Frequently Asked Questions

What is On Call Central?

On Call Central is a Web-based medical answering service that tracks, routes and archives patient calls, physician responses and post-call patient directives. Using the latest technology to eliminate communication breakdowns, On Call Central improves patient care while protecting your practice from the risk associated with after-hours calls.

How is On Call Central different from a traditional medical answering services?

Traditional physician answering services are unreliable. Messages get relayed incorrectly, phone numbers get transposed and urgent calls are often misrouted. In addition, poorly-trained phone operators may result in inappropriate or inconsistent patient care that creates unnecessary risk for physicians.

On Call Central improves patient quality of care by enabling direct communication that’s secure, protected and private. We place management of after-hour calls in your capable hands – and put the patient in charge of relaying their own message and contact information.

Our reliable system lets you set up call receiving and routing protocols that are always strictly followed. Urgent calls are relayed instantly, patient messages are always recorded and you have the option of recording and archiving live calls with patients. This translates to less risk for your practice and better, more responsive care for your patients.

How do I manage my On Call Central system?

On Call Central can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection or via any authorized device (eg: cell phone). After securely logging in, our intuitive, easy-to-use Web interface allows you to control all system settings, including the call schedule, call routing logic, device preferences and so forth. You can also access a complete log of time-stamped inbound and outbound calls, listen to new voicemails or recorded archives and view, manage and print your personal call schedule.

Can I make scheduling changes over the phone?

Yes. On Call Central is accessible via any authorized device, including cellular phones. When calling into your account, On Call Central automatically takes you into your voicemail menu, and one of the options is to change the on-call personnel. On Call Central will allow you to change who is on-call for the current call shift. When the next call shift begins, On Call Central automatically reverts back your call schedule.

Are the call routing capabilities flexible?

Extremely flexible. Your established call routing sequences are enhanced by the ability to forward or re-route calls as desired. Need another physician to take your calls for an hour or two? No problem. Simply login to On Call Central and enter your changes. And, there’s no limit to how many routing changes you can make. You can even specify how to receive notification of patient messages, such as by pager or as a text message on your cell phone.

What if I prefer to be called when I have a message?

On Call Central can automatically call your cellular or landline phone whenever a patient has left a message. And if you choose to be notified in this manner, On Call Central will even allow you to return your patient’s call with a single button push. (Automatic callback ID blocking ensures that your private telephone numbers are always protected.)

What are my notification options?

At On Call Central, we understand that notification preferences vary from person to person. That’s why every on-call personnel has the ability to choose the manner in which they are notified, for each notification attempt. You can choose to be notified by phone call, text message, pager, and email.

Our group practice has a rotating call schedule. How does that work?

On Call Central makes it easy to set up a call schedule for your multi-physician practice and modify it as needed. Because the system automatically knows which doctor is on call, you’ll never get a 2:00am call that’s meant for your colleague.

A simple drag and drop interface lets you define a call schedule template for your practice, and drag the right physician to the right day. Managing and modifying the call schedule for an entire month can literally be done in less than minute.

Does On Call Central support multiple call schedules and departments?

Yes. On Call Central supports multiple departments and call schedules. We make it easy to direct callers to the right department, and then if needed, contact the person on-call for that department.

Can I have more than one voice greeting?

Yes. On Call Central allows you to have multiple voice menus (lunch, overflow, daytime, after-hours, inclement weather, etc.). Not only do the menus sound differently, but they can also function differently. You can even schedule in advance, when you want your greetings to play (eg: play lunch greeting from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, Mondays – Fridays).

How does On Call Central handle urgent calls?

On Call Central allows you to create a customized phone tree that allows you to determine which calls are of a highest priority before you even retrieve a patient’s voicemail or return their phone call. For example, if a patient selects an option that sends them down a high priority portion of your phone tree (e.g. “Press 1 if you are in labor”), you can receive a text message appropriate for the situation (e.g. “URGENT: Patient in labor”). Non-urgent options within your phone tree can send you messages such as “Medication refill.”

Do I need special equipment to use On Call Central?

No. On Call Central is deployed as a Web-based software-as-a-service application so there’s no need to install or maintain any software or hardware. On Call Central supports the communication devices you’re already using on a daily basis, including numeric and alphanumeric pagers, land lines, and cell phones (we can even send text messages to your cell phone).

Is my patient data protected?

Absolutely. On Call Center has been built from the group up with security in mind. We use a robust, reliable and redundant data center that utilizes the latest security standards to secure your patient data against unauthorized access. These multi-layer security safeguards are designed to help you meet your obligations under HIPAA.

All Web traffic is served over a connection that has 256-bit data encryption, the highest level of commercially-available data encryption. In addition to unique usernames and passwords, each On Call Central account is set up with an exclusive sub-domain (e.g. https://www.your_practice.oncallcentral.com) to further enhance security.

Where is your data center located?

On Call Central is hosted in Atlanta, Georgia in the AtlantaNAP.  AtlantaNAP is designed for a secure environment, with biometric surveillance for data center access, fire suppression technologies, security cameras and 24/7 security.

Our server runs a RAID10 configuration, which means that a hard drive can fail without having any impact on the system. Additionally, drives are hot swappable and can be replaced without powering down the server. The server also has redundant power supplies.

Is my privacy protected? (I don’t want patients to know my home phone number.)

Of course. Automatic callback ID blocking ensures that your private telephone numbers are always protected. On Call Central automatically displays the number of your office or any other number you choose as the caller-ID.

I would like to bill for certain after hours phone calls. Can On Call Central help?

On Call Central provides permanent MP3 audio documentation along with dates, timestamps, call durations, and phone numbers. This documentation enables you to bill for calls.

How does On Call Central reduce my risk?

There are many ways that On Call Central reduces physician risk. The system creates a searchable call/callback archive, optionally stores recordings of live phone calls and allows you to record dictations documenting your patient directives. In potential malpractice situations, this eliminates the ‘your word against mine’ conflict by providing exculpatory evidence that supports your position in the claim.

Does the system timestamp my calls?

Yes. On Call Central timestamps both incoming patient calls as well as outgoing responses to those calls. Your call log will note the time that an outgoing call was placed, even if you’re unable to reach the patient. This provides documentation of a good faith effort to return the call.

Does it record my calls/conversations with patients?

That’s up to you. On Call Central can record all calls, no calls or only designated calls/conversations. For example, you might want to record your calls to patient, but not physician consults. These flexible recording options make it easy to manage your risk using procedures that make sense for your given situation. Plus, flexible archiving options let you decide how long to archive recorded calls.

Note: On Call Central automatically notifies patients when calls are being recorded to keep you in compliance with Federal and State call recording laws.

Can On Call Central handle overflow calls?

Yes. On Call Central has helped businesses lower their call abandonment rates by implementing customized solutions that handle overflow traffic. Contact us today to learn about our solutions.