VoIP for healthcare businesses: The complete guide for VoIP in the healthcare industry

Your healthcare business relies on a dependable communication system. If your current system falls short and you seek a solution that meets growing demands to uphold exceptional patient service, consider upgrading to an advanced phone system. This guide outlines how VoIP enhances healthcare operations, detailing its benefits and essential features.

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Being in the healthcare industry, you know that a top-quality communication infrastructure is essential to maintain smooth-running operations. A reliable communication system ensures that you preserve excellent quality care and reliable customer service. Without a good connectivity setup in place, it can become detrimental, especially when you are dealing with emergency health enquiries and patients depending on you to deal with issues promptly. 

Advanced communication systems, such as VoIP, have transformed the healthcare industry by providing tools that help unify communications and offer better service to patients. With features that help healthcare professionals deliver real-time care remotely, it better enables efficient and convenient consultations, information sharing and timely decision-making. So, no matter where healthcare professionals are located, they can provide effective care using VoIP's features such as conference calling, instant messaging and live chat. 

VoIP is advancing and becoming more accessible to all, and many healthcare professionals are jumping at the chance to implement VoIP due to its capabilities and the significant operational ease it brings. From small doctor practices to large-scale hospitals, all healthcare practices can significantly benefit from the cutting-edge features and advantages that VoIP has to offer. If you operate in the healthcare sector, integrating VoIP could significantly advantage your operations.

Are you ready to learn more about how VoIP will help your healthcare business and want to learn more about how it can improve your operations? In this blog, you will discover:

  • What is VoIP?
  • Do I need a VoIP phone system for my healthcare business? 
  • What are the benefits of VoIP for healthcare companies?
  • The most popular features for healthcare providers

What is VoIP?

For those unfamiliar with VoIP - VoIP (which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol) essentially allows voice and multimedia data to be transmitted over the internet instead of using traditional methods over phone lines. So when you send data, messages, video calls, make phone calls, or transfer files, you are completing these actions using the internet. 

Do I need a VoIP phone system for my healthcare business?

While it is not essential to have a VoIP phone system for your healthcare organisation, we highly recommend that you look into all the benefits and features it offers. As a business that heavily relies on connectivity, having a reliable communication system in place is a must, and that is why VoIP has proven to be a popular system for healthcare businesses - due to its reliability, advanced features and vast advantages. 

There is, however, a deadline to switch if you are still using traditional phone lines. With the impending 'Big Switch Off' happening in 2025 (BT switching off all PSTN and ISDN phone lines), you will need to make the switch soon. Learn more about BT's Big Switch Off in this article: ISDN Switch Off - Everything you need to know. 

Benefits of VoIP phone systems for healthcare companies

Upgrading your phone system to VoIP can bring many perks to your healthcare operation. From improving patient services to speeding up the communication processes, here are six of the many highlights you will receive when switching to VoIP. 

1. Improves patient service

Your patients are at the heart of your operations, so you want to ensure they receive the best possible care. Having multiple ways of contacting your healthcare service can be a vital step in improving your operations as you allow your patients to contact you in their most convenient way. With VoIP, your service users can communicate with healthcare professionals through instant messaging, video calls or conference features. VoIP ensures a unified communication platform which allows healthcare professionals to connect to their patients regardless of their physical location, thereby promoting better coordination and patient care.

VoIP also has a very nifty feature that is particularly useful for medical experts to offer timely care: they can access service user details from anywhere with an internet connection. So, if your doctors are working away and providing on-site care to individuals, they will have access to essential records from any location. 

Let's also not forget to mention how VoIP can help improve booking services for your appointment setting. VoIP systems often integrate with scheduling software, which makes it easier for medical practitioners to manage appointments. This software allows patients to schedule appointments and communicate with healthcare staff effortlessly through VoIP-enabled platforms. This can result in a reduction of no-shows and improving accessibility for your patients. 

2. Connectivity

Staying connected within the healthcare sector is crucial when managing critical patient health cases. VoIP is an exceptionally effective tool for maintaining connectivity within your healthcare organisation, as its array of collaborative features enables medical professionals to work from any location while remaining seamlessly connected through VoIP applications.

3. Cost-savings  

Yes, that's right. VoIP offers significant cost savings, a crucial aspect in the healthcare industry, particularly for organisations like the NHS. Conducting calls through the internet significantly cuts down communication expenses. Within healthcare setups, internal calls frequently incur no charges, while external calls become more cost-effective.

Studies indicate that implementing a VoIP system can lead to anticipated savings ranging between 30% to 50% for businesses. The actual amount saved varies based on factors like the size of the organisation and the prior communication infrastructure in place.

4. Makes communication fast and easy

Regular phone calls are a common occurrence in the healthcare sector. Managing these calls can pose challenges with traditional phone systems, which lack the necessary management features. VoIP, on the other hand, offers many functionalities specifically designed to enhance communication and streamline management processes.

VoIP introduces various features aimed at improving communication efficiency. For instance, auto-attendants significantly simplify tasks during busy periods by providing automated menus and responses to handle incoming calls seamlessly. Additionally, features like call queues and music-on-hold greatly streamline the control of multiple calls, making the process notably more efficient.

