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Loma Linda University Medical Center Case Study

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Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta decides that ShoreTel redundancy is the panacea for a reliable phone system

Loma Linda University Medical Center

Reliability is number one

Due to the nature of the business, the medical center required a telephony solution with failover capabilities in case of an outage, according to Bill Lowe, IT technical and media services manager.

Budget and IT-friendly redundant system.

At the medical center in Murrieta, IT personnel are responsible for every IT need in the hospital such as audiovisual setups, desktop troubleshooting, clinical informatics, telephony, or problems with any other device that plugs into a wall jack. The IT department is busy, but setting aside $60,000 to $70,000 to hire a telephony expert to program phones or work with departments to set up call workflow, workgroups, etc., is not in the budget.

“An IT person with limited telephony experience can use the ShoreTel Director and get familiarized pretty quickly. It’s the perfect fit for us because we knew from the outset that we were not going to have a dedicated communications expert, so having a user- and IT-friendly phone system allows us to get the job done and focus on other pressing IT issues,” says Lowe.

Aside from the intuitive nature of the ShoreTel system, the evaluation committee was impressed with the ShoreTel Communicator features that enabled users to easily dial out, answer and transfer calls, and access a full directory right from their PC. “We’re a hospital. It’s fast-paced. Our users don’t want a thousand buttons to push to transfer a call. That’s another reason why we chose ShoreTel,” adds Lowe.

ShoreTel’s robust feature set helps ensure a better patient experience.

Better patient outcomes and high satisfaction with the hospital experience are also top management priorities. The ability to easily make programming changes ensures that patients calling in, or a prospective patient who may be calling to schedule an operation, are routed to the right department the first time around.

“On the IT side, ShoreTel made it very easy to work with the different departments to set up their call trees and customize phone features to meet the specific needs of each department. You don’t have to have 30 years of phone experience to create very layered and detailed call trees,” comments Lowe. “Ultimately a phone system should take your customer to exactly where he or she wants to go with no interruptions or hiccups. The ShoreTel phone system delivers as promised.”

ShoreTel’s superior usability increases productivity.

Aside from providing a hands-free environment, the hospital feels that even

ShoreTel’s most basic PC calling features such as transferring, answering, hanging up, and dialing save valuable time. “Our users save time looking through their contact list for phone numbers because they can save groups and customize

ShoreTel Communicator on their PC by adding frequently called numbers – actually there’s really no limit to how a user can customize their phones. Those features may only save seconds, but seconds turn into hours that can be spent more productively,” says Lowe.

Down the road, IT is looking to deploy ShoreTel mobility solutions.

As the organization grows, the medical center is looking at the possibility of opening new departments and expanding in areas such as the emergency room. At that time, Lowe and his team plan to install the ShoreTel Communicator on medical mobile workstations on wheels (WOWs) and outfit them with cordless handsets. Future plans include integrating the ShoreTel Director into the WOWs so nurses could use wireless handsets.

“AN IT PERSON WITH LIMITED TELEPHONY EXPERIENCE CAN USE THE SHORETEL DIRECTOR AND GET FAMILIARIZED PRETTY QUICKLY. IT’S THE PERFECT FIT FOR US BECAUSE WE KNEW FROM THE OUTSET THAT WE WERE NOT GOING TO HAVE A DEDICATED
COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT, SO HAVING A USER AND IT FRIENDLY PHONE SYSTEM ALLOWS US TO GET THE JOB DONE AND FOCUS ON OTHER PRESSING IT ISSUES.”

Bill Lowe
IT Technical and Media Services Manager
Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta

“I would definitely recommend ShoreTel, not only in a health care environment, but for any business of any size that doesn’t have a big budget but considers communication to be vital to their departments. ShoreTel is a very good tool and a high-quality product,” concludes Lowe.

ShoreTel’s robust feature set helps ensure a better patient experience

Better patient outcomes and high satisfaction with the hospital experience are also top management priorities. The ability to easily make programming changes ensures that patients calling in, or a prospective patient who may be calling to schedule an operation, are routed to the right department the first time around.
 

“On the IT side, ShoreTel made it very easy to work with the different departments to set up their call trees and customize phone features to meet the specific needs of each department. You don’t have to have 30 years of phone experience to create very layered and detailed call trees,” comments Lowe. “Ultimately a phone system should take your customer to exactly where he or she wants to go with no interruptions or hiccups. The ShoreTel phone system delivers as promised.”

Our users save time looking through their contact list for phone numbers because they can save groups and customize ShoreTel Communicator on their PC by adding frequently called numbers – actually there’s really no limit to how a user can customize their phones. Those features may only save seconds, but seconds turn into hours that can be spent more productively,” says Lowe.

“I would definitely recommend ShoreTel, not only in a health care environment, but for any business of any size that doesn’t have a big budget but considers communication to be vital to their departments. ShoreTel is a very good tool and a high-quality product,” concludes Lowe.

“WE’RE A HOSPITAL. IT’S FAST-PACED. OUR USERS DON’T WANT A THOUSAND BUTTONS TO PUSH TO TRANSFER A CALL. THAT’S ANOTHER REASON WHY WE CHOSE SHORETEL.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta is a community hospital with 110 beds and 950 employees. The hospital is a full-service medical facility. To ensure the best possible patient care, and enable workflow among nurses, doctors, and patients, choosing the right phone system was essential.

SOLUTION:

  • With a small in-house IT staff, the hospital needed a telephony solution that was reliable and easy to manage. ShoreTel’s system redundancy, ease of programmability, and robust features were just what the doctor ordered.

BENEFITS:

  • Redundancy in case of an unplanned outage
  • Ease of programming and call tree setup
  • Money saved on an FTE telephony specialist
  • Increased productivity via timesaving features