system that would seamlessly network the two offices and allow for centralized answering and patient scheduling, provide unified messaging capabilities for all employees, provide remote access for administration, improve HIPAA compliance, and protect against surges, power fluctuations and lightning.

The system needed to have a call accounting capability to help McDowell manage staffing by being able to track calls and predict busy periods. He also wanted the employees to be able to record calls at the touch of a button, as needed. Plus, he wanted to have all the applications run on a single server to save money and deliver a more integrated system.

McDowell also wanted to be able to route calls directly to the right person or department without the necessity of being answered by a receptionist first. He wanted the system to be able to forward after-hours emergency calls directly to the physician on-call to avoid any delays in care and at the same time eliminate the need for an answering service.

It was also essential that the system be HIPAA compliant in protecting patient privacy. And, McDowell wanted to do it all at an exceptional price and with the longest possible warranty.

Solution

IVC turned to ComSys, an Authorized Toshiba Dealer headquartered in Gainesville. Founded in 1981, ComSys has been an Authorized Toshiba Dealer for six years. Margarita Purvis, major accounts manager at ComSys, recommended a Toshiba Strata CIX IP business telephone system.

Designed by the ComSys team, IVC’s business telephone system consists of a Strata CIX670 VoIP communication system located at the Gainesville headquarters and a Strata CIX100 system at the Lake City location. The systems are networked together using Toshiba’s Strata Net over a high-speed Internet connection with MPLS protocol.

The Strata CIX670 system also includes Toshiba’s Strata Media Application Server (MAS) that houses multiple applications including Toshiba Stratagy ES Voice Processing, Network eManager, Unified Messaging, Fax Feature Group and Call Accounting Software.

There are a variety of endpoints at both locations, including display telephones, wireless headsets and attendant consoles. The digital display desk telephones are automatically updated whenever there is an employee extension change, so there is no need for individual programming or paper labels.

To defy outages due to lightning strikes, ComSys installed central office line protection for the copper lines and ITWLINX equipment to protect the PRI service. To guard against all types of power outages, each system cabinet is supported by a 24-hour back-up battery unit.

Don Bugos, president of ComSys, said, “IVC needed a business telephone system that would deliver unparalleled reliability even when there are power outages. Toshiba has a proven reputation for having the most durable systems in the industry with the most comprehensive applications, which is why it was the perfect solution for IVC.”

Results

Using Toshiba’s Strata Net, ComSys networked the two Toshiba systems using a VoIP solution, which helped reduce costs by approximately $1,000 per month and improved system integration. It includes unified messaging, faxing, centralized answering, call transfers and four-digit direct extension dialing. It also includes a cost-effective Least Call Routing application that routes all long distance calls from the Lake City office over a PRI circuit on the Gainesville system, virtually eliminating all long distance costs.

Toshiba’s integration with Microsoft Outlook gives the users a HIPAA-compliant unified messaging solution that also improves their productivity. Users can now manage all of their email, fax and voice mail communications through Outlook, allowing them to easily sort them for importance, while keeping all documents confidential. In addition, the Toshiba unified messaging solution has eliminated the need for paper fax machines at IVC. Now, all employees have their own fax numbers that deliver faxes privately and securely to their desktops. The faxes can be electronically attached to a patient’s record, no longer requiring the faxes to be scanned into the system. All relevant emails, faxes, voice messages and recorded conversations can easily be attached to the patient’s record. Eliminating fax machines saves IVC more than $7,2000 annually.

The system also includes Toshiba’s Strata ACD Call Center Solution with two ACD groups, one for fundraising and the other for admissions. Calls are monitored using Ultimate Call Accounting to track calls, agent status, and ensure smooth handling of more than 20,000 incoming calls each month. It also helps the managers to predict call flow and staff the call centers appropriately.

Additionally, McDowell uses Toshiba’s Network eManager to administer the entire system from his desktop PC. He can remotely administer the Toshiba systems at both facilities, including adds, moves and changes as well as other administrative tasks.

“If the on-call doctor changes for any reason, I can connect to the system remotely and make changes on the fly – saving us the cost of a service call or having to drive to the office to make the change,” he added. “Using Toshiba’s Network eManager, we are able to set up an after-hours emergency call-forwarding schedule based on the physicians’ on-call schedules a month in advance. This ensures that incoming emergency calls are routed directly to the cell phone of the on-call physician without any delays.”

Moving to the Toshiba Strata CIX business telephone system helped IVC save nearly $200,000 over five years, including:

  • $12,000 annually in networking costs by utilizing a high-speed Internet connection with MPLS protocol and QoS voice prioritization;
  • $12,000 annually by having all applications on the Toshiba Strata MAS server rather than on multiple servers;
  • $3,600 annually by eliminating the answering service and using the Strata MAS for after-hours on-call physician scheduling;
  • More than $12,000 annually in eliminated labor costs by using Toshiba’s five-year warranty; and
  • $7,200 annually by eliminating fax machines and using Toshiba’s unified messaging with individual fax numbers for each employee.

In the first year alone, IVC saved nearly $50,000 over its previous business telephone system while significantly improving productivity and patient communication.


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