Tag Archives: Amtelco

Amtelco Celebrates miSecureMessages App 10th Anniversary

Amtelco announced the 10-year anniversary and continued growth of miSecureMessages, their secure messaging app. MiSecureMessages was built specifically to deliver HIPAA compliant text messages and meets the strict HIPAA and HITECH privacy and security standards of the healthcare industry. However, many industries outside of the healthcare sector have also found miSecureMessages to be a valuable encrypted messenger solution as well. 

MiSecureMessages’ tenth anniversary is occurring during unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the considerable importance of maintaining personal space while communicating with co-workers. 

“MiSecureMessages is more than just an encrypted texting app,” said Gary Kerner, director of sales. “Our app is an integral part of a complete secure messaging system that can integrate with other systems. MiSecureMessages provides call centers and corporate teams with a solution to easily share texts, photos, audio files, and videos for their confidential communications.”

The app also reduces the number of devices employees need to carry because BYOD (bring your own device) security is built in. MiSecureMessages is securely siloed from other messaging platforms like email and SMS.

In a few months, miSecureMessages will issue an app update to version 6.8, which will offer customers new capabilities and enhanced app performance. MiSecureMessages works on mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. It’s available for Android™ and Apple® iOS devices.

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For more information visit miSecureMessages.com and Amtelco.com

Amtelco’s Soft Agent Transforms Agent Experience

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Soft Agent now rated “Avaya compliant”

Amtelco announced that its Soft Agent application version 5.4 is compliant with key Avaya OneCloud™ CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) solutions–helping customers optimize the agent experience by turning any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station. Avaya is a global leader in solutions that enhance and simplify communications and collaboration.

Amtelco helps customers simplify and optimize their contact center operations with solutions like Soft Agent that can be integrated with both hard-wired legacy systems and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based Voice Over IP (VoIP) networks. The backbone of the Soft Agent application is the Amtelco Sandbox, a single-point-of-entry solution that provides agents with the most current information possible to process calls and use that information to quickly resolve customer inquiries. The application is compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with the Avaya Aura® platform 8.1.

“We are excited that this latest release of our Soft Agent application has successfully completed Avaya DevConnect compliance testing,” said Tom Curtin, president, Amtelco. “Our mutual customers can confidently deploy Soft Agent with their Avaya OneCloud CCaaS solutions, helping them uncover new possibilities for getting more out of their communications infrastructure.”  

Amtelco is a leading supplier with more than 40 years of communication technologies and software communications applications.

The Critical Role Hospital Call Centers Play During and After a Catastrophe

By Nicole Limpert

The ever-increasing threats from natural and human-caused disasters have made the use of disaster response systems a necessity. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. residents live in areas rated as having a moderate to very high risk of experiencing a natural disaster: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, hail, wildfires, and earthquakes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report titled “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2018” identified twenty-seven shootings as active shooter incidents, which resulted in eighty-five deaths and 128 people wounded (excluding the shooters).

When disaster strikes, both local and national call centers provide critical communication services to help coordinate first responders and rescue teams, organize relief efforts, enable communication between loved ones, and support communities during recovery.

Hospital call centers in a coordinated call center system is crucial when developing a disaster preparedness and recovery plan. Click To Tweet

Disaster Planning

Disasters often occur without warning. Weather events, mass violence, and other incidents can cause an outage or strain communication systems. However, organizations can formulate a disaster preparedness and business continuity plan in anticipation of a catastrophic event. Hospital call centers are a critical component to any disaster preparedness plan because they often become a communications hub during an emergency.

National, state, and local agencies often work with hospitals to develop a plan for coordinating call centers. They identify partnerships with organizations such as 9-1-1 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to determine how to integrate each call center into a larger communication network for efficient allocation of services and dissemination of public health information.

The use of technology enables call centers to execute their disaster preparedness and business continuity plans quickly and efficiently. Automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), uniform call distribution (UCD), and other communication software can automate call routing systems. Leveraging automatic notifications and critical alerts helps to speed communications and shorten reaction times.

Disaster Communications

Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, part of Unity Point Health Methodist, located in the heart of Peoria, Illinois, includes a 330-bed hospital with almost 600 board-certified physicians. 

