|Caller Display coming soon to all of MUSC
Dear Colleagues and Friends
I am pleased to announce our MUSC telephone system will soon be
improved to include caller display. With this change, external phones
receiving our calls will indicate a specific caller ID for most MUSC
Through the years, the generic MUSC 792-3875 number has made it
impossible for those receiving our calls to locate the caller. We have
averaged 70,000 unanswered monthly calls to 792-3875. By implementing
the Caller Display, we will discontinue this poor customer service
As discussed in the article below, a Caller Display pilot project was
successfully completed by a number of MUSC departments and service
areas, including my office. It might take some departments a few
weeks to adapt to the new Caller Display, but I am convinced it will
quickly prove to be a positive change.
I want to thank everyone who worked hard to make this happen, including
staff of departments who participated in the pilot project, our
communications vendor, JTM Associates, OCIO-IS University
Communications, and the MUSC Communications Call Center.
Thank you for your support for smooth implementation of Caller Display.
Raymond S. Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D.
by George Spain
has been a long time coming, frequently talked about, and recently
piloted. In February MUSC will begin using the Caller Display number
for the vast majority of the 15,000 enterprise telephones. Calls
made from an MUSC phone will now display a specific number on phones
with Caller ID.
Considering the feature’s much discussed history, program managers were
pleasantly surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response from the
six departments involved in the pilot program.
The pilot project included “a range of departments representing the
majority of groups at MUSC.” These departments included the President’s
office, Radiology offices, MUH 5E, University Internal Medicine 8th
Floor, Specialty Care in North Charleston, and the MUSC Communications
While many in the pilot program admit to having reservations over
Caller Display, the response was very positive. Caller Display is what
is sent, and Caller ID is what is shown on the receiving phone.
“This is an efficient and effective system change, which positively
influences patient–provider communication,” said Kimberly Harris-Eaton,
nurse manager of 5E Children’s Services. “This simple change
streamlines the connection and communication between the recently
discharged patient or concerned family member with their specific
interdisciplinary service team.”
Children’s Hospital Administrator John Sanders also commented on the
pilot. “My hope was that by having a new ID show up on our patient’s
phone, they would answer so we could get feedback from them easier…not
only has our connection rate increased, but we also now get families
calling back if they were not able to answer the original call.” He
also noted a “better connect rate and callbacks from parents wanting
“Those departments that had the most positive initial attitude to the
pilot reported fewer problems,” said Pat Cawley, M.D., executive
medical director. “But even those departments that were more skeptical
turned in positive results after some tweaks were made to their pilot
Bart Yancey, associate chief of staff in the Office of the President,
admitted, “Our office was a bit apprehensive going in about having our
number displayed as our direct line. But now, we feel generally
positive about the opportunity to have customers and constituents
seeing our direct line and being able to contact us back from missed
calls on those occasions.”
To be sure, there were a few bumps in the road. Carolyne Feldman,
clinical operations manager with University Medical Associates
Specialty Care, another original skeptic, said that initially, we would
get patients calling back on the number they see on caller ID which was
sometimes an exercise in frustration for both patients and staff. “Now
that we have used it for a while the callbacks on the wrong extensions
have largely stopped.”
MUSC inherited its current display system after splitting from the
state telephone system in 2006. The current system is a constant source
of frustration to customers. Its caller ID displays only “MUSC” and
795-3875. When they dial back they are connected to an automated
answering system that “counts” the call and hangs up. The automated
system counted approximately 70,000 of these calls last month.
There are a few, mostly technical, exceptions to the Caller Display
initiative. There is a feature to override the Caller Display from any
phone on a per-call basis, but project leaders strongly discourage the
practice and warn that the override causes the displayed phone number
to show up as “private number,” which may be blocked by residential
phones. They also note that the main reason for Caller Display is for
the purpose of promoting MUSC Excellence as well as convenience of
patients, students, staff members, and other customers.
“Caller Display gives the patient a sense of security that their message will be heard and attended to promptly,” said Feldman.
More information is available at http://uctwiki.mdc.musc.edu/index.php/Caller_Display_/_Caller_ID.
Friday, Feb. 5, 2010