From its humble beginnings as a volunteer group providing primary care services in 1964, Family Health Services of Darke County (Family Health) in Greeneville, Ohio has grown into a thriving medical practice with five locations providing high-quality integrative, preventative, and comprehensive care to 34,000+ patients across western Ohio.
Proudly rural and community driven, Family Health’s technology journey is proving urban and rural healthcare alike can leverage enterprise-grade, cloud communications to reduce overhead, gain flexibility, and improve patient experiences.
Phone System in Need of a Wellness Exam
Before moving to the cloud, Family Health’s aging, on-premises phone platform created multiple cumbersome and time-consuming problems across their clinics:
- The combination of analog and digital phones made maintenance difficult
- When new phones arrived, every button and feature had to be manually programmed
- The phone system was so complex that all employees required onsite user training
- The hardware was nearing end of life, meaning a large capex upgrade was around the corner if they stayed with a premises-based system
- Issues required vendors to travel onsite to fix phones, which could take several days or weeks to execute, resulting in costly repairs and downtime
- Staff didn’t have access to modern, productivity-enhancing phone features
“Our previous phone system and vendor support was terrible,” says Brian Subler, Family Health’s IT Director. “It was very difficult getting support onsite when problems arose. I would sit on the phone for forever just to schedule a technician appointment.”
Recognizing a serious overhaul was needed to better support the organization’s critical communications, Subler was determined to find an affordable, cloud-based VoIP platform with excellent customer support. That’s when he discovered ENA.
Seamless Transition to the Cloud
In 2019, Subler upgraded Family Health’s phone system to ENA SmartVoice – ENA’s managed, cloud-based VoIP solution – and hasn’t looked back.
“The migration was really easy and ENA’s implementation team was very helpful,” he says. “They really sped up the process by pre-programming our porting and ensuring everything went smoothly onsite. The phones themselves were also are very straightforward – we simply had to plug them in and they were live.”
Staff also appreciated the user-friendly phones, new features, and simple on-demand training from ENA’s help center. “Our phones are very easy to use and ENA’s training was a series of online videos which our staff could watch at their leisure – nobody had a problem catching on.”
“The migration was really easy and ENA’s implementation team was very helpful, they really sped up the process by pre-programming our porting and ensuring everything went smoothly onsite.”
Family Health’s IT Director
Reducing IT Workload and Overhead
As Family Health’s sole IT staff member and leader, Subler is in charge of managing all technology initiatives across locations, providing internal IT support for 180+ employees, and overseeing the entire network infrastructure – making his time very valuable and limited.
“I wanted to get the hardware and servers out of the building because that was another network I had to manage,” says Subler. After moving to ENA’s hosted system, he was able to eliminate his cabinet full of parts and spare phones and take phone maintenance off his plate– reducing his workload and freeing up time for other strategic technology initiatives.
With ENA’s user-friendly online portal, Subler also maintains full administrative control and can easily change features, program buttons, and more in seconds. “With ENA being cloud-based, it’s made my job so much easier,” he says. “We no longer have to manually program phones – I can set up templates for each phone and roll them out.”
Plus, since everything is managed in the cloud, ENA takes care of proactive maintenance, updates, technical support, and continuous software improvements – further reducing IT strain and operational expenses.
Responsive Tech Support
Having experienced outsourced, unhelpful support from past vendors, Subler has found ENA’s high-touch and 100% US-based, live customer care team incredibly valuable and exactly as promised.
“The customer service with ENA has been great. I can email tech support with my issues and within the same day a ticket is issued with continuous updates” he says. “I can call and speak to an actual human on the phone and they are able to help me right away.”
Mobilizing Their Team With Confidential Communications
When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, Family Health had to quickly rework patient care and transition some staff to working remotely. Because their cloud communications platform was already in place, they were well positioned to easily roll-out ENA’s mobile app – ENA SmartUC – when all customers were given complimentary access.
Recognizing the opportunity to mobilize the Family Health team in a way that wasn’t possible before, Subler encouraged staff to use the app because it enabled them to turn their cell phones into their work extensions and was met with positive reception.
“We had many people who were temporarily working from home, so staff members really liked being able to take their number with them, make calls, and check their voicemails on the go,” he explains. “Personally, it’s been very helpful to be able to carry my phone with me as I run to various meetings and know that people can still get ahold of me while I’m away from my desk.”
Additionally, ENA’s mobile app enabled Family Health to keep business continuity including medical billing and confidential communications going with a dispersed workforce.
“We’re an essential business, so being able to communicate during this crisis allowed us to continue having our locations run smoothly and operate the way they should, both internally and for patients,” says Subler. “Nobody wants their personal cell phone number being exposed externally, so the fact that our doctors, nurses, and staff can keep their cell phone numbers confidential while facilitating communications with each other and patients is incredibly valuable.”
With the pandemic end in sight, Family Health has transitioned back to the office but still utilizes the app when staff members are sick or away.
“If we have anyone last minute who needs to be out of the office, they can utilize the mobile app to stay in communication offsite,” he says. ““We looked at other mobile options but after comparing competitors, the choice was simple – ENA was cheaper and easier to use, maintain, and manage.”
“Nobody wants their personal cell phone number being exposed externally, so the fact that our doctors, nurses, and staff can keep their cell phone numbers confidential while facilitating communications with each other and patients is incredibly valuable.”
Family Health’s IT Director
Improving the Patient Experience with Contact Center
Another goal of health IT is to improve patient experiences – a critical component to attracting and retaining patients for any medical practice. That’s why when Subler recognized a negative phone experience was occurring at their Versailles location, he set up an integrated call center – via ENA’s contact center solutions – to enable an efficient and fair queueing system for patients calling to schedule same-day appointments.
“Before, patients would call and have to leave a message because our phone lines were slammed. Unfortunately, an hour or two would go by before anyone could call them back, even though they actually called before others who were getting appointments scheduled,” Subler says.
After setting up the call center, this frustrating patient experience has been eliminated. “Now, our queuing system ensures callers don’t lose their place in line and actually tells them their number, so they can see progress toward scheduling an appointment.”
Thousands of Faxes Every Day? No Problem
Another technology issue Subler worked with ENA voice engineers to solve was upgrading his analog fax lines to fax over IP (FoIP). “We’re on the edge of town and our fax lines were constantly having problems – every time it rained there would be issues.”
Since moving to ENA SmartFax, Family Health successfully sends and receives thousands of faxes everyday problem-free, and has saved money thanks to ENA’s flat-rate, unlimited pricing. “Our faxes run flawlessly,” Subler says. “I haven’t had to do hardly any troubleshooting – I plug them in, and they work.”
Ready for the Future
With their modern, cloud communications infrastructure in place, Family Health has a sustainable and scalable platform that can keep leadership, staff, medical personnel, and patients connected.
When asked to sum up his experience with ENA, Subler did not hesitate to add, “If you’re looking for a high quality, easy-to-use, and all-around great value hosted phone system with excellent support, ENA is it.”
“If you’re looking for a high quality, easy-to-use, and all-around great value hosted phone system with excellent support, ENA is it.”
Family Health’s IT Director