Every day, thousands of patients and prospective patients call the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. From office workers to professional athletes, from students to the elderly, the organization helps people from all walks of life who are eager to end chronic joint pain, improve their mobility, or solve other musculoskeletal problems preventing them from living a full life.

Given the seriousness and urgency of these patient calls, the organization—which is one of the largest and most respected orthopaedic practices in the country—needs a highly reliable and flexible phone system. So when their legacy system became too trouble-prone, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s technology team began looking for a phone solution capable of meeting the high demands of its growing call center.

And although they didn’t know it at the time, their switch to all-in-one cloud communications also prepared the organization to transition smoothly to remote work—and telehealth services—during the pandemic lockdowns.

A phone system reaching its breaking point

Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s increasing success led to rapid growth in recent years. The Philadelphia-based company has expanded to almost 40 locations throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And to meet rising demand for its specialty orthopaedic services—hip, knee, spine, hand and wrist, sports medicine, orthopaedic oncology, etc.—the organization has grown its call center from a few dozen full-time staff to a team of several hundred.

As great as these developments were for Rothman Orthopaedic Institute—and the 4,000 patients they treat every day—the increasing call volume created problems for the company’s on-prem phone infrastructure. As Telecom Administrator Kevin Hartmann explains: “On Mondays—our call center’s busiest day—the system would often crash, sometimes leaving us without phone service for hours.”

Lancer Seaman, the company’s CIO, explains their business model demanded nothing less than an outstanding phone system. “Our call center is a vital component of our operation, because so much of our new business comes from people calling into our main numbers looking for orthopaedic treatment.”

A successful communications-replacement procedure

When they migrated to RingCentral’s cloud communications, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute now had a phone system scalable enough to meet its rapidly increasing demands. As Kevin points out: “I’ve seen RingCentral handle more than twice as many calls as the number that crashed our old system, and without any problems at all.”

RingCentral also gave the organization’s call center managers more visibility into their agents’ performance than they ever had—with easy-to-pull reports on call volume, average hold times, and other key details.

A smooth workforce transition during the quarantine

The all-in-one cloud solution also enabled Rothman Orthopaedic Institute to consolidate many communications services it had been managing separately—phone service, video conferencing, team messaging, and digital faxing—into one easy-to-use app from a single vendor. And while those integrated services proved beneficial in normal times, they became invaluable when the lockdowns forced the company to send much of their staff home.

For example, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s doctors were able to stay in regular contact with patients, even from home, because they could use the RingCentral app to take and make calls on their own cell phones—but display the Rothman phone number. And as the company’s Project Manager, Patty Giambuzzi, explains: “They can even use the app to exchange text messages with patients, which is how many of our younger patients prefer to communicate.”

Patty also notes that the company’s move to digital faxing through the RingCentral app made all the difference in their ability to continue processing important faxes during the stay-at-home orders. Here’s why: “With our old fax machines, we’d have to go into the office and get the hardcopies. Now our staff can just download them as PDFs from RingCentral and then upload them to our EMR system—without leaving their house.”

And here’s how Lancer sums up the organization’s gratitude for having the right cloud communications platform during the lockdowns: “Thanks in large part to RingCentral, we were able to transition 600 employees to working from home within a week—without disrupting operations or losing productivity.”

Read the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute success story