Compared to a traditional landline or on-premise private branch exchange, a modern cloud-based or VoIP phone can typically offer all of the same functionality with better features at a lower cost, especially without any hardware to install or maintain. The latest business phone systems are straightforward to implement and manage in-house without the assistance of a dedicated information technology (IT) staff in all but the largest, enterprise-level office settings. Account administrators can quickly and easily make changes to calling menus, phone numbers, extensions, holiday hours, greetings and any other call handling adjustments from the home dashboard.
In addition to exceptional calling features, today’s business phone systems serve as all-in-one communications platforms to support team messaging, video conferencing and SMS/MMS messaging. They also integrate with other popular business tools like your CRM and calendar, creating greater efficiencies when working with patient data.
It doesn’t take a dedicated IT staff or a long call to a phone service provider to make changes to your system. From the administrator’s dashboard, you can update your voicemail, call flow, interactive voice response phone menu, extension and even user accounts quickly and easily. Most platforms offer access to these tools through a computer or mobile device, making it easy to make changes to your phone system and integrations at a moment’s notice. With some service providers like Nextiva, you can mix and match service plans among employees to provide the right features and appropriate expense to the correct individuals within your medical office.
You can access your phone system and use the vast majority of its features using any internet-connected device with the appropriate security features for working with patient data. With extended access, patients can call an office phone line and get transferred to a doctor’s mobile phone, where the doctor can flip the call to a video meeting to provide better service. With more devices to communicate with patients, you can set up multi-device ringing to ensure calls are never missed because someone has to step away from their desk phone for a moment.
Without on-premise phone hardware to purchase, install and maintain, VoIP phone systems can offer significant hardware and labor savings. As a cloud-based system, they’re also able to deliver unified communications or all-in-one voice, video and messaging services in the same platform. In most instances, basic video and messaging capabilities are included at no additional fee. While long-distance calling rates can vary by provider, country and service tier or plan, most providers include unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada with all plans.
Cloud-based phone service providers build their networks across dozens of geographically diverse data centers, allowing them to provide uptimes that exceed 99.99 percent. While your service experience could be negatively affected if your internet connection is especially poor, medical offices operating outside of the country’s most rural areas can expect high-definition voice and video service without interruption. In some cases, it’s possible to secure a 100-percent uptime service-level agreement (SLA) with a phone provider to guarantee continuous service without any scheduled downtime. If you do experience downtime, your SLA may allow you to recover some of your phone service expenses.
With the ability to combine customer data with secure voice, video and messaging, modern business phone systems are highly efficient and time-saving platforms. When a patient calls, your integrated CRM can immediately provide you with their relevant information and allow you to schedule a series of appointments to cover everything from pre-checks through post-procedure follow-ups from the same platform.
If you’re interested in keeping your traditional office desk phone, you may be able to purchase an IP phone adapter and upgrade your existing phone hardware to work with your VoIP phone number