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N.J. Nonprofit Sets New Standard for Senior Care with Intelligent Communications from Avaya

Frances E. Parker Home uses Avaya IP Office to support its growing operations and speed the delivery of critical care

Providing exceptional care is an imperative for Frances E. Parker Home – a growing New Jersey-based senior care provider with assisted living and nursing facilities in Piscataway and New Brunswick. When the organization decided to upgrade its communications infrastructure to bring new efficiencies to its operations, tools for providing prompt and effective response to residents and their families were at the top of the requirements list.

Frances E. Parker Home selected a new IP telephony network from Avaya Inc., a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services. Designed by Consolidated Technologies Inc., a member of Avaya’s BusinessPartner program, the new network is based on Avaya IP Office, a secure, easy-to-use converged voice and data system for small and medium offices.

Though the organization began with an IP Office system for each of two facilities, two more were added recently to support a new assisted living facility and wellness center. Each of the systems is linked in a seamless network for organization-wide four-digit dialing and centralized voicemail.

The built-in wireless capabilities of Avaya IP Office are helping Frances E. Parker Home make a positive impact on the care it delivers to residents. Now, when a patient presses a “Personal Emergency Response System” button to call for assistance, a message is routed immediately to the wireless phones carried by the nursing staff.

“Since the message goes to a wireless phone instead of a central nurses’ station, we can respond to critical situations more quickly and deliver better service,” said Norman Hale, director, plant operations, Frances E. Parker Homes. “I use a wireless phone as well, and I’ve found it to be really seamless. If someone dials my office number, the call will also ring on my wireless phone whether I’m at the Piscataway campus or working in New Brunswick instead.”

The same wireless capability supports the convenient wireless headsets used by members of the Frances E. Parker Home administrative team, as well as the wireless laptops used by staff members and residents – enabling them to communicate from anywhere in the facility and eliminating the need to hardwire rooms for Internet access.

Major benefits also have been realized by making changes in how calls are routed.

“Previously incoming calls were answered by a concierge or operator and then routed out to the appropriate member of the team,” Hale said. “With IP Office, it is now possible to dial a resident or staff member directly. We’ve reduced the number of calls answered by an operator by about 80% and have freed up that staff member’s time for other administrative work.”

Since IP Office supports IP, digital and analog phones, residents simply bring a phone along when they move to a Frances E. Parker facility and plug it in when they settle into their new room. Hale and his team assign a personal number and use Avaya software to track usage and bill residents monthly.

All four Avaya IP Office systems are centrally administered so that new users can be added or system settings changed without having to visit each location. Hale and his team can even dial in remotely to manage air conditioning and security systems.

That same flexibility extends to the desktop. Using Avaya IP Office Phone Manager Pro, employees can use a personal computer to control the functions of their phone. They can set up conference calls, manage their voicemail, route messages to an individual or group, dial calls with the click of a mouse, and even see information on incoming callers before they answer – helping them to personalize their response.

“Avaya IP Office has provided us with a solid platform for growing our operations, working more efficiently, and providing exceptional service to our residents and their families,” Hale said.