What Should My Hospital Phone System Include?

Written by Ana Boechat

What Should My Hospital Phone System Include?

Your hospital phone system is a lifeline for numerous reasons. Frequent uses include paging doctors where needed, taking outside calls regarding emergencies, and receiving critical patient information. You need a reliable hospital phone system to keep up with heavy demand without freezing or slowing down. 

So, what should your hospital phone system include? That’s what we’re discussing in today’s blog. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Your Hospital Phone System Is So Important

As mentioned above, hospital phone systems are used for many reasons, including internal and external; this means inside and outside the hospital. 

Doctors must be able to communicate with other doctors and nurses within the hospital network. Nurses must be able to call patients to give them their test results; the intercom acts as a backup if pagers aren’t working. 

In addition to meeting these requirements, your hospital phone system must also follow HIPAA guidelines for patient privacy. 

How to Determine Your Hospital’s Needs

No two hospitals are the same, but most large and small hospitals have commonalities. We recommend asking the following questions to determine what your hospital needs. Answer these questions before you start shopping to narrow down your search results.

  • How many phone lines does your office need? The number of lines refers to how many incoming calls you can receive. 
  • How many extensions does your office need? Extensions are the extra numbers you dial after reaching your doctor’s main phone line. 

Generally speaking, you’ll want to have a line for every hospital section and then extensions for each medical provider. You might provide one extension for all the nurses and an extension for each doctor. 

But you don’t just want to focus on right now. Unless you want to upgrade before long, you can save yourself some hassle by purchasing enough phone lines for your future needs. 

For example, we recommend purchasing their lines now if you think you’ll hire three more doctors in the next calendar year. In the worst-case scenario, you can use those lines for something else if you don’t hire those doctors as planned. But it might be more expensive to add those lines later when those doctors start at your hospital. 

You should also consider fax lines, modems, and equipment that requires a phone connection to operate. We recommend anticipating several more lines than you think you need. 

How to Decide What Features You Need

There are lots of options from which to choose. Many phones come with standard options, with more advanced options available for purchase. We recommend the following settings for your hospital phone system:

  • Auto-attendant: takes the place of an operator, saving you money; it directs callers to the appropriate lines where an employee within that department will answer the line.
  • Conference call: enables calls between at least three people.
  • Caller ID: shows the name and phone number of each caller.
  • Intercom: connects different rooms located in the same office to the call.
  • Dialing Option: callers should be able to choose by name, extension, or directory — this further eliminates the need for an auto-attendant.
  • Voicemail: the ability to record, save, and send a message to the person you’re trying to reach.
  • Call transfer, call back, call hold, call recording.
  • Cost features: details on who has called and how long the call lasted.
  • Office Directory: lists the name of each medical provider and staff member and provides extensions to reach those individuals.
  • Reports: on phone usage. Know who called, when they called, and how long the call lasted. This information can help you appropriately staff your office so patients don’t have to wait too long for assistance.
  • Call routing: forwards phone calls to outside phone numbers, such as a doctor’s cell phone.
  • Operator console: a keyboard that transfers calls, initiates a page, or speed dials a phone number, among other things. The point is that the operator’s fingers don’t leave their keyboard.
  • Conference bridge: a server that connects multiple people into one phone call.
  • Multisite management: the auto-attendant enables patients to select the extension for the appropriate office location. For example, one extension forwards a patient to the Lindon, Utah, location, while another extension is for the Provo, Utah, office.
  • Call Hunt: if no one answers the line, it automatically forwards to another line.
  • Call Convergence: takes care of all incoming calls, voicemails, and electronic communication.
  • Call Queuing: places a caller on hold instead of sending them to voicemail. It allows them to wait to speak to a person instead of calling back.
  • Interactive Voice Response: the auto-attendant interacts with the caller to appropriately direct their call.
  • Call Block: blocks unwanted calls, including spam. 

How to Select Your Hospital Phone System Model

There are two models to choose from — cloud-hosted or on-premise. Cloud-hosted systems allow you to access everything from the cloud without needing equipment in your office. Your provider hosts and monitors everything for you. On-premise systems place the equipment, monitoring, and control in your office. 

Get Started with Groove Technology

As you consider what your office needs, check out Groove Technology. We offer hospital phone system services that are sure to meet your needs, no matter how small or large your hospital is.

Our Voiceware phone systems utilize a VoIP system that works with cloud-hosted and on-premise systems and SIP or analog phones. Your options abound. If you’re not sure what will work best for you, a member of our team will be happy to help you decide. 

We offer free quotes, so you can estimate how much your phone system will cost you. We’re available for consultation through our website or by calling us at 801.994.3642. 

Groove Technology is here to upgrade your hospital phone system to meet your needs, keep your hospital staff connected, and provide excellent patient care. Contact us today to get started.