Make sure your phone lines don’t flatline with our pick of the best hospital phone systems
How important do you think hospital phone systems were in helping teams manage the treatment of that many patients? We think they were pretty crucial.
Why is Choosing the Right Hospital Phone System so Important?
Phone systems play a huge part in both external and internal hospital communications; whether it’s staff calling their patients to tell them their results or doctors and nurses communicating between wards and departments.
A good phone system isn’t just about the hardware, though. Telephone system software is the beating heart of hospital communication, pumping comms to every corner of the network. That’s a big responsibility, so investing in the right system is crucial.
However, no matter how clever the software is, it must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). So you’ll need to bear that in mind when you’re looking for your hospital phone system.
Aside from compliance, what else should you be considering when you’re looking to invest in a suitable phone system for hospitals?
Luckily, Expert Market is here to guide you to the vital signs.
Who Supplies the Best Phone Systems for Hospitals?
We researched the best suppliers for hospital phone systems and discovered the top five phone systems for hospitals come from:
- Vonage Business Solutions
1. Vonage Business Solutions
With over 400,000 customers, Vonage prides itself on its quality and affordability. Having transformed communications in the residential sector, the company moved its expertise to business, and is now growing at a rate of around 3,000 clients per month.
Putting aside $600 million for new investments each year, Vonage is at the forefront of telecommunication technology and is well positioned to provide hospitals with fully integrated phone systems.
Top 3 Features
1. SMS Alerts
With the integration of SMS alerts, the system can send automated text messages to patients, letting them know when their appointments are due. You can also use SMS to market your services to people living within a set distance from you.
Mobility and Productivity
On call doctors and nurses out in the field can use their Vonage number instead of their mobile number, meaning they never have to reveal their private one to patients. The Vonage system also enables them to access medical drives for accessing and recording data.
Integrate CRM systems such as Salesforce and Zendesk to improve patient experience. Staff on the telephones will be able to access their patient data and provide a more personalized, knowledgeable interaction.
8×8 prides itself on being the world’s first Communications Cloud. By combining unified communications, team collaboration, contact centers and analytics, hospitals benefit from a fully connected communication system – perfect for patient relations. With over 50,000 business customers around the world, 8×8 is proven to be a solid choice.
Top 3 Features
Business Phone Services
With 8×8’s business phone services, you can ensure everyone stays connected, whether they’re on the wards or out visiting patients. Staff will be able to see who’s ‘online’ and either call or chat with the required medical person. Doctors can also set their availability, so they’re not interrupted in theater or when they’re consulting.
Chat, web conference and document sharing mean medical staff can share their findings and surgery outcomes wherever they happen to be. Doctors can also hold video consultations with their patients, which could be more convenient for both parties.
Cloud Contact Center
Take the pressure off receptionists by having patients automatically connect with the ward or person they require. All the necessary patient data is held securely on the Cloud Contact Center. Update it in real time to ensure medical staff have up-to-the-minute information on their patient.
A market leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, RingCentral is well-placed to deliver superior communications technology. With Forbes placing it as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America 2016 and 2017, RingCentral has plenty of accolades to its name.
Top 3 Features
This certification will ensure your medical staff can exchange information on a secure platform on any device – handy if you’ve got a team out in the field. There are seven layers of data and physical security, while third party audits ensure the system never weakens.
Communication Tool Consolidation
With all communication tools grouped together in one software hub, voice calls, SMS/MMS, and fax are easy to set up, making it possible for hospitals to set up new clinics in weeks rather than months. Thanks to the app, medics can tap into the phone system and use their hospital number, rather than their private one.
Thanks to electronic prevention systems in its data centers, a RingCentral hospital phone system can withstand data loss or service interruption, which is important if your hospital sits within a natural disaster hotspot.
Nextiva is a bit of a giant in the telecommunications world – there are over 150,000 customers on its books – but that doesn't stop it from supplying superior customer service. Add to the mix Nextiva's feature-filled software and you have yourself the ideal hospital phone system company.
Top 3 Features
Arizona-based Customer Service
If you're looking for a company with a track record of providing superior customer service, Nextiva is for you. Its customer service department is based in Arizona and the team is available 24/7, which means there will always be someone on the end of the line, even halfway through the night shift.
Nextiva enables doctors and nurses to stay in contact with other hospital staff wherever they happen to be via a mobile app. The app displays which colleagues are online and offline, ensuring surgeries and procedures aren’t interrupted.
Security and Reliability
Seven data centers and counting across the USA and Canada means you never have to worry about security breaches or inability to access records. Even if one data center is cut off due to a natural disaster, there’s at least six other backups.
GoTo holds a steady place in the telecommunications market. Its VoIP software boasts a tonne of handy features and if you’re having trouble making head or tail of anything, GoTo's customer service team is ready and waiting to help. Having grown from a six-person company in 2006 to a team of over 700 today, you can tell that GoTo knows exactly what it's doing.
Top 3 Features
Create private groups on the GoTo app so surgeons and clinicians can share cases, feedback and recommendations. Keep up to date with your strategic communications, including the dishing out of relevant news pages and important medical announcements.
You will be able to set up a support center where medical staff can find answers to frequently asked questions. Store knowledge base documents and education materials so there’s always easy access to information.
Whether medics are working from a laptop, PC, tablet or mobile phone, they can stay in contact using the GoTo app. With communication so easy, medics can efficiently acquire all the information they need to effectively treat their patients.
VoIP or IP PBX – Which Hospital Phone System is Right for me?
Both VoIP and IP PBX systems hook up to the internet to provide a range of communication services.
- Call control and management
- Voicemail and messaging
- Web-based management
- Integrations of other software and hardware
Here’s some more info on VoIP vs IP PBX.
What is VoIP?
- VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It literally does what it says on the tin – it allows you to speak to people over the internet
- VoIP phones store all their data on the Cloud, which is hosted by your service provider
- Having all of your data on a secure Cloud network pretty much guarantees that your data will never do a disappearing act – even in the event of a hurricane. This is because your data is backed up at another data center hundreds of miles away from the bad weather
- Low setup costs
- Automatic software updates
- Less dependence on in-house resources
- Service provider has control over your system
- Higher ongoing service costs
▶ Read more: What is VoIP? Everything you need to know
What is IP PBX?
- IP PBX stands for Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange. It essentially gives you the best of both worlds – use the internet for communications, or use the local exchange
- An IP PBX system stores all of the data on the premises, which means you’ll have to dedicate a room to servers
- Hosting the system on site means you have more control over the finer details. With a good tech team, you can create your own telecommunications solutions. And you don’t have the monthly hosting overheads
- You’ll have full knowledge of your system
- Complete control and flexibility
- Create a bespoke communication solution
- Higher setup costs
- Ongoing maintenance costs unpredictable
What is the Best Phone System for Hospitals?
The best phone system for hospitals should use the internet for communication. Both VoIP and IP PBX phone systems do that, so it’s up to you to weigh up the positives and negatives and match them to your requirements.
Smaller hospitals may want to go for a VoIP system, just because they may not have an IT department there to look after an in-house server. A smaller hospital also may prefer easy-to-manage monthly installments instead of laying out one large sum.
On the other hand, larger hospitals may prefer to have more control over their communication system. They may also want the backup of the local exchange just in case the Wi-Fi cuts out.
Want to find out how much hospital phone systems cost? Most providers will quote prices with or without hardware. Find out how much a phone system will cost you by filling in our form at the top of the page. Answer a couple of questions and our top suppliers that match your requirements will be in touch.