California Skin Institute
California Skin Institute (CSI) is California’s largest private-practice group offering medical and cosmetic dermatology. The organization offers cutting-edge treatments for dozens of skin-related conditions at more than 40 office locations throughout California.
San Jose, CA
San Jose, CA
As the body’s largest organ, the skin represents one of the longest lists of potential challenges—from cosmetic (wrinkles, acne scars) to medical (psoriasis, skin cancer). When faced with these or dozens of other skin conditions, thousands of people turn to California Skin Institute.
IT Project Manager
Whether a patient wants to minimize varicose veins, remove tattoos, or leverage the latest technologies to fight an aggressive case of skin cancer, California Skin Institute has the experts to help—including dermatologists, surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, aestheticians, and nurse practitioners.
Founded in 2007 as a one-doctor dermatologic surgery practice, the company clearly tapped into an unmet need for skin-related cosmetic and medical expertise. In just over a decade, CSI became the largest private-practice dermatology group in California, with hundreds of employees serving patients at dozens of locations throughout the state.
Much of CSI’s growth has resulted from mergers with leading dermatology and cosmetic practices in California. This helped CSI build a statewide team with unparalleled expertise in skin-based medical, surgical, and cosmetic services. But it also created a logistical challenge: CSI’s growing organization was built on a patchwork of aging, incompatible phone systems.
CSI’s phone problems were more than cosmetic
A major advantage of growing a staff of providers across unique but related specialties was that California Skin Institute could give its patients the benefit of several disciplines working together to devise the best courses of treatment. A CSI dermatologist could consult on a patient’s case with a plastic surgeon, a dermatopathologist, and maybe a laser surgeon.
The challenge was, each of these specialists might be working out of a different CSI location, possibly hundreds of miles apart across California. And because almost every office had its own phone system—many of which were old and prone to problems—making or transferring calls between locations was difficult.
Elyse Watts, IT Project Manager for CSI, points out another way the organization’s decentralized phone infrastructure was underperforming as patient demand was increasing. “We had very high call volume at many of our locations,” she says. “Because we didn’t have enough people at each office to handle the traffic, we often needed to redirect calls. But none of the phone systems worked easily with the others, so that was always a problem.”
Because our phone systems were all different, and most of them were primitive, we didn’t have a way to monitor calls or analyze call volume at different offices or times. We had no insight into how to staff our phones.
IT Project Manager
RingCentral had them covered
When they began rolling out RingCentral’s cloud-based communications solution, Elyse recalls, both CSI’s leadership team and its staff realized that they were solving the most frustrating phone challenges facing the company.
“Our executive team was thrilled to have a real-time view into the inbound calls across all of our offices,” she explains. “With RingCentral’s Live Reports, they finally had the ability to monitor call volume, agent performance, and to make decisions about how to staff our call queues based on real data.”
As for the staff, RingCentral solved a lot of the company’s previous communications challenges as well. “Having a centralized phone solution made it so much easier to transfer calls from office to office, or just to call a colleague at another location,” says Elyse.
They were even prepared for the lockdowns
Another reason CSI’s IT and executive teams began looking into cloud-based communications was to add flexibility to their day-to-day operations and to give the company a business continuity solution if disaster ever struck.
But when they began rolling out RingCentral in late 2018, the company had no idea they’d be leveraging its work-from-anywhere capabilities to continue serving patients during a worldwide pandemic lockdown.
“Fortunately, as it turned out, we were ready for that sudden transition when we had to send all of our HQ employees, like our billing team, to work remotely,” explains Elyse. “They were able to easily log into the RingCentral app on their computers, join call queues, and take patient calls from home.”
With the rate we’ve been growing, I don’t think our old phone infrastructure was going to hold up much longer even under normal circumstances. But once the lockdown forced a lot of us to work from home, things really would’ve gotten out of hand if we didn’t have RingCentral.
IT Project Manager