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Healthcare System Improves Efficiencies with VoIP and Unified Communications Solutions

    TERACAI teams with Catholic Health

    Knowing the need for increased stability and effectiveness in its phone systems, Catholic Health worked with TERACAI’s team of engineers to develop a plan for implementation to ensure a seamless cutover of new VoIP phone systems across the hospital network.


    In this short video, Peter Capelli, Chief Information Security Officer and Vice President for Networking Infrastructure at Catholic Health, explains how TERACAI helped with the design architecture of the solution.


Learn how the Catholic Health team achieved these outcomes:

  • New functionality of phone system allowing clinicians to spend more time with patients at the bedside
  • Increased flexibility of moves, adds, and changes with phones across all locations
  • Improved operational efficiencies and communications between hospital stakeholders
  • Redundancy across data centers and in hospitals to ensure uptime
  • Reduced telephony costs due to streamlined systems and decreased need for external support
  • Minimized need for day-to-day maintenance, enabling IT staff to spend time on new projects


Read the whole case study here.


Catholic Health is a four hospital system in western New York. We employ about 8,500 people and we provide primary care services, long-term care services, acute care services to all of Western New York.


Our main project with TERACAI was our voice over IP implementation. Before that, we had mostly old PBX systems that were split across our four different campuses, four different systems, all of which were not supported anymore.


We had to reboot our phone systems about four times a day to keep them stable, so as you can understand, a hospital, its lifeline is its phone systems. People call the hospital all the time. They call the emergency department. They call the labs for their lab services. We had to really make sure that our telecommunication services were spot on and 100% available.


One of the major things that we've installed is instant messaging across the system. That was a brand new operating environment for our employees. Online voice mail was a very important part. Four to five digit dialing is an important part. Just being able to pick up a phone and move it from one place to the other place without having to call a telecom guy to program it up was also an important piece.


Having a strong network component, horizontal network component with TERACAI and a strong voice over IP component with TERACAI, we were able to reach out and bring in all of our different lab systems, our lab environments, our long-term care environments, all on the same functionality from a phone perspective.


In our Buffalo Emergency Department, we use Cisco wireless phones that are integrated with our nurse call system. The clinicians get paged when somebody presses a button, needs water, whatnot. Clinical lab values also these wireless phones, and they use them as they walk around the facility to make sure that they can be more available to the patients as opposed to sitting at the nurse stations. They're now out on the floor more often, closer to the patient, providing the patient with much better service and communication with their caregivers.


We used Jabber continuously to make sure that we stay on top of communicating with each other, no matter where we are, across the system, even though we are just a regional system. It saves a lot of driving time and makes sure that we stay in contact with each other and are able to communicate in a way that maybe wasn't facilitated so easily by a telephone call or an email message.


Once we have the communications systems out to the clinical areas, like Jabber, we feel like that's going to change a huge amount of the way that they do business at the bedside. Once the nurses can Jabber not only on their PCs but on their phones, we feel that's going to be a great opportunity for them to, again, spend more time at the bedside. It's all about getting the clinicians right next to the bedside and not at the nurses' station or at doctors' waiting room.


The collaboration is enabling the IT department to let our clinicians do what they need to do without getting bogged down by technology that doesn't work in their benefit. We recently moved to WebEx, and that's changed the way that we've done training. It's changed the way that we've done communication. The ability to integrate video and voice and sharing documents has really modified the way that we've done business as an organization.


TERACAI helped us with the initial design, architecture of the solution. They also helped us with the installation of the solution and training and overall project management for the implementation


We knew that we had a partner that we could rely on that had been there and done that before. That was a real comfort for us to know that they had the experience in the implementation that we didn't have as an organization. Only having done it once, we didn't want to make mistakes. We wanted to be able to leverage their experience in having done dozens of installs prior to ours.


Brought our first cut-over at Buffalo Mercy Hospital for voice over IP. It went extremely smoothly. We did it in one night, and we don't feel that we could have done that and had that minimal impact for end users unless we had used TERACAI’s services to assist us with training of end users, with the deployment of the phones, and with the overall project management that we received from them.


We do have staff on board that understand the VoIP system, but they don't have the experience with the installations that TERACAI’s engineers have, so it was very vital to us to be able to leverage that as part of our implementation, and ongoing support.