Cloud PBX Phone Systems for Healthcare, GPs and Doctors


The healthcare sector relies heavily on real-time communication. Whether it’s to share critical information about a patient or a treatment or to order medicine, medical staff are always reaching for the phone. 

As we all know, a busy phone is an expensive phone. A stiff phone bill is just the start. Very often, traditional phones also lack the features required for effective group collaboration, meetings and data-sharing. As a result, many medical professionals are now turning to cloud PBX as a cheaper, more flexible option to support the future of their practice.

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Why do medical practices need cloud phone systems?

There are several important reasons why medical practices need a better alternative to analog phones. The main issues with older systems are costs and their inability to meet modern communication needs. 

One of the best choices is a newer kind of technology, like VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or cloud PBX. The main benefits they offer to GPs and other medical professionals are drastically reduced communication costs and keeping everyone on the same page. 

The latter is critical in this environment, where information tends to update or change rapidly.

Do GP surgeries use VoIP or Cloud PBX?

GP surgeries are fast moving away from traditional phone networks and switching over to cutting-edge options like cloud PBX and VoIP, but which option is the most popular choice and why?

There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s a matter of personal preference and what works for the individual medical practice. In other words, some doctors prefer VoIP phones, while others choose cloud PBX.

What are the challenges of phone communication within the healthcare industry?

As we’ll soon see, the challenges of phone communication within the medical field aren’t limited to high costs. Outdated phone systems are bogged down with several issues. 

In other occupations, these problems might, at worst, just waste time; but when critical information is delayed or lost in the healthcare industry, it can prevent timely treatments and even endanger the safety of patients.

Manual Alerts Pose a Security Risk

Since it’s not feasible to call everyone in the office (or the entire hospital) on their old, analog office phone and give them the latest memo, medical practices with outdated phone systems tend to print notices which are then circulated throughout the workplace or pinned to a message board. 

When a notice that contains sensitive information is stolen or lost, it can pose a serious security breach.

Some cloud PBX software comes with alerts and notifications that will instantly send a message to everyone’s emails. This provides management with a safer way to update staff with the information that is meant for their eyes only.


Difficulty Delivering the Right Information to the Right Person

It’s not uncommon for medical practices to have overly busy days. Between patients calling, dealing with people standing at the reception counter, receiving and unpacking supply deliveries and emergencies, it’s easy for information to take a wrong turn somewhere and end up on the wrong desk. 

Indeed, it’s a well-known problem in the medical world to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. While frazzled and overworked minds do contribute, the main problem is an ineffective phone system that doesn’t allow staff direct contact with the right individual or department. 

Cloud PBX enables users to quickly transfer outside callers to the right person within the practice, or for doctors and their staff to directly contact each other.

Traditional Phones Don’t Support Remote Work

When a traditional phone system is installed in the office, that’s where it stays. When doctors or staff need to make a business call outside the office or work from home, they have to rely on their own personal phones, laptops and communications software. 

Cloud PBX is popular for many reasons, but its excellent support for remote work is perhaps one of its greatest features. 

Besides making things easier for remote employees, the system can also allow GPs to give consultations from home or when they step out of the office, the receptionist can forward important calls to the doctor’s cloud-enabled phone.


Insufficient Emergency Response

The “emergency” in this case isn’t medical, per se. A GP’s office or hospital is just as vulnerable to fires and natural disasters as any other place. 

A traditional phone system can certainly be used to call the police, but cloud PBX comes with a feature called Emergency Calling which also sends the caller’s location to first responders. Knowing where you are could be a life-saving nugget of information when time is of the essence. 

A natural disaster or power outage might also wipe out a traditional PBX system or an old-school copper-line phone network. Since cloud PBX is run off-site by a hosting service, it will still allow you to make calls as long as you have a stable internet connection.

Failover Redundancy

VoIP and Cloud PBX systems are 100% IP based and therefore are able to have multiple redundancies built in throughout the system that would not normally be available in an analog or legacy system. 

When considering critical voice communication, medical facilities need to consider failover points through their entire network. Thankfully, today, products such as dual redundancy routers and broadband exist. Hosted cloud PBX have multiple backups in terms of power and connectivity and this all comes together to allow for a much more robust solution. 

It is very important that any medical facility considers uptime as important as ongoing costs in their buying decision.


What are the key features needed from a cloud phone system in medical practices?

Cloud PBX offers many useful features, but for medical practices in particular, the key features you need to consider include those that streamline collaboration, virtual meetings, instant alerts, call forwarding, auto attendant, call queuing, analytics and remote capabilities.

Best cloud phone systems for healthcare

Yealink T40G Entry Level IP Phone

The Yealink T40G phone is perfect for the busy office. This feature-rich VoIP device streamlines daily operations and communications. The phone is user-friendly and secure (it uses industry-standard encryption protocols) and software updates are done automatically and remotely by your hosting service.  

Some popular features include rapid call handling, call transfer, programmable keys that offer productivity-enhancing features, like SCA and BLF, HD sound and visual quality, and Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Yealink T48S Executive Touch Screen IP Phone

The T48S Executive IP Phone is designed for professionals and comes with dynamic features that can streamline the workload of a GP’s office. Switching between these applications is made easy by the T48S’s large touch screen. 

The phone also incorporates HD Voice technology, a wideband codec of Opus for excellent audio clarity, quick call handling and compatibility with Bluetooth USB and Wi-Fi USB dongles. Other noteworthy features include headset and Skype compatibility, angle adjustment, wall mountability and 16 VoIP accounts.

Yealink W53P Business IP DECT Phone

If your practice needs a portable cloud phone, the W53P Business IP DECT phone offers great benefits. Once charged, the handset has 18 hours of talk time before it needs to be recharged. When left on standby, you can expect a lifetime of roughly 200 hours.

The W53P recharges quickly and can also be used in a hands-free manner (just plug in a headset). This VoIP phone stays operational for up to 300 metres from its central point.

Yealink T58A Multimedia Video Phone

The T58A Multimedia Phone is a smart media phone rich in sound and colour. It’s based on the Android 5.1.1 operating system and comes with features that include a detachable 2MP HD camera, a 7″ adjustable touch screen, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a built-in web browser, a recorder and support for third-party applications. 

Overall, this phone offers an all-in-one communications solution for busy remote workers, office staff and doctors.

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What are the benefits of cloud phone systems in healthcare?

The healthcare sector faces many communication problems. The good news is that most can be solved or reduced by the benefits of cloud phone systems

Firstly, there are financial implications. Cloud PBX reduces costs so much that any business, not just doctors, that switches to this system can communicate more freely than ever. 

Another way this system is more cost-effective is the fact that cloud PBX is maintained by your host provider at little or no cost to you. Most repairs are also done remotely, so your office will almost never be disturbed by expensive or messy maintenance guys. 

Cloud PBX networks are also easy to scale, regardless of whether your practice is expanding or downsizing. Unlike traditional systems, you can easily add or remove the number of phones and applications you need.

In general, cloud PBX eliminates all the hurdles of traditional phones and replaces them with features that can optimise the three pillars of any successful practice; time, workflow and communication.

How United Telecoms can help the Healthcare sector

When your medical practice reaches the point where it becomes clear that a traditional phone network is holding you back, change is needed. 

But even though you might realise this, switching your entire communications network to the cloud can still feel like a big leap. How do you jump to the cloud? Where do you begin? 

United Telecoms can take the guesswork out of this transition. Our team of experts can help you to understand the full scope of your communication needs through our site assessment services. Contact us for more information on how we can build the best plan for your medical practice.

Got questions? Contact our experts today.


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