ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - A temporary phone outage is planned at Rome Memorial Hospital 5 p.m. Friday evening, Nov. 30, to allow the hospital to upgrade its telephone system.
"During the short outage, callers from outside the hospital will hear a fast busy signal as the lines are switched over to the new system," said Chief Information Officer Bruce Peterson. "The conversion is expected to take no more than 30 minutes for the hospital's business phone lines."
Internal extension to extension calling at the hospital will be unaffected during the conversion, ensuring continued communication between departments. The hospital has a separate line for the Midstate Regional Emergency Medical Services system that will remain operational during the outage to maintain communication regarding patients en route via ambulance.
Restoring phone service to patient rooms will take longer because each phone will need to be replaced once the new system is live, Peterson explained. He expected patients to have phone service restored by 9 p.m. Wireless phones will be available on the inpatient units for patients if they need to make a call before their room phone is operational.
The hospital is replacing its traditional phone system with advanced voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology. Commonly referred to as "voice over IP," the system will use a small portion of the hospital's data network to transport voice traffic instead of traditional phone lines, Peterson explained.
"VoIP allows us to make and receive calls over our existing data network for less money than our traditional telecom network," Peterson said. "The new system also provides us with advanced features to route calls and positions us to integrate wireless phones with our nurse call system to connect patients directly with the nurse providing care instead of having to go through a centralized call system. Integration of the wireless phones will help decrease noise from paging and reduce response time when patients push the call button."