Knowing that this solution supports our HIPAA compliance efforts is really big for us in healthcare.
Chief Technology Officer
Caring for thousands of people suffering from behavioral-health issues
Like most businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, New York-based Liberty Behavioral Management Group needed to transition to a remote workforce virtually overnight.
Managing multiple inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities throughout New York state, Liberty Behavioral sought a cloud-based solution to handle their 600+ phone lines and still ensure HIPAA compliance. Their team was initially hesitant to move to a cloud-based solution and the thought of completely overhauling their telephony platform felt daunting and overwhelming before it began.
Prior to COVID-19, the behavioral group typically scheduled their staff around the call center’s phone volume. In one facility, they had 20-25 employees managing six phone lines. Switching patient care to telehealth posed nearly impossible with the current capacity due to 20 people on the phone at once and six lines allowed at one time.
“We needed the ability to increase our phone capacity within our outpatient clinics especially,” Chris Smith, Chief Technology Officer said. “To move the system as-is would mean a drastic change in how we treat patients. We would have had busy signals for people calling in for inbound services, so we had to transition right away in order to operate at capacity,” Smith said.
Looking for a remote solution to handle high-volume calls
Thus began their search for a telephony solution that would not interrupt patient treatment.
With the transition to a remote workforce, Liberty needed a platform that could handle the influx of calls and required a system that employees could log into without using their personal devices. Further, they needed to track and log employee-patient calls for billing purposes in case of an audit.
“We have to provide documentation that our staff physically made the call, and there is a required length of time for the staff to counsel patients in order to code it as a successful visit,” Smith said.
Once they learned about the RingCentral platform, Liberty Behavioral Management Group took advantage of the free three-month special for healthcare facilities and began migrating immediately. With their older legacy system, it would take weeks to get a license key and work with vendors. Within 24 hours of switching to RingCentral, they had the licenses they needed and began their switch to the new communications platform, which was far easier than they initially imagined.
“It’s very tough at times, in our environment, to train people on new technology. But the Help Desk support team and one-on-one sessions showed us how to install the client, how to use it, how to make a call, and how to receive a call,” Smith said.
To date, they’ve transmitted 196,056 calls totaling over 1,151,005 minutes with 159 provisioned users, including a mix of IT and counseling staff.
RingCentral handles calls with ease and protects patients’ privacy
Liberty ultimately chose RingCentral because it could handle their high volume of incoming calls from the cloud and enabled remote employees to work from anywhere, across any device.
They had to increase their phone capacity without installing traditional telephony technology in the building, which can take months to do. Because they offer healthcare services, they also required privacy around their calls and appreciated RingCentral’s approach to HIPAA compliance, knowing employees wouldn’t give out their personal numbers.
We’re really impressed with how quickly we could get the RingCentral platform deployed and running for our staff. It was so simple.
Chief Technology Officer
Looking to deploy additional remote services
Prior to the pandemic, patients would visit one of the facilities for therapy sessions in the clinic. Now, the Liberty staff can conduct telehealth outpatient therapy services, which saves time and transportation costs for the patient. Further, because the calls can be tracked, management is able to see employee productivity and inspire more trust between the staff.
“I could see this (remote solutions) being something we use in other areas going forward to expand the business,” Smith said. “It has opened the door for key managers who were hesitant to have some of this technology now see how this could potentially expand the business. I’m looking forward to working with RingCentral on carving away a complete solution for us to move towards in the future,” Smith added.
Keep an open mind when transitioning to remote-work solutions
Keeping an open mind is crucial when carving out your telecommunication strategy. For those used to legacy, on-premises phone systems, it can feel intimidating to adopt new technology. But the transition is a relatively simple one to deploy and can change the entire landscape of your business.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced just about everyone to approach the workplace with creative solutions, including variations of a remote workplace. While some businesses immediately adopted the transition, there have been more traditional brick and mortar offices who were hesitant at first.
Seeing the productivity and ease of transition of their systems, Smith believes remote work could become a permanent option for Liberty Behavioral Management Group.
I wasn’t open-minded initially, but RingCentral has opened my eyes based on the tools they provide, the quality, and the ability to solve a need during the COVID-19 period. The promotion gave us an opportunity to try something we might not have typically done.
Chief Technology Officer