Tag Archives: Amtelco

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.

Amtelco

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.

Amtelco miSecureMessages v6.7 Allows Personalization and Insight

Amtelco announces the ability for users to customize their away message with the miSecureMessages version 6.7 release. MiSecureMessages is used by businesses and healthcare enterprises who need to keep their communications secure.

Version 6.7 allows users to enter a custom away message when setting their miSecureMessages notifications to “off.” Users also have the option to choose an away message from a list of pre-programmed messages.

Away messages are displayed on the miSecureMessages contacts screen to other users in the same Group. In addition, users will receive an auto reply when sending a secure message to the user who is currently away. Users also have the option to set a start and end date and time when their away message should be displayed.

Amtelco

For more information about miSecureMessages, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148, info@misecuremessages.com, or www.misecuremessages.com.

Amtelco Employee Awards Announced

Amtelco announces that Andy Quamme, director of project management, is the 2019 recipient of Amtelco’s William J. Curtin Employee of the Year award. The honor, conferred annually at year’s end, is named in remembrance of Amtelco founder William J. Curtin II, and is the most cherished award available to Amtelco employees. Andy was awarded the William J. Curtin Employee of the Year award for his outstanding commitment to project management and successful customer implementations.

Other awards announced at Amtelco’s annual holiday luncheon in December included:

  • Administration Employee of the Year: Wayne Wallace, IT manager
  • Brian Torvik Innovation in Operations: Chris Bach, software engineer
  • Brian Torvik Innovation in Operations: Kent Anderson, senior hardware design engineer
  • Service Employee of the Year: Eric Thomas, customer support engineer
  • TAS Salesperson of the Year: Patty Anderson, regional sales manager
  • 1Call Salesperson of the Year: Joe Curtin, regional sales manager
  • Hall of Fame: Bernie Torvik, vice chairman
  • Hall of Fame: Bob Vornberg, Telescan general manager and director of product development
Amtelco

For more information: 800-356-9148, info@amtelco.com, or www.callcenter.amtelco.com.

Genesis Emergency ACD and Park Line Pickup

Amtelco’s Genesis emergency automatic call distribution (ACD) feature is a mode of operation that takes effect if a Genesis Intelligent soft switch client application—such as Amtelco’s Intelligent Series or Telescan’s Genesis Spectrum—becomes disconnected from the Genesis platform. The Genesis emergency ACD makes it possible to ensure that calls are not dropped if the connection to the client application is lost. In such instances, the Genesis Intelligent soft switch automatically routes calls to a pre-arranged queue named for the client application.

The emergency ACD distributes calls on a round-robin, one-call-at-a-time basis with calls routed to emergency agents in the order that they are received by the Genesis Intelligent soft switch. Emergency agents are created in the Genesis system configuration and are assigned to specific applications for which they are assigned calls when the emergency ACD controls call distribution. If there are no emergency agents, Genesis can play a text-to-speech announcement prior to hanging up.

In related news, Amtelco’s Genesis park line pickup feature allows an agent or a script to park a call to a special ACD skill to await a callback from a contact. Before parking the call, the script or agent pages the requested contact and provides a park extension. The contact can call into the park extension to automatically connect to the caller. The park line pickup feature saves call centers time and improves caller satisfaction.

Park line pickup is implemented using a specific call field named MeetMeNumber. The script populates the MeetMeNumber call field with a park extension and includes the same park extension in a page to the requested contact. The script then parks the call to an ACD skill configured for manual distribution. When the contact calls the park extension, the contact is joined to the parked call with the matching park extension.

Amtelco

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

Stay Informed with miTeamWeb OnCall Widgets

Amtelco’s miTeamWeb Home page displays a variety of information, displayed in widgets. Widgets are useful applications that occupy a portion of a web page and provide information from other web locations. The miTeamWeb widgets provide information about directory listings, messages, status schedule, voice logs, and on-call schedules. If the system administrator has granted their users access to the layout settings, users can customize their Home page to display the widgets that are most useful to them.

The miTeamWeb OnCall widgets give users access to their on-call assignments, assign their own on-call assignments (or send on-call assignment requests to the schedule administrator), view on-call assignments for a specific day, week, or month, and show information about on-call assignments for selected roles.