To ensure the safety of patients and staff, the technology used by the call center at Methodist helps to prepare them for any type of situation. By using a customizable critical alert system, operators can quickly contact multiple people when various disaster and code calls come through their center.

When an emergency notification is needed, an operator triggers the alert by simply selecting a group to notify and typing in the alert message. This broadcasts the message to the appropriate personnel via each recipient’s preferred contact method. This helps ensure that hospital personnel can respond to each situation as quickly as possible.

The flexible system allows the call center manager to determine whether each type of notification requires a response from the person who receives an alert. While a reply and estimated time of arrival is required from someone responding to a disaster, a reply may not be needed from a staff member on the leadership team who is using their real-time monitor to oversee the situation. Managers can view the estimated time of arrival for each person and determine if additional personnel need notification. Access to their web-based, real-time monitor can even occur from home should an alert occur in the middle of the night.

Cloud Technology and Virtual Servers

Communications failure is not an option during a disaster. Having the ability to route calls to another center in the event of an emergency is crucial. For example, if a call center is physically located in an area that has become inaccessible or damaged due to a catastrophe, calls can route to operators off-site, using cloud technology on a virtual server. A single virtual server, located anywhere in the country, can bring call centers together to operate seamlessly, even if they all use different PBX telephone systems.

Using web-based call center communication software, any computer may become a secure, professional telephone agent station accessible from the internet. Operators located in a different center or home-based agents handle the calls, and all the tools used by in-house operators are accessible to these virtual agents.

Hospitals and clinics that are part of a larger healthcare enterprise use this technology to provide backup call handling within their own system. Rossi Fraenkel, business analytics team lead for Allina Health in Minneapolis, Minnesota, comments, “In the event that any of our other clinics were to have a power outage or go down, those calls roll to us at the contact center. We provide our organization with a really good, strategic value. It’s absolutely critical that we take calls no matter what.”

Disaster Recovery and Relief

Hotlines managed by agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide callers with assistance related to government disaster aid, insurance claims, and home repairs.

Hospital call centers experience an influx of calls from people inquiring about hospitalizations of loved ones, safety advice, and help for themselves. Individuals who witness or experience a catastrophic event often face negative effects from it. Coping with the shock of a disaster can make someone fearful, confused, and suffer from anxiety.

Call center agents can connect callers with disaster crisis counseling to help people affected by traumatic events. Callers who are patients of a healthcare organization that participates in telehealth may be able to take advantage of instant, secure video access to mental health professionals.

Summary

Including hospital call centers in a coordinated call center system is crucial when developing a disaster preparedness and recovery plan. Establishing a comprehensive policy may require a considerable time commitment and thoughtful input from a variety of agencies and organizations. However, the effects of organized communication and efficient use of community resources during a crisis help save lives and speed recovery efforts.

Nicole Limpert is the marketing content writer for Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco is a leading provider of innovative communication applications. 1Call develops software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.

Telescan Announces Auto-Patch of Client Calls Using Secure Apps

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Telescan, a division of Amtelco, announced a new feature in development for the Spectrum system for users of the Genesis Prism application: the ability to auto-patch client calls through Prism and present a pre-programmed phone number as the caller ID to the called party.

This feature will provide a straightforward way for clients to make calls directly through Spectrum’s secure messaging apps from their cell phones without revealing their personal cell phone numbers. Support for both Spectrum Secure Delivery and miSecureMessages will be through a common interface.

For more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or info@amtelco.com.

Amtelco Announces Redesigned MSM Website

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Amtelco announced the launch of a newly redesigned website for miSecureMessages (MSM). Visitors will find that the new site features a streamlined, modern design, with improved functionality. The user experience is enhanced with industry articles, the latest technical requirements, and resources for partners.

Tom Curtin, president, commented, “We’re excited about the launch of the new site. It provides a better user experience and reinforces the miSecureMessages brand.”

To see the new site, visit miSecureMessages.com. For more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or info@amtelco.com.

Prism II Time Tracking Feature

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Many service providers find it desirable to track the time spent performing administrative tasks. Accounting for this time gives greater visibility into internal staffing needs, and, in some cases, the time spent performing these tasks forms part of the client billing. 