5. Boosts productivity in a fast-paced environment 

In the healthcare industry, navigating a fast-paced work environment is a daily norm, demanding staff to handle multiple tasks seamlessly. VoIP simplifies the management of numerous projects by offering many tools and features that enhance multitasking capabilities and overall productivity. Features like file sharing and software integration enable efficient handling of multiple tasks simultaneously.

Among these features, auto attendants stand out as a useful tool to streamline call management. Other features, such as call routing and caller ID, can make operations more productive and help staff manage operations more efficiently in a fast-paced working environment (more explained in 'most popular features').  

6. Access records from anywhere

We have already touched upon this in 'improves patient care' but let's explain in more detail how healthcare professionals can benefit from accessing vital patient records from anywhere. As a medical practitioner, mobility is likely a constant in your work life. Whether you are making rounds in the hospital, conducting a home visit or attending a conference, you can still stay connected and collaborate with colleagues seamlessly using your VoIP mobile app or database. 

This feature is particularly advantageous when doctors are conducting home or off-site visits, so they can access patient records during those consultations. This access ensures precise diagnoses and personalised treatment plans that align with patients' medical histories. The ability to reach the database from any location enhances efficiency, minimises errors and ultimately improves patient outcomes while upholding stringent security and privacy protocols.

Virtual call with a doctor and patients

A phone system that is most effective for your healthcare organisation will be one that improves patient service and enhances your overall operations. Bearing this in mind, here are seven features to contemplate when choosing your new VoIP phone system.

VoIP mobile app

Most VoIP providers offer a mobile app that you can download on your device so you can access your VoIP phone system wherever you are while you are on the go. With a mobile app, doctors and other healthcare professionals can access essential data and make or receive phone calls using the organisation's number.  

Music on hold 

Healthcare receptionists frequently handle a queue of patients seeking to connect for inquiries or appointment bookings. This often results in callers waiting extensively for an available operator. Music on hold is an excellent tool to relieve the silence and boredom of waiting, also assisting in calming upset callers enduring prolonged wait times. This is another feature that significantly contributes to enhancing patient service and facilitating effective call management.

Auto attendant 

An Auto Attendant is an excellent feature that helps strengthen your telephone management. Receptionists are often overrun with high-volume calls, so having an auto attendant can help callers get to the correct department without the need for guesswork regarding their needs or the specific specialist they might require.

This feature essentially offers callers a menu of options to help them discover which department they need. Your telephone system then transfers incoming communication based on the caller's options. By doing so, auto attendants effectively save your reception team's time by facilitating the transfer of incoming calls to the appropriate departments.

It can also improve patient service as the phone system can efficiently direct the caller straight to the appropriate department without the need for multiple transfers. 

Video conferencing 

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have limited hours in the day as they deal with many patient requests. Requests for home visits often demand significant time investments to travel and conduct one-on-one appointments at patients' residences. 

Sometimes, a quick video call can effectively assist patients who are unable to journey to the hospital or doctor's office for medical advice or check-ups. Video conferencing is also helpful in conducting remote examinations or physiotherapy demonstrations for patients. This feature can improve patient services as healthcare professionals can attend to more patients and deliver the necessary care virtually. 

Video conferencing is also an excellent tool for keeping healthcare teams connected and fostering collaboration among healthcare teams. Conducting meetings online eliminates the need for travel, saving both time and money across various locations. 

Live chat 

Having the convenience of live chat can be very useful in improving patient services as it enables patients to access immediate support through your online live chat services. Operators can manage multiple chats at once to help solve queries, manage requests and make appointments without dealing with one request at a time on a phone call.

Instant messaging 

Instant messaging is another excellent alternative to reduce the time consumed by making phone calls. Often, healthcare professionals invest significant time ringing patients to inform them about test results, or receptionists follow up with patients regarding appointments. Instead, sending an instant message with updates can save valuable time while simultaneously enhancing productivity and improving patient service.  

Call routing 

Call routing allows medical professionals to redirect office calls to their personal devices. This ensures their constant availability to patients, even outside their clinic environment. This feature guarantees their immediate availability during emergencies, allowing them to be just a call away and ensuring prompt responsiveness and immediate assistance whenever required.

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Are you ready to switch? T2k is here to help

As a healthcare organisation, having a reliable communication system is a priority. If your current system is no longer meeting those expectations and you are looking for a phone system that can meet your increasing needs to maintain excellent patient service, we highly recommend upgrading to a more advanced technology. 

If you are ready to upgrade your communication system or need more information about VoIP, then T2k is here to help. With over 25 years of experience backed by a team of experts, we are here to help you make the right decision when finding the perfect VoIP phone system for your business.  

Don't let outdated communication methods affect your patient service and prevent your healthcare professionals from delivering the best possible care. Talk to our team at T2k today and discover how we can improve your healthcare organisation with advanced VoIP solutions.

Lee Clarke
Sales Director

Having worked for T2k for nearly 25 years, it's fair to say that Lee is an expert when it comes to all things telephony and business communications. Overseeing the commercial side of the business, he has helped the company evolve and grow through the decades. In recent years, and with the advent of VoIP and hosted telephony, Lee has made sure that T2k is at the forefront of technological developments. With a firm interest in helping businesses navigate the world of telecoms, Lee is responsible for the majority of the content on this website.

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