VOIP in Healthcare – Version 1.0

Since my post about 5 weeks ago on the SwitchVox PBX .. lots has happened .. including at least one patient who decided to leave the practice because our phone system was broken .. and many more who were frustrated .. and a sleepless night or two for me.

The story will be told – but I don't have the time (or the typing skills to tell it now). 

Short version:

  • VOIP has a rolein healthcare are and will improve patient care and service.
  • SwitchVox is good software. Not great (yet) but quite good.
  • Four Loop Technologies (developers of SwitchVox) is an excellent company and their tech support is extraordinary.  Even with good software – there needs to be good support.
  • Time Warner Telecom has very good 24 x 7 tech support.
  • After several weeks of post-live troubleshooting  (after weeks of beta testing) … The SwitchVox team determined that the Time Warner Telecom hardware  was sending out-of-spec ISDN messages to the PBX.  Since SV is based on Asterisk – this problem would occur in any environment running Asterisk.  Our problem was that the system would disconnect calls.  At first it seemed random – but eventually we figured out that it was happening only on outgoing calls that went through the IDSN PRI circuit.  So I routed all outgoing calls through VOIP providers for a few weeks while we sorted things out.  Brian, from SV's tech support team, was able to log in to our server, log the errors and then patch Asterisk so that it ignored the out-of-spec messages coming in from the Time Warner hardware.  (and that's the short version!)