Fayetteville VAMC Veterans and staff have more to cheer about as a project to fully replace the existing telephone switchboard with a new $1.7 million voice system is slated to kick off this September, ending a three-year wait.
Installation of the private branch exchange (PBX) system is another critical step toward providing high quality communication systems in support of growth and expansion projects planned for the Fayetteville VA Medical Center campus, two new health care centers and new community based outpatient clinics. The PBX installation will encompass voice systems at the Public Works Commission located on Hay Street, the Village Green Annex and the Veteran Center on Ramsey Street.
“We believe this expandable state-of-the-art voice system will provide Veterans, staff, administration and clinicians servicing our Veterans in the greater Fayetteville community quite well for sometime into the future,” said Matthew Hammaker, National Voice Systems Project Manager for VA Central Office.
Hammaker added that the new NEC SV8500 and SV8300 voice systems will provide new functionality to greatly improve medical care response time for patient service delivery and improve staff efficiency.
For the medical and support staff, new user phone features like ease of operation, voicemail, auto attendant, automated call distribution and better support will be added locally and available in all other clinic locations.
The system will also add unique capabilities for the information technology managers.
According to Marine Corps Veteran John Syme, Fayetteville VAMC Telecom Manager, facility systems managers can look forward to new call accounting tools to provide management with call statistics, monitoring and traffic analysis as well as power failure recovery when needed during an emergency. The PBX, using Voice over Internet Protocol capabilities, will communicate through existing data circuits and bypass publically switched phone systems that will provide significant cost savings.
“The new phone system provides us the up-to-date tools necessary to bridge the communications gap with our Veterans,” said Syme. “It still relies on a robust and adequate workforce to field the calls and address the needs of our Veterans.”
The PBX installation is being contracted with Standard Communications, Inc. a Virginia-based service disabled, veteran-owned small business. They are currently supporting more than 100,000 telephones at 220 VA locations and several other Federal agencies across the country.
“I was delighted to see the level of commitment from the Fayetteville VAMC staff at the kickoff meeting,” said company president and Navy Veteran John Moliere. “Elizabeth Goolsby (Fayetteville VAMC Director) and her senior staff understood this project affects each and every member of the administration and clinical staff and she promised to make this project successful. We look forward to working with the Fayetteville folks to make this the most successful installation and cutover we ever undertook.”
The new phone system is expected to be installed by March of 2013.