Health Care Provider Finds Solution For Their Business Phone System Ills

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VOIP-based phone solution cut costs and increased productivity, patient care and response

Curative Health Services, Inc. (NasdaqNM:CURE) a company that delivers high-quality care and clinical results for patients with serious or chronic medical conditions through specialty infusion and wound care management, jumped from 17 to 38 office locations and from 340 to over 1000 employees when they acquired Critical Care Systems in 2004. This acquisition included a network of local pharmacy branches that provide products, related clinical services and disease management support to patients with chronic or severe conditions. One of the challenges of this rapid growth was the number of disparate business phone systems that resulted from these acquisitions.

“It took quite a while to streamline all the different telephony providers,” said Anne Bruce, who came on board as CIO in the midst of the telephony project. “As a health care provider, we need to utilize technology to provide our customers with the best possible response and care.”

“Our overall goal was to integrate the business phone system, reduce the number of vendors, increase efficiencies and cut costs,” said Bruce.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was put out to several vendors and all the proposals were based on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) - the rapidly growing technology that provides an efficient business phone system for companies with multiple locations.

“Since all vendors were within the same ball park, we were able to choose on quality of service – not just price,” commented Bruce. “BTI Communications Group, Limited responded with a very straightforward business case that articulated and itemized exactly how they would provide productivity improvements while reducing costs,” said Bruce. “Their ProfitSolutions ™ package made a lot of sense.”

BTI clearly showed the difference between the tangibles and the intangibles and itemized where efficiencies could be created in various business cost centers – such as sales, marketing, operations and administration. It also itemized how the call center could improve customer service.

The installation of the system using Inter-Tel equipment has been a resounding success. “One feature we feel will benefit the business is Call Reporting. Analyzing call data allows us to make sound business decisions with regard to staff utilization and service levels to our customers,” says Ron Cubicciotti, Manager of Corporate Services & Facilities.

“There are additional features of the system that will be implemented shortly,” says Bruce. “So we expect even better savings and productivity increases as we learn how to get all the benefits of the system. Many vendors say they partner with you, but BTI really does. We can rely on them for ongoing training and consulting and that makes for peace of mind.”

Curative is already seeing a dramatic cut in their telecom costs. The installation was started in February of this year, 16 locations are completely installed and another nine are scheduled for installation in the next month. By the end of the second quarter they had reported savings of $50,000, with ongoing monthly savings estimated at $30,000. “The figures are exactly what BTI promised when they presented,” says Bruce.

Curative’s aggressive growth plan aims to have 60 locations by 2007. “ProfitSolutions ™ handled our immediate integration issues,” says Bruce. “The new business phone system is geared to cope with our future growth.”


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