In support of this, Telescan’s Prism II Account Maintenance (PAM) now allows tracking of time spent administering the Prism II database, including tools that allow this information to be exported to spreadsheets and billing software. This new time tracking feature has been built into PAM to provide a seamless experience to the user.

The time tracking will work in the background for creation and editing of a directory, account, or mailbox record. The reporting offers a variety of features to help the user find and organize the information they need.

Millions of telephone calls are processed every day by Amtelco and Telescan’s systems and software in operation in all fifty US states and more than twenty countries.

For more information, please contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or email info@amtelco.com.

Amtelco Receives Top Workplaces 2020 Recognition

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Amtelco received a Top Workplaces 2020 honor and a special award for work/life flexibility by The Wisconsin State Journal. These awards are based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage. The anonymous survey uniquely measures fifteen drivers of engaged cultures that are critical to the success of any organization, such as alignment, execution, and connection.

Amtelco, founded in 1976, has been developing reliable communication systems and applications backed by the company’s dedication to customer support. Amtelco’s 1Call healthcare division began in 1997. And since 2011 hospitals and businesses have widely used their miSecureMessages secure messaging app.

“My father, Bill Curtin, II founded Amtelco in 1976. We have always been family-owned and managed through multiple generations of our family who care for and understand our customers’ business.” said Tom Curtin, president of Amtelco. 

“We truly believe that our customers and employees are extended family and that culture is what fuels our business success. Each employee clearly sees how their work contributes to our business objectives, which ensures that all employees feel connected to one another and to our mission. Being named in the Top Workplace list is a testament to the importance of continually making our company culture a top priority.”

Amtelco is a trusted name in call center communication systems, software applications, and XDS technologies for call centers and contact centers. Amtelco systems and software process millions of telephone calls every day by operations in all fifty US states and more than twenty other countries. Founded in 1976, Amtelco is a family-owned company that has grown to 135 employees. For more information contact Amtelco at info@amtelco.com or 800-356-9148.

Amtelco Introduces Intelligent Series Version 5.4

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Amtelco introduces version 5.4 of its Intelligent Series (IS) suite of call center applications. Many of the features were developed in collaboration with Amtelco customers. A few of the new features include:

The DID (direct inward dialing) limit puts a limit on the number of live calls that can be in the system for a client at one time. A busy signal will be returned for any calls that exceed the DID limit.

Call tracker analytics displays charts of call data that can be configured including total calls, calls per agent, calls per station type, calls per call type, calls per client, and service level performance.

Genesis service level reporting: service level reports compile detailed statistics to specifically monitor agents’ interaction with callers, traffic patterns, agent abandons, and system abandons.

Improvements to the miTeamWeb OnCall enables users to swap shifts with one another, filter schedules in the OnCall Roster, search for a specific contact, search for a specific role, and search for assigned or unassigned shifts.

For more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or email info@amtelco.com.

Amtelco Offers Free Rental Operator Licenses

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With the expanding COVID-19 crisis, the ability for agents to work remotely has become greatly important. Amtelco announced they are offering a free month for up to five rental operator licenses to help call centers keep up with the COVID-19 call traffic increase. 

Web-based virtual agent software can turn any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station, allowing agents to work remotely from just about anywhere. All agent functions are still available for remote agent connections, including call log recordings and retrieval, which allows for a smooth transition. For callers, the fact that the agents are remote is transparent.

Kevin Beale, Amtelco VP for software R&D, recommends establishing VPN connections for remote agents to ensure their connection is secure. Once agents connect to the VPN, they can establish their remote agent connection for data and audio. Data connection can be established via direct connection, remote desktop, thin client, Citrix, and VDI. Audio connection can be established via integrated audio or external audio.

For details on the free operator licenses, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or email info@amtelco.com.

Amtelco has a strong history in the telemessaging industry and was founded in 1976 to provide communication solutions to the answering service and medical messaging industry. Amtelco focuses on providing call center solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations and are backed by top-notch service and support. Millions of telephone calls are processed every day by Amtelco systems and software in operation in all fifty of the United States and more than twenty foreign countries. By working closely with customers, Amtelco will continue to develop innovative features and products.

