Phone Tree EHR Integration

While at the AAFP conference recently, I saw a company called PhoneTree that I found interesting. They essentially take care of all the automated calling for the doctors office.

I was a bit surprised that a company like this is still around. Is there still a market for narrowly focused products like this? I know that many EHR vendors have integrated these types of features into their PMS and EMR software.

The other problem I had with this company was that they only have a one way interface for calling. Basically, you dump a csv file out from your scheduling system and they make the calls. However, there’s no method of getting the data back to the EHR software so you can know who confirmed and who didn’t in your EHR. Seems like a no brainer feature to me, but seemed to barely be on their radar. Probably because it would require an interface and interfaces are the worst to manage.

Of course, the really cool technology with phones is coming from the Cisco IP phones. I love the integrations that you can do with a Cisco phone and I love the idea of a soft phone on your computer even more. Too bad Cisco is so bloody expensive.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Over the years we’ve had some interesting “war” stories with different companies that provide these type of services.

    1. Client is on the East coast, service is on the West coast, the “time to call” ends up being off by 3 hours.

    2. Company has a flag, AM or PM. The tech who sets it up doesn’t choose PM and the system defaults to AM. Oops, not good to call patient at 3am.

    3. Company has a flag for language. File that is transmitted to company inadvertantly sets flag to Spanish for an English-speaking patient.

    4. File that is sent has time of appointment and time to call. Somewhere in the documentation or initial implementation, the two get interchanged.

    Overall, once you get over the speed bumps, things do work well

  • Bill,
    I think the key question is how well it will integrate with your EMR. It makes sense for an EMR software to offer these services in some sort of patient portal or provider portal. However, anytime that you interface your software with someone, there are bound to be problems. Interfaces are great when they work, but are such a MAJOR pain to deal with when they break.

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