Direct Routing for Teams: The prescription for IT growing pains
Florida Orthopaedic overcomes communications challenges as a growing business
Dramatic growth due to mergers and acquisitions comes with various challenges — disparate technology platforms, different phone systems, limited IT resources, and many more unanticipated problems. Add in concerns of patient privacy and HIPAA compliance, and an IT department in healthcare faces critical telecommunications obstacles to overcome.
Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) faced these specific challenges and decided to apply what they know — prescribing a telecom rehab for all their current, newly merged, and acquired facilities. Direct Routing through Teams was a key solution.
Time for a telecom rehab
In our recent webinar, Time for a Telecom Rehab, Chris Patterson, director of IT and HIPAA security for Florida Orthopaedic Institute, outlined how his team tackled contrasting communications systems, and leaned on key partners, such as Sinch and Synoptek, to successfully overcome the Institute’s growing pains.
Reducing communications costs by 50% with Teams
During the pandemic, the FOI technology team not only had to support remote workers, but an increasing workforce following a strong growth strategy of mergers and acquisitions. The institute had on-premise phone systems with significant mobility limitations. Providing handsets for home offices was costly, and virtual private networks posed security risks for the organization.
Since many FOI facilities were using Microsoft Office with E5 licenses — which incorporated Microsoft Teams and Phone System costs — integrating voice calling for Teams through Direct Routing made sense. It allowed FOI to simplify to a single platform (with Teams) employees already knew and were comfortable using. Plus, according to Chris, by relying on Microsoft Teams voice calling, it “brought down the expense of transitioning to a traditional phone system by 50%.” He added, “Microsoft malware and data loss protection is first class, boosting confidence in increased security, and minimizing risk. And the Direct Routing option made it pain-free and fast to port numbers.”
No more dropped calls
Call quality and reliability was a challenge with the Institute’s providers prior to the transition to Teams calling. They initially engaged a different vendor for a solution, but scalability became a problem. They frequently had up to 20 users unable to make calls due to unknown issues — and it took days to resolve being bounced between the vendor and Microsoft support. It’s not acceptable for a healthcare organization to be non-responsive to patient calls, so this was a big headache for IT and a concern for management.
Similarly, call quality with other providers was lacking. Garbled calls between doctors, nurses, and patients could result in life-threatening accidents if information is misunderstood.
Chris sought out solutions for better voice services and discovered the powerful super network of Sinch. Now, calls are delivered consistently and reliably from facility-to-facility, doctor-to-patient, and for call center phone traffic. Doctors and staff members are thrilled with the clarity of calls leading to more and more offices asking to shift to Teams calling based on the positive feedback.
By switching to Direct Routing with the session border controller, the result has been zero downtime! According to Chris, “All phone lines were moved over seamlessly, and no one even noticed. Immediately, all problems with dropped calls went away — and it got people excited.” If any issues do come up, reliable partner support gets them resolved fast. Voice calling for Teams, through Direct Routing, turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.
Putting safety first
A growing healthcare organization like FOI meant increasing numbers of physicians frequently working from various, different locations. It’s critical for E911 calls to go through if an emergency happens.
Sending emergency calls through Microsoft Teams is a service provided by only a select few Microsoft-approved partners, including Sinch. Relying on Sinch for this service streamlined FOI’s voice communications and increased confidence in the overall solution. Sinch provides innovative 911 technology services to accommodate multiple locations, stay compliant with E911 regulations, and most importantly — make sure emergency responders get the necessary location data to find individuals who need help.
Overall improved customer experience
Despite the demands and challenges of growth and change, the internal experience and user adoption of Teams calling continues to rise. Physicians are spreading the word about call reliability and asking to make the switch!
Secure messaging and more
How are doctors sending secure messages now to communicate with patients? What solutions have been put in place for physician’s offices to better manage incoming patient voicemail? What type of reporting is available?
Find out the answers to these questions when you watch our on-demand webinar. Learn how the Florida Orthopaedic Institute successfully managed their dramatic growth while providing high quality care to their patients. Discover how to rehab your communications systems.