RehabCare Case Study
ShoreTel gives RehabCare’s communications a clean bill of health and a stronger bottom line
Unable to scale as needed
As RehabCare continues to grow, the previous NEC phone system could no longer scale, or incorporate any new call center functions. There were outages and too much time was spent maintaining and managing the system.
An efficient UC system with options for remote workers
RehabCare, a leading provider of physical rehabilitation program management services and facilities, goes above and beyond to deliver personalized, reassuring care to help its patients regain their lives.
“Our goal is to use IT to help provide better care for patients, and a better working environment for our healthcare providers so we can attract and retain the nation’s top rehabilitation specialists,” explains Jim O’Brien, director of technical services at RehabCare. “To do this with more than 13,500 employees across facilities in 42 states, we wanted to take advantage of a distributed model—our own cloud computing—and integrate data with communications to put patient information at clinicians’ fingertips.”
“System downtime was threatening our ability to conduct business. Patients need the comfort and reassurance of being able to reach a live person right away. For patient safety and satisfaction, missed or dropped calls are not an option,” says O’Brien. “Plus, our support costs were soaring—we do an average of 24 moves, adds, and changes each week, and these were tying up some of my senior IT staff for more than 45 minutes at a time.”
After issuing a request for proposal, O’Brien received responses from ShoreTel, Cisco, and Nortel, but ShoreTel’s IP system, built from the ground up for voice over IP (VoIP), delivered the level of management ease and reliability that RehabCare needed.
“We chose ShoreTel for a number of reasons. It’s more reliable than the other vendor solutions because it has fewer components; it’s simpler, more robust, and the intuitive interface makes it easier to manage,” explains O’Brien. “ShoreTel was also the only company to support analog with just one piece of equipment and no special gateways. I don’t have to add a server every time I want to add a new capability, and the built-in redundancy makes five-nines availability simple and cost-effective.”
ShoreTel rehabs communications and contact centers
The initial ShoreTel deployment of ShoreTel IP Phones began in the company’s corporate offices, with plans to retrofit about four hospitals each subsequent year. Since the ShoreTel UC system easily integrates with legacy systems, RehabCare can continue to leverage existing systems to optimize return on investment, and plan effectively.
A ShoreTel Contact Center application server enables the HR department and IT help desk to track queues, report activity, monitor agents, conduct training, and answer all calls, even during peak traffic times.
As a result of the ShoreTel deployment, O’Brien estimates that RehabCare is saving almost $3,000 each month at the corporate office alone. “These savings are due to system management simplicity, which has saved more than 40 hours a month in moves, new, lines and resets; least-cost call routing on long-distance calls; and remote office relocations that save expensive real estate space. Moves, adds, and changes have dropped from 45 minutes to five minutes,” O’Brien says.
“SYSTEM DOWNTIME WAS THREATENING OUR ABILITY TO CONDUCT BUSINESS. PATIENTS NEED THE COMFORT AND REASSURANCE OF BEING ABLE TO REACH A LIVE PERSON RIGHT AWAY. FOR PATIENT SAFETY AND SATISFACTION, MISSED OR DROPPED CALLS ARE NOT AN OPTION.”
Jim O’Brien, Director of Technical Services
“The upfront costs of the ShoreTel UC system were less than the other vendors, and we’re saving both time and money on support because the system is so easy to manage,” states O’Brien. “To add an extension with the other systems took up to six screens, but with ShoreTel is just one screen. I’ve been able to move support of the phone system from a senior telecommunications analyst to the help desk, a much better use of everybody’s time. Now my senior staff has more time to focus on core business projects, and I’m better able to forecast future budgetary needs.”
Softphone provides communications on the fly
RehabCare is using ShoreTel Communicator to take advantage of presence monitoring features and ShoreTel SoftPhone capabilities. “With a SoftPhone and ShoreTel mobility features, I can easily provide phone service to remote workers, and set up a small office on the fly,” says O’Brien. “This is particularly important to our recruiters who travel the country looking to hire top-quality healthcare professionals.”
To help direct callers to the right department, RehabCare uses automated call distribution menus, and workgroups help ensure that calls are answered by a live person. Administrative personnel are using ShoreTel Operator Call Manager for detailed telephony presence on extensions they monitor to handle calls as effectively as possible.
ShoreTel has a positive impact on business
“By integrating ShoreTel Communicator with Microsoft Outlook, we’re able to archive voicemail messages for future reference and easily pass them onto others within the organization,” says O’Brien. “This is extremely important for regulatory compliance and e-discovery. Being able to work from anywhere and on any device helps us provide the best possible care to our patients.”
RehabCare has also been able to implement an effective disaster recovery plan thanks to ShoreTel’s easy-to-deploy N+1 redundancy. “The ShoreTel distributed architecture enables us to easily and affordably achieve the high availability and disaster recovery plan we need,” explains O’Brien. “With the flexibility to put switches anywhere, and inherent backward compatibility, we can quickly deploy a backup site if necessary.
As a result of the success of the ShoreTel deployment, O’Brien and his IT staff have received accolades from across the RehabCare organization. “We have yet to receive a single problem call about ShoreTel—the deployment has been one of the most visible projects that IT has completed,” concludes O’Brien. “It touched every desk, producing a huge win for the IT department and a positive impact on the business.”
“WE HAVE YET TO RECEIVE A SINGLE PROBLEM CALL ABOUT SHORETEL—THE DEPLOYMENT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST VISIBLE PROJECTS THAT IT HAS COMPLETED. IT TOUCHED EVERY DESK, PRODUCING A HUGE WIN FOR THE IT DEPARTMENT AND A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS.”
Replace an end-of-life phone system with a reliable, scalable, and easy-to-manage unified communications (UC) system that quickly integrates remote workers, mobile devices, and other productivity-boosting applications.
Managed data center with ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel T1 gateways; N+1 redundancy capabilities for reliability, ShoreTel Communicator, and ShoreTel IP Phones.
- Cost savings of $3,000 a month
- Ease of administration
- Support for cloud computing goals
- Flexible mobile and remote worker options