SAN JOSE, Calif. and COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 22 /PRNewswire/ --
When an expecting mother wakes at 3:00 am with a voracious appetite for a
tuna and pickle relish sandwich, her first question isn't "wheat or rye?"
It's more likely to be, "Which tuna is safest for my unborn baby?" And the
first person they'll want to ask isn't their sleeping husband; it's their
doctor. A quick call to the office of their OB/GYN provider will usually be
answered by an after-hours answering service, which will then page the
designated on-call doctor with the culinary question. Questions such as
these, both urgent and non-urgent, make for sleepless nights when you're
the doctor on call.
Back in 2002, OB/GYN nurses Laura Hagler and Anne Afshari were working
late at Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO when they
noticed a harried doctor answering call after call that could have easily
been answered by a nurse. "You should let us answer those questions,"
suggested Afshari and Hagler.
And a beautiful business was conceived on the spot.
Today, three years later, founders Afshari and Hagler operate
Exclusively RNs(TM) (http://www.exclusivelyrns.com), the country's first
OB/GYN answering service staffed entirely by registered nurses who
specialize in women's health. The company has grown quickly. Starting with
that first client, the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company now serves
over 50 OB/GYN providers in Colorado and Arizona.
Their successful service fields over 1,500 calls per month employing a
flexible home-based workforce of 23 professional registered nurses
available to answer the tuna fish call as well as more serious yet common
emergency triage questions related to high risk pregnancies, bleeding or
contractions. Nurses utilize a complete book of decision trees and
protocols, written by Afshari & Hagler, to triage calls according to what
each provider has personally approved.
The easiest part of starting the business, according to Afshari, was
the concept: They saw an opportunity to dramatically improve the quality
and responsiveness of patient care, while at the same time freeing doctors
from repetitive yet important calls that can often be better answered by a
The challenging part of the business, however, was how to implement a
distributed communications system that would automatically route incoming
calls to their team of at-home nurses around the country, not all of which
are on-call at the same time.
They decided to implement a hosted PBX phone service, which could
perform sophisticated call routing to their nurses, regardless of location.
With a virtual company such as theirs, traditional on-premises PBX phone
systems were out of the question, because calls needed to be routed around
the country in real time. And, at starting prices of up to $100,000 for
such complex equipment, not to mention the hassle and expense of managing
such equipment, an on-premises PBX wasn't practical.
Yet they still required features common with these expensive systems,
such as multiple extensions, automated voice response, conferencing,
automated call distribution (ACD) queuing, non-stop availability and
reliability, music on hold, "follow-me" call forwarding to both cell phones
and land line phones, and automatic cell phone text messaging notifications
of queued incoming calls.
Their first hosted PBX service proved to be unreliable and poorly
supported. And then shortly after Exclusively RNs implemented the system,
the provider decided to perform unscheduled maintenance on their servers in
the middle of the night.
"We work after-hours, when other businesses are sleeping," says Hagler.
"When the provider brought down their servers, we were unable to answer
patient calls for six hours. Worse yet, when the provider took their
service off-line, they also disconnected their technical support number, so
we had no way to reach them!" Needless to say, Hagler quickly cancelled
that service and searched for a more reliable alternative.
After conducting thorough research, she chose Virtual PBX
(http://www.virtualpbx.com) of San Jose, Calif., the company who originated
and pioneered hosted PBX services starting in 1997.
"We found Virtual PBX to be superior in all areas, especially in
reliability, features, and quality of customer service. The people at
Virtual PBX have been attentive to our questions, and have helped us easily
fine-tune the system to meet our exact clients' needs."
Operation of the Virtual PBX system is straightforward. Exclusively
RNs' clients simply forward their calls to Exclusively RNs' after hours, on
weekends, or any other time. Exclusively RNs' nurses, who sign in to the
system via a web-based interface prior to their shifts, take the calls as
they come in, providing around-the-clock patient coverage, 365 days per
year. Exclusively RNs' nurses triage the calls, and successfully resolve
over 99.4% of all patient inquiries.
Patients like the service, because they get instant answers to their
questions without having to wait hours for a doctor's response to their
questions when the office is closed. And in case of an emergency, such as a
patient going into labor, Exclusively RNs' nurses coordinate with the
hospital, doctors and emergency services so that patients receive the best
service possible when they arrive at the hospital.
Doctors love the service too. Dr. Donald Aptekar, 58, a physician at
Partners in Women's Health (http://www.piwh.yourmd.com) in Denver, CO, says
he wouldn't still be practicing medicine if it weren't for Exclusively RNs
and Virtual PBX.
A few years ago, Dr. Aptekar seriously considered leaving medicine
because of the constant after-hours stress of fielding calls at all hours
of the night.
"There's no doubt in my mind that the Exclusively RNs service has
prolonged my medical career," says Dr. Aptekar, who has been a client of
Exclusively RNs since 2003. "It has definitely restored my joy of
practicing medicine. When I walk into the office after a night on-call, I'm
well rested and alert for my patients because I know the night's calls have
been professionally answered with care and compassion."
Dr. Aptekar's patients are certainly thrilled that he hasn't retired
yet. After all, Dr. Aptekar was voted Denver's best OB/GYN in 2002 by
readers of Denver's famous 5280 Magazine, so named for the altitude of the
"My patients love the Exclusively RNs service," adds Dr. Aptekar. "The
service provides my patients direct, 24X7 access to a team of friendly,
caring and professionally trained labor and delivery nurses who
successfully triage and answer over 99% of patient questions. Many of my
patients actually wait until after hours to ask their questions because
they trust and appreciate the knowledge of Exclusively RNs' nurses."
With satisfied clients such as Dr. Aptekar, Exclusively RNs' Hagler and
Afshari have big plans for their budding business.
"We're growing quickly as word gets out about our unique service," says
Hagler, "and we have plans to expand nationwide. We've only scraped the
surface of what's possible with Virtual PBX. The service is packed with
dozens of professional quality features, and it's so easy to use and
affordable I can't imagine running my business without it."
About Virtual PBX
Virtual PBX pioneered the hosted PBX market, introducing the first
service of its class in 1997. Virtual PBX utilizes the public switched
telephone network and the Internet to provide PBX functionality as a hosted
service. The three primary customers for Virtual PBX services include small
businesses that want full PBX functionality without the capital and support
expense of installed equipment; companies of any size that need to route
calls to telecommuters or other employees outside of a main office; and
enterprises looking for phone system disaster recovery solutions.
Additional information about Virtual PBX can be found at
http://www.virtualpbx.com or by calling 888-825-0800.
NOTE: VirtualPBX.com is a registered trademark and Virtual PBX is a
trademark of VirtualPBX.com, Inc.
Dovetail Public Relations
VP of Marketing
(888) 825-0800 x333
SOURCE Virtual PBX