Case studies

St. Dominic Hospital


St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital (St. Dominic Hospital) is a 535-bed acute care facility located in Jackson, Miss. The not-for-profit hospital is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Ill., and is part of a health system that includes a continuing care community and a full range of outpatient and community services.


  • Healthcare

Business drivers

  • Support 24/7 operations with a backup communication system
  • Increase quality of service to physicians, internal staff, patients, and families
  • Enhance operator efficiency and satisfaction


  • Console and secure messaging


  • Reduced call abandonment rate to less than 3%
  • Reduced time needed to activate emergency teams
  • Reduced training time for emergency process from two months to two weeks

The challenge

A roomful of smoke was an urgent wakeup call for staff at St. Dominic Hospital. When a nearby construction project made the PBX office unusable, cutting off all access to the communication system, they knew it was time for a change.

The contact center is the hub of an organization that includes a large hospital campus as well an extensive network of primary care clinics throughout the region. High standards for customer service and patient care meant staff was continually looking for ways to innovate. The contact center emergency was just such an opportunity.

“We were using a system that was ‘landlocked’ into one area,” said Kevin Necaise, manager of PBX and guest services. “With all the smoke, we couldn’t get to our workstations, and we didn’t have a way to perform our duties from other locations. We wanted a system that would allow us to provide excellent support to clinicians and represent the hospital in the best possible way—no matter what was happening.”

The contact center managed all calls coming into the hospital, from emergencies to patient and public inquiries, from a single location. The contact center, whose seven full-time employees were fielding an average of about 2,400 calls a day, was in need of a backup and more flexible options. The technology hadn’t been updated since 1997, and staff was hampered by a number of time-consuming manual processes.

“We were using huge binders of contact information and had to dial numbers manually,” Necaise said. “We weren’t able to transfer calls effectively.” In general, there was a need for a robust system to support a more efficient contact center.

The solution

Staff knew they needed an intuitive, flexible system that had the ability to grow with the organization. Spok Care Connect® offered the options they were looking for such as technology that allows operators to handle calls with just a few keystrokes, a web-based directory to simplify the management of contact details, schedules, and messaging, and a portfolio of paging options. “We selected Spok because of its ability to expand with additional solutions. Our initial investment was made with our end goal in mind,” said Kevin Spera, director of patient experience.

The transition was seamless, thanks to comprehensive training and ongoing support from Spok. “Spok is now literally the hub for all of our organizational contact information. Our operators have everything they need right in front of them on their screens. They can make and transfer calls, and activate our emergency alerts with a simple click,” said Spera.

We selected Spok because of its ability to expand with additional solutions. Our initial investment was made with our end goal in mind.

– Kevin Spera, Director of Patient Experience

The result

The Spok solution has automated manual processes and improved the contact center’s overall approach to its role. Contact information for patients, physicians, and satellite offices is now easy to find and update. Training time has been reduced, resulting in greater job satisfaction for operators. “They know the system is there to help them. They are impressed with it, and they enjoy it,” said Necaise.

The team is able to answer a greater number of calls and route callers to the appropriate place much faster than with the old system. “Our call abandonment rate is less than 3%, as compared to the national average of 13%,” said Spera. This has resulted in improved customer service, greater team efficiency, and most importantly, better patient care.

The future

The organization is in the process of rolling out the Spok Mobile® secure messaging solution, which will allow staff to receive secure alerts and messages via mobile devices. “Spok Mobile is just another component to this system that will allow us to communicate securely across our organization,” said Spera.