Name: Human Services, Inc.
Service: Outpatient Mental Health
Size: 250 employees, 12 locations
Location: Chester County, PA
Challenge: HSI needed to provide its mobile staff members with easy access to client calls and messages while traveling between the agency’s facilities. Consistent person-centered communication for its clients and clinicians is paramount to its service base.
Human Services, Inc. (HSI) is a community services agency with 12 locations in Chester County, PA. HSI specializes in outpatient mental health and has been serving consumers for more than 35 years. The agency operates numerous facilities, including safe havens for homeless women and supported-living residential homes for special needs clients.
HSI’s counselors needed easy access to client calls and messages while traveling between the agency’s facilities. Special needs clients require treatment at HSI’s residential homes, but counselors were hesitant to leave their offices for fear they might miss critical phone calls. Since counselors could not provide treatment at the facilities, clients were forced to come to them. “It has been very difficult for consumers with special needs to leave our residential facilities to see their clinicians,” explains Karen Smith, HSI’s fiscal/IT supervisor.
In addition to giving mobile staff members access to client calls while in the field, HSI also needed to distribute call volume evenly across the company’s offices. And in order to become HIPAA compliant, the agency planned to implement a new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. With these challenges in mind, Karen Smith began searching for an affordable and manageable phone solution that would help HSI solve all of its problems.
Before HSI implemented Broadview’s award-winning cloud-based IP phone solution, OfficeSuite®, clients often received automated answering and voicemail rather than connecting personally with their counselors. “Given the nature of our business, we always want our clients to be able to reach their counselors — not sitting on hold,” says Smith. HSI had previously relied on Verizon for their business communications needs; but after discovering that Broadview’s solution was the answer to all their problems, HSI switched their entire agency to OfficeSuite.
Thanks to OfficeSuite®, HSI’s staff members are more in touch with their special needs clients. Counselors can now move from treatment center to treatment center while continuing to manage such daily activities as taking phone calls and communicating with clients or other HSI employees using e-mail. “By allowing our mobile case managers to respond personally and in a timely manner to their consumers’ needs, Broadview has enabled HSI to have personal contact with every consumer no matter his or her location,” asserts Smith.
OfficeSuite’s mobility features are vital for HSI to successfully execute their critical services. The system’s mobile twinning feature enables counselors’ incoming calls to ring simultaneously at their office phones and cell phones, allowing counselors to be untethered from their desks and ensuring that they’ll never miss critical calls. OfficeSuite has made clinicians more productive and available to clients while in the field and has eliminated the need for them to give out personal cell phone numbers. OfficeSuite’s Hot Desking feature allows staff members to log into any phone in any office and use the phone just like it was their own — same extension, same voicemail, same settings. The entire agency now has the flexibility to travel between offices and facilities without any strain on IT resources.
Since some offices are busier than others, managing call volume was another pain point for HSI. With OfficeSuite®, they can shift calls from busy offices to offices that can handle the calls right away. Doing this allows busier office receptionists to handle clients in person rather than field calls. Now receptionists can schedule appointments in one office and help clients in person at another, which has dramatically increased productivity. Smith explains, “We have seen major improvements in productivity by switching from our old system to OfficeSuite®, which is phenomenal. We looked at our previous bill and did an analysis, and we are also coming out to a good cost-savings.”
Smith was able to overcome all of HSI’s challenges with OfficeSuite®. It has given the agency instant mobility for its counselors and increased productivity for its office staff. In addition, OfficeSuite® has made it possible for HSI to focus on implementing its new EMR system.
“OfficeSuite® has given us mobility and flexibility right out of the box. Not only are our clinicians’ jobs now 100% easier, but OfficeSuite® has also enabled the entire organization to serve our clients better. It would have cost us three times as much to accomplish this with our previous company, and it would have made our EMR project a much more daunting task,” says Smith.
“With our new phone system, our clinicians now have access to all their incoming office phone calls and voicemail while out in the field. It has made all the difference in enabling them to be in the community physically working face-to-face with consumers. We went from no mobility to having our staff meeting consumers 75% of the time.