Amtelco

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

Intelligent Series Call Log Customizable Agent Assessment

Amtelco’s Call Log Agent Assessment can be used to assess agents’ productivity to improve their performance, improve customer retention rates, eliminate unproductive processes and systems, and address sources of agent frustration.

Amtelco’s Call Log Agent Assessment is in the call details section of the call log. Supervisors can use the assessment to open a pre-built web script provided by Amtelco to assess an agent based on a series of customizable questions. The customizable “Done” button can perform any actions available in IS scripting, such as emailing or faxing to a specified destination, once the assessment is complete. The call log agent assessment can be accessed in the soft agent application along with the Intelligent Series supervisor application.

The agent assessment feature includes a script that can be customized with your own agent assessment questions, an administration script, and a Microsoft SQL Server database separate from the IS system database. 

Amtelco

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

Amtelco Offers Weekly Webinars

Amtelco conducts webinars every week to provide customers with up-to-the-minute solutions to their business needs. Many of the webinar topics were developed in collaboration with Amtelco customers. Some upcoming topics include:

Web Agent: Amtelco solution architect Kevin Mahoney and vice president of software Kevin Beale will introduce the new web agent console application.

Telescan R1—R10 Update: Join Bob Vornberg, Telescan director of product development, as he discusses the R1—R10 updates.

MiSecureMessages: Learn what’s new in version 6.7.

Migrating to Contact Architecture: Hear how to migrate to the Intelligent Series contact architecture platform.

Telescan Prism II: Join a discussion of the Prism II solution.

Introducing IS Genesis dashboard: Hear an introduction to the IS Genesis dashboard and its capabilities.

Social Media Monitoring Opportunities: Discuss the new IS social media monitor feature.

Agent Status Lights: Explanation of the agent status lights features for telephone agent, soft agent, and web agent.

Amtelco

For more information or to access these webinars, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or webinars@amtelco.com.

Amtelco Releases IS Social Media Monitor

The Intelligent Series (IS) social media monitor translates popular social media posts, messages, and notifications into dispatch jobs that call center agents can manage on behalf of their clients. The social media monitor polls the client’s social media accounts for incoming activity and presents the resulting notifications to the IS server as MergeComm Web API triggers. The MergeComm triggers are presented to agents as dispatch jobs that can be scripted as needed in IS supervisor.

For Facebook interaction, the social media monitor can check a client’s account for keywords, inbound messages, comments about posts, shares of posts, and reactions to posts such as likes and other emoticon-based comments.

For Twitter interaction, the social media monitor can check a client’s account for keywords, inbound direct messages (DMs), replies to account tweets, and for likes, favorites, retweets, mentions, and other reactions to posts by the client.

Amtelco

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

Amtelco Introduces Text-Enabled Landlines

Amtelco’s Intelligence Series software and MergeComm platform integrate with Infinite Convergence Solution’s (ICS) text enabled number service to allow enterprises to send short message service (SMS) messages to their customers using existing and new landline numbers. Enterprises can use the same toll-free and landline numbers for their messaging and voice customer communication, providing a better user experience.

Amtelco

Amtelco partners with ICS to provide SMS aggregator services to send and receive SMS text messages using a secure web connection to the Internet. Amtelco customers that have already purchased ICS’s SMS aggregator services can text-enable landlines for no additional charge. ICS provides SMS messaging to landlines based on a per message fee. For more information about MergeComm, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or info@amtelco.com.

Amtelco Introduces Genesis Service Level Reports

Amtelco’s Genesis provides reporting on service level statistics for each agent ID, agent ACD skill, agent skill group, and client account. There is also a service level report grouped by interval. Service level reports include color-coded indicators of thresholds that have not been met or exceeded. Benefits of these reports for the call center include improved customer satisfaction and better business management.

The Genesis service level report shows how well skill groups are handling calls assigned to that group.

The Genesis service level agents report shows how well individual agents are handling calls assigned to them.

The Genesis service level client report shows which client accounts received calls, how many quick calls they received, and if a quick call was assigned. This report groups the data by client number and provides visual warnings to show if the agent answering for the client account reached the requirement settings configured in the report parameters, including quick calls and minimum ring counts.

Amtelco

The Genesis service level interval report shows how well agents were handling calls for a specific time interval. For more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or info@amtelco.com