Covenant Health

Advances in communication technology have made it easier for organizations to connect people and departments, with one caveat: the technology needs to be the right fit. For Covenant Health, partnering with WGTech has been the key to success for implementing Cisco gear across three of its large health organizations.

Covenant Health is a regional health delivery network with hospitals, nursing centers, assisted living residencies, and community-based health programs throughout New England. Rich Chapman, System Director, Network Operations chose WGTech to select and deploy the Cisco Unified Communications platform at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, NH and St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, ME. It also helped to convert Nashua’s St. Joseph Healthcare from an end-of-life Siemens system to Cisco. Together, these three locations have more than 450 beds, numerous physician practices, and community and specialty services.

“We are a Cisco shop – it is a leading enterprise system, and we have decided to convert across the board. WGTech has a lot of experience with Cisco and with our hospitals,” says Chapman, noting that WGTech served the hospitals individually before they became part of the Covenant network.

Cisco’s Unified Communications platform brings people together anytime, anywhere, and on any device using integrated collaboration infrastructure for voice and video calling, messaging, and mobility. For Covenant, the call center capabilities presented significant efficiencies.

“We do 90 percent of our business over the phone,” says Chapman. “Our demographic is aging, and they are more comfortable talking over the phone than going online. With Cisco CCX, we are able to get the calls where they need to be quicker.”

With programmable call trees, staff is freed from answering and transferring routine calls. Before, they had to wait for someone to answer the phone and get transferred to the right person. With the Cisco system, patients can get right to a person who can help them renew a prescription, make an appointment, or check on billing. “Patients are happy – they can get where they want to go much quicker,” he says.

The technology also benefits Covenant. Not only does it free staff from managing initial call screening, the Cisco system also delivers useful data such as number of calls to each provider, call type, and length of call. “This helps us staff our sites because we can track stats across sites,” says Chapman. “When you see documentation of when calls come in, how long people are on the phone, and how long they have to wait on hold, it’s much easier to staff appropriately. We are saving money and the patients are happier.”

WGTech also has helped Covenant deploy Jabber, a Cisco mobility platform that enables staff to use one extension no matter where they happen to be, including at home, a different location on campus, or even at a different Covenant hospital.

Combined with Cisco Active Directory integration, Covenant staff can quickly and easily find other people within the system. “You find someone in the directory and can click to dial from any Cisco phone,” says Chapman.

The partnership with WGTech has enabled Covenant to stay on top of what could be a complex project. “WGTech staff meet with us almost every week to plan implementation, keep documentation up to date, and develop communication that we can share with directors and staff,” says Chapmen. “WGTech keeps us in line and moving forward with the project.”

And when the work is done?

“WGTech has always been there for me. They don’t drop a project and go – they are true to their word,” says Chapman. “They are more of a strategic partner than a vendor, and that is what you need in this business. They understand us and they look out for our best interest. WGTech is a partner for the long haul.”

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