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Chapa De Gets Into Shape With Help From SOS

Chapa De Indian Health Program Inc. provides services for more than 4,600 patients a year in Northern California at its Auburn headquarters and at clinics in Woodland and Grass Valley. As the program had grown over the years, its phone system hadn't kept up.

"We turned to SOS to design and implement a new phone system that would increase our productivity, lay the groundwork for future growth, and save us money. They delivered," said Lisa Davies, compliance director for Chapa De.
"In the main clinic we had a 15-year-old phone system that was slowly dying on us," said Davies. The three sites weren't connected on a network. Dialing an office in a building at the other end of the parking lot was charged as a local toll call, and such charges accounted for a large percentage of Chapa De's $1,200 monthly long distance charges. And yet Chapa De had excess capacity in the form of 66 Centrex lines, at a cost of about $35 per month per line.

Chapa De management wanted more than just a better phone system. "More and more patients are expecting things like automatic reminders about upcoming appointments and a secure Web site where they can review information," said Davies. "We needed a system that could grow with our vision in addition to saving money. We needed an integrated network for voice and data."

While the managers knew what they wanted, they wanted advice from someone whose expertise in telecommunications matched Chapa De's expertise in healthcare. A referral put them in touch with SOS. Wendy Hawkins, an SOS Systems Consultant, met with Chapa De to explore how they were using their old phone system, which parts weren't working, and what they did and didn't need from their technology partner.

"For Chapa De, finding the right company to guide us was at least as important as identifying the best hardware or software to adopt," added Davies.
Among Chapa De's goals was to have more autonomy in maintaining their new system. That pointed to Cisco Systems as the right manufacturer, said Hawkins, because the company does provide direct support. Other companies force users to go through an authorized dealer.

The proposed solution was Cisco from end to end and included:
* CallManager, including the flexible Unity auto attendant
* IP Contact Center Express, an automatic call distribution application for their receptionist group
* Cisco switches and routers
* 126 Cisco phones.

"When bids came in to Chapa De, SOS's was higher than other companies' bids," said Davies. "But their approach made more sense because it would save us money overall and produce better results."

On SOS's approach Chapa De would spend less on IT overall because they would get an improved data network along with their new phone system. Putting off the network upgrade would mean a lower initial investment, but a higher overall investment in the long term. Plus SOS's proposal showed how much and how soon Chapa De could expect its implementation to pay off.

Said Davies, "our chairperson was there the night we opened the RFPs. She was very clear: 'This company gets it.'"

Once Chapa De hired SOS, the SOS SmartLaunch Kit helped to ensure a smooth implementation. The program provides a marketing boost to augment the skills of a client's in-house technical team, by giving the team the tools to familiarize employees with the new phone's functions.

"The SmartLaunch Kit's posters, brochures, and displays made adoption here easier," said Davies.

Employees who quickly got up to speed on the new system got Super User buttons so co-workers knew whom to ask for extra guidance. Then the users got a short quiz about a month before the changeover to the new phones. The quiz sheets went into a drawing conducted at the user training sessions.

"It was a lot of fun. It got staff really engaged and it really made them get excited," said Davies. "And once we had captured their attention we could provide tips on using the system that ultimately help to improve our productivity and capacity as a team."

"For Chapa De, the SmartLaunch Kit has served as a model any time we need to introduce a change in our technical environment," added Davies.
The Results
"With the old phones, the receptionist group would get swamped with calls, then have to place callers on hold or call them back. And, there was no way of knowing who had been on hold the longest. Now, thanks to implementation of IP Contact Center Express (IPCC) by SOS, the patient calls are distributed among the receptionists in the order the calls arrive," Davies said.

Chapa De now runs its own server, which it hadn't been able to do until the organization had its own routers and switches. The savings just from eliminating 66 Centrex lines is about $1,500 a month, and long-distance charges have dropped by $700 a month.

"We're actually saving somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 to $30,000 a year," said Davies.
About Chapa De Indian Health Program, Inc. (Auburn)
Chapa-De Indian Health Program, Inc is a community based and owned non-profit corporation that has been providing health care services to American Indians/Alaskan Native, Medi-Cal/Medicare recipients, medically indigent and other populations regardless of their ability to pay for over 28 years. The agency maintains and operates clinics in Auburn, Woodland and Grass Valley California. All three clinics are licensed by the California State Department of Health Services as community clinics. Chapa-De's extensive health care services include comprehensive primary medical care, dental and orthodontics, chiropractics, acupuncture, massage, behavioral health and substance abuse counseling, nutrition and health education, maternal/child health education, pharmacy, optometry, podiatry and Indian cultural activities.
About SOS
SOS helps organizations choose and use advanced communications technology to serve customers better, work smarter, and increase profits. SOS is a nationwide expert in voice and data solutions for business, including Voice over IP (VoIP). Since 1992, hundreds of businesses have chosen the SOS team for IP communications, call center technology, and network security solutions. Clients can experience 100% return on investment in 6 to 36 months from SOS's simple, smart, secure technology solutions.

SOS is a Cisco® Premier Certified and SMB Select Partner. It has earned Cisco specializations in advanced unified communications and advanced security, and is focused on converged network solutions. SOS is headquartered near Sacramento, California. For more information, visit the Company's website at or call 916-632-8800 x 1711.