Use Telehealth to Extend Healthcare and Save Money



By Nicole Limpert 

The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.”

One of the most common forms of telehealth is a nurse hotline. Most U.S. health insurance companies offer a toll-free nurse advice hotline to their customers. Other types of telehealth services include virtual appointments, medical staff consults, remote health monitoring, and nonclinical services.

Removing Barriers to Healthcare

Telehealth not only makes access to healthcare easier for the public, it also has proven to be a necessity for both large organizations and niche markets.

Members of the United States military and their families are stationed all over the world. The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Military Health System (MHS) provides healthcare to more than 9.4 million people through a network of fifty-six hospitals, 365 clinics, and other facilities worldwide. Telehealth programs connect military patients to providers across the world to deliver direct access to quality healthcare, tele-radiology, and tele-pharmacy services.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is heavily involved with providing telehealth services to rural communities and administers telecommunications telehealth grants through two major programs: the DLT Program and the Community Connect Program. Similarly, the United States’ Indian Health Service uses telehealth to assist with accessing health services for American Indian and Alaska Native populations living in outlying communities.

Other isolated niche markets use technology to improve healthcare. Alaska’s maritime industry uses a telehealth platform to enhance access to care for those who work in the dangerous waters off Alaska. Internet connections are unreliable, so they primarily use a phone-based system to instantly connect with doctors. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) uses telehealth to expand their internal healthcare program by consulting with external healthcare providers via collaborative practice agreements. 

Telehealth and Medical Call Centers

Regardless of where people are located, telehealth is a critical tool that brings the best possible care to patients. Medical call centers play a significant role by providing the technology and medical expertise needed to bring remote healthcare to patients.

Technology enables medical call centers to effectively become an extension of a hospital or medical center’s operation. The communication software used by medical call centers can securely access a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), update EMRs with notes, and record calls needed for insurance claims and workers’ compensation. Because everything is documented, detailed reports can be generated for reporting purposes.

Medical call center operators can coordinate care, make follow-up calls, schedule visits, contact on-call medical staff, and manage referrals. Some healthcare call centers staff licensed medical professionals who are qualified to make health assessments, give medical advice, and escalate critical concerns.

The services provided by medical call centers are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Medical operators can work different hours and be located anywhere in the world, in any time zone. For example, if a medical center on the East Coast of the United States is closed, operators on the West Coast are still available.

Telehealth services may become more of a healthcare necessity rather than a convenience. Click To Tweet

Telehealth Benefits Hospitals

In the 2017 American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) annual survey, hospital CEOs ranked their ten biggest challenges for the year. Telehealth services can address six of these ten concerns—specifically, financial challenges (first), personnel shortages (third), quality of care (fourth), patient satisfaction (fifth), access to care (seventh), and population health management (ninth).

Multiple small- and large-scale studies cite the use of telehealth as a cost-effective method to deliver quality care, improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience, and expand access to healthcare. The patient’s experience with their healthcare team plays a critical role in their satisfaction. Patients are asked to provide information about their care experience via the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Unacceptable survey results can result in hospitals losing some reimbursements. In 2017 alone, approximately 1.7 billion dollars in reimbursements were withheld from hospitals. 

The cost savings are also passed along to patients. Call center data from Health Navigator cites that the top five reasons for calling a nurse hotline are fever, vomiting, stomach pain, cough, and head pain. Less than 10 percent of the cases were high-risk. On average, telehealth appointments for nonemergency reasons cost approximately forty-five dollars, as opposed to one hundred dollars for an in-person visit at a doctor’s office or 160 dollars at an urgent care clinic.

The Future of Telehealth

The population growth for the United States from 2008 to 2030, is estimated at 20 percent, totaling 363 million people. This spike in population will exacerbate an already strained shortage of healthcare professionals. Telehealth services may become more of a healthcare necessity rather than a convenience.

As technology advances, telehealth can become more complex by not only connecting patients with expertise in real time, but also by enabling computer-assisted medical procedures in remote locations by specialists thousands of miles away, thus creating global care teams for patients.

Nicole Limpert is the marketing content writer for Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco is a leading provider of innovative communication applications. 1Call develops software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.