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How hosted VoIP improves the reliability and security of healthcare communications

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How hosted VoIP improves the reliability and security of healthcare communications

Modern healthcare environments require reliable, economical and compliant communications solutions. In this context, many health providers - from large hospitals to small doctor’s offices - have already upgraded from legacy private branch exchanges (PBX) to hosted VoIP systems that enable increased operational flexibility, along with lower total costs of ownership and consistent compliance with HIPAA.

The latter is essential for the proper handling of patient data, not only within traditional on-site locations and systems but also in new contexts, such as during the voice and video calls integral to the growing delivery of telehealth services. Telehealth often involves checking in with a patient via voice or video call, in situations where they cannot or prefer not to make an on-site visit.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for such adaptable and secure communications - and a hosted VoIP solution delivers on both counts, setting up providers for sustainable success.

Is your healthcare organization considering a hosted VoIP upgrade? To see why it may be worth the investment, let’s go through some of the primary benefits you can expect when working with Telesystem as your VoIP service provider.

Security And Compliance, From The Data Center On Up

How can you gain peace of mind that your sensitive communications are safe against cyberattacks and won’t be compromised?  When you rely on an on-premises PBX, much of the responsibility for ensuring system safety falls to your own team, but with hosted VoIP, you benefit from a professionally managed and secure data center.

For example, Telesystem utilizes SOC 2 Type II-certified data center facilities, which are also HIPAA compliant, to host user VoIP services. These data centers are monitored around the clock to prevent physical tampering and unplanned downtime. Moreover, the services delivered from them come with built-in DDoS protection to mitigate the risk of disruptive attacks.

It all adds up to assured HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity. Instead of having to manage and secure your phone system on your own, you can leverage the expertise of the Teleysteam team. 

Over a multi-year period, we have met or exceeded all federal guidelines during our HIPAA attestations, showing how our data centers can reliably host your most important communications. In practice, that translates to safe transmission of records from EHR and PACS systems and secure multichannel communications.

Simplified Administration Of Users, Devices and Locations

With the ongoing expansion of telehealth and the growth of remote and mobile working environments, it makes sense for healthcare providers to upgrade to phone systems suited to this emerging reality. 

Conventional PBXes are relatively limitedly in their functionality, not to mention very site-specific and in need of significant hands-on maintenance, which makes them difficult to scale. In contrast, a hosted VoIP system is much more versatile and streamlined:

  •       Adding, removing and modifying users can be done from a convenient web-based interface.
  •       Likewise, setting up additional lines and devices is straightforward and doesn’t require a time-consuming and pricey on-site vendor visit.
  •       The hosted VoIP system’s services are accessible from mobile as well as desktop devices.
  •       In fact, VoIP calls, messages, faxes, voicemail and video conferences can all be easily sent to and managed from a healthcare worker’s phone or tablet.
  •       Accordingly, physicians, nurses and other personnel can move between sites while taking the same phone number and services with them at every stop.
  •       Features such as auto-attendant allow for smoother handling of patient communications, as each call be answered and routed based on the caller’s input.
  •       Patient information is also more easily trackable thanks to deep integration with customer relationship management systems.

The flexibility of a hosted VoIP system makes it ideal for telehealth, since end users can readily access the communications services they need whether they are in or out of the office. 

According to the American Hospital Association, use of telehealth in hospitals rose from only 35% to 76% of these institutions between 2010 and 2017. That’s a major jump, and one that makes the case for implementing communications platforms that are scalable to the needs of increasingly mobile workers and patients.

 

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True Multichannel Communications

Hosted VoIP systems provide much clearer and more cost-effective voice communications than an old-fashioned PBX. But they offer much more than that, too. 

Depending on the specific implementation and customization options, a hosted VoIP platform can also be configured with features for unified communications (UC). For example, a team at a hospital could use a UC solution to communicate over multiple channels from one shared interface. 

Wanted to make a VoIP call to a colleague to check on something? Interested in inviting a patient to a video conference link for a remote consultation? Or do you just need to send a quick message? A UC platform enables you to perform all of these tasks without having to jump between different systems. 

Delivering high-quality, patient-centered care is already a significant challenge. It doesn’t have to be complicated further by juggling a bunch of disparate solutions - and with the combination of hosted VoIP and UC, health providers don’t have to.

Synergy With Other Services, All From The Same Provider

We talked about data centers earlier and how they are essential to secure and HIPAA-compliant communications. Service providers like Telesystem also offer other services to ensure the best possible performance and security when using hosted VoIP. 

SD-WANs and dedicated internet access (DIA) are common complements to VoIP:

  •       An SD-WAN provides more predictable performance for demanding real-time applications like voice and video, while being scalable to numerous branch sites and highly secure.
  •       DIA comes with a service-level agreement and private connection to ensure the safe and reliable transmission of sensitive data, with no bandwidth shared with other subscribers.

Telesystem can be your one-stop-shop for better healthcare communications in the age of telemedicine and beyond. Learn more by connecting with a member of our team today or by requesting a product-specific quote.

 

 

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