The healthcare industry relies upon accessible and reliable communications to provide the best
quality patient care. Relying on an outdated telecommunications system may interfere with a
doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional’s ability to deliver timely and safe medical care.
Medical office managers and those in charge of ensuring a facility runs smoothly should examine
their business phone service regularly to ensure it is efficient and cost-effective. Speaking with a
telephone and IT consulting firm can help illustrate necessary changes and upgrades.
Why Upgrade a Medical Office Phone System?
The average phone has a long lifespan, and a phone system will last decades with minimal care
put into maintenance and upkeep. It’s not uncommon to see early touchtone phones still in use in
small medical offices where there’s just a single line running into the office that has to play
double-duty as a fax line, too.
Upgrading to modern equipment and a multi-line business phone service isn’t as costly as it
might have been in the past when adding lines and features often added up to rather expensive
monthly telecommunications bills.
Advances in digital communications have reduced the cost of comprehensive telecommunications
plans and features.
How Can a New Phone System Help Patients?
At the core of every medical office is the welfare of the patients, and providing efficient care also
means that the cost of helping patients remains affordable. A new business telephone system
increases productivity and reduces the cost of services.
Here are a few of the benefits of an advanced phone system:
1. Increase patient satisfaction through efficient care
2. Make it easy to reach off-premises medical professionals
3. Enjoy extra features like intelligent call-forwarding and voice mail
4. Advanced routing options for quick delivery of calls
5. Easily upgrade with scalable devices and equipment
New phone systems are designed to grow with your facility, so future upgrades rarely require a
full replacement of equipment or infrastructure.
Questions to Answer Before Installation
You’ll want to have a discussion with a firm that specializes in business phone consulting and
installation since they’ll provide the most comprehensive information for phone system upgrades.
Ideas you’ll need to touch on during initial conversations include a count on how many handsets
are required, the number of phone lines desired, and the amount of new wiring that will be
For example, you may need a phone for the front office and the receptionist, as well as handsets
for medical professionals working on the premises. During the installation process, it will also be
necessary to discuss whether the facility has a BYOD policy and whether doctors, nurses, or
other healthcare employees will need to connect to the facility’s network with their own
What systems are available?
Many facilities choose to go with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems that operate over
a computer network, but the old-fashioned mainstays of traditional telephone lines are also
frequently used. Available phone systems include:
PRI (Primary Rate Interface): This system is a special line that’s best for large
practices that need more than 15 lines.
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol): Appropriate for medium and large facilities, a
VoIP system doesn’t require dedicated wiring, but it’s usually necessary to upgrade the
Traditional telephone service: The digital age and the internet have offered some
incredible advancements, but some small offices can remain competitive and efficient
with traditional phone lines.
Electronic Communications and Medical Records
One of the biggest ways that the healthcare industry has changed is the storage and transference
of medical records. Most medical facilities still house vast repositories of hard copy medical
records, but the portability and immediateness of electronic records has convinced many
hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical facilities to upgrade their networking capabilities at the
same time as revamping the business phone service.
It’s difficult to separate a facility’s telephone lines from the internet. Features like fiber optic
communications and VoIP telephone services have allowed medical facilities to consolidate their
business phone systems and create a more efficient and cost-effective model for communicating
with patients and other medical facilities.