Top Orthopaedic Practice Found a Communications System Flexible Enough to Enable a Smooth Transition Remote Work
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is a world leader in the field of orthopaedics. The organization’s hundreds of physicians see more than 4,000 patients a day, and perform tens of thousands of surgical procedures every year to help patients live their lives more fully and with less pain. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute also regularly wins awards for medical excellence.
Whether it’s a traumatic joint or bone injury, or chronic hip or knee pain, musculoskeletal issues can cause unbearable suffering and prevent people from getting the most out of life. That’s why every day, thousands of patients call the experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.
Founded half a century ago with a single location in Philadelphia, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute has become one of the largest and most respected orthopaedic practices in the US. The numbers of life-changing surgeries performed every year by the organization’s specialist physician teams are astonishing: 4,000 spine-related procedures, 7,500 hand and wrist surgeries, and 14,000 hip and knee replacements, to list just a few.
The organization is so well regarded, in fact, that Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is the official orthopaedic partner for many of the professional sports teams in Philadelphia—including the Phillies, Eagles, and 76ers. They’re also the official orthopaedic team for the one of the most famous dance companies in the world—the Radio City Rockettes.
The organization attributes their success to a few strategies that are rare in the industry. First, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute commits enormous resources to science and data. The company employs dozens of medical researchers to learn about and develop new techniques to help patients. A second differentiator is that the entire practice has always focused exclusively on orthopaedics, which gives them unparalleled experience with complex musculoskeletal issues.
But as the organization grew, the inflexibility of their phone system began causing increasing amounts of operational pain.
“RingCentral helped us consolidate so much… our team messaging, our faxing, our video conferencing, and of course our phone system… onto a single app from one vendor. That’s greatly improved things for us, both in terms of pricing and streamlining our operational efficiencies.”
Chief Information Officer
“The phone system didn’t have the capacity to handle a high call volume. So on Mondays—our call center’s busiest day—the system would often crash, sometimes leaving us without phone service for hours.”
“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.”
“Now we know that wherever we establish new locations, we can set up communications there with no problem. All we’ll need is internet access. RingCentral has become an integral component in our growth plans.”
Chief Information Officer
A legacy system too rigid for the company’s growth
In recent years, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute expanded at a rapid rate, growing to almost 40 locations across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. One operational challenge that became more acute with every expansion was managing the company’s on-prem phone system.
The system was so difficult to administer that the call-center teams, employees in every department, as well as staff at the company’s physician practices needed IT’s help to make even minor updates, such as adding users and changing voicemail greetings.
But Kevin Hartmann, the organization’s Telecom Administrator, points out that there were also more urgent problems with their phone infrastructure.
RingCentral cures the company’s chronic phone pains
When they rolled out the cloud communications solution from RingCentral, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute found the answer to all of their phone-related challenges.
For example, whereas the old system crashed under the stress of peak phone traffic—the worst possible times—Kevin explains that RingCentral can support as many simultaneous calls as the company’s call center staff needs. “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,” he says.
And as Project Manager Patty Giambuzzi points out, the company is also benefiting from the ability to assign virtual numbers to employees without having to give each of them a physical phone. “That allowed us to quickly get everyone listed in the company directory, so they’d all be easy to reach, and at the same time it let us set up business numbers that we could easily reassign if we had turnover in a given position.”
Additionally, when they signed up for RingCentral, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute knew they were getting more than just a better phone system. Here’s how Chief Information Officer Lancer Seaman explains one of the biggest operational benefits for the organization.
RingCentral even prepared the organization for COVID-19
The senior leadership team at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute didn’t have a remote workforce in mind when they migrated from their old phone system to RingCentral. But when the pandemic led to lockdowns across Pennsylvania and New Jersey—and the company found itself having to send hundreds of its employees home—they were glad they had implemented the work-from-anywhere cloud solution.
“If we still had the on-prem phone system when COVID-19 hit, transitioning our staff to working from home would’ve been a nightmare,” Kevin says. “I would’ve had to manually forward every number to our employees’ cell or home phones, and it would’ve taken forever. I don’t even like to think about it. Thank goodness we had RingCentral.”
The organization’s physicians also found great benefit in having the RingCentral app, especially during the lockdowns when patients couldn’t come in. As Patty explains: “Our physicians appreciate the ability to call a patient back from their cell phones and display only their Rothman number to the patient, not their personal numbers. They can even use the app to exchange text messages with patients, which is how many of our younger patients prefer to communicate.”
Also, given how important faxing is to their operations—the organization receives 15,000 faxes a day—RingCentral’s built-in digital faxing has helped them tremendously during the quarantine. Patty explains it this way.
In fact, RingCentral has proven so valuable to Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s operations that it’s now playing a key role in the company’s plans for aggressive expansion.