August 2014

Regular Columns

From the Editor
By Kelli Harrigan

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

IS TIP
by Kevin Proctor

Featured Articles

Save the Date for the 2015 NAEO Annual Conference: March 9-11, 2015

Upcoming Webinars

The NAEO Mentor Program Has Evolved…
by Lisa Phillips

Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Time Management Tips:
by Dr. Alan Zimmerman

Combing the Llama
by Donna Lambertucci

Amtelco Annex

Infinity Operator Grouping Feature
by David Drenk

Save Multiple IS Messages with the Save IS Message Response Element
by David Drenk

Kelli Harrigan

From the Editor

By Kelli Harrigan

Summer has flown by, September is almost here and fall will soon be upon us — where did the time go?!

I seem to ask myself that at the end of every August. Do you manage time or does time manage you? It seems that I keep having things appear on my desk about learning how to maximize the effective use of my time — perhaps it is a sign from the universe that I have something to learn! I love the quotes provided by Gary Blair below — it is all about our choices, after all. Here’s a great article that came in one of the many e-newsletters I receive with tips for eliminating bad email habits that waste our time: http://tinyurl.com/kezv8ql

And another article from Dr. Alan Zimmerman below has some great tips for what you can do right now to make better use of your time as a manager or leader. I don’t know about you, but I certainly do suffer from A.A.A.D.D. it seems!

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

- Carl Sandburg

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.

- Michael Altshuler

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IS Tip

by Kevin Proctor

Organized Time Management in I.S.

Time management is a necessity for most adults to thrive — this writer included. In this fast-paced world, life would not exist as it is without time management. As a programmer, actor, musician and gigolo, yours truly needs to stay on top of appointments, lest I attend an engagement with the wrong equipment.

Now let's get a little more specific and talk time management in I.S.

In I.S. scripting, the computer often has the need to make decisions on how to dispatch calls based on the time of day, the day of the week, or even the day of the year — such as holidays and birthdays, annual company functions, etc.

At first glance, this may look straightforward when programming in I.S.: You can pick the day of the week, the time of the day, and do stuff based on the result. However, I.S. scripting allows one to manage decisions on an ad-hoc basis, or in an organized fashion. The methods one chooses may separate a young, new programmer from a seasoned, long-experienced one. (That is not to say that all organized programmers are old.)

This programmer sometimes pulls hair out at the sight of time decisions being made repeatedly within a script. Trying to maintain a script in this condition becomes like managing a single noodle within a pot of spaghetti. Sighting the image below: imagine finding these same decisions made repeatedly throughout a script. YIKES!!


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Save the Date for the 2015 NAEO Annual Conference: March 9-11, 2015

2015 NAEO Annual Conference

Rosen Shingle Creek | 9939 Universal Blvd. | Orlando, Florida 32819

We want to highlight the following conference sessions for you:

Integrating Electronic Health/Medical Records or Practice Management Systems with Your Amtelco Call Center Equipment

Are you currently using one or more Electronic Health/Medical Records or Practice Management Systems? Come to this session and learn how to utilize more than one platform in an efficient manner. Are you a hospital-based call center? This session will help you increase the value of your department. Non-hospital based center? Learn how turn your call center into a profit center by integrating with an EHR/PM System.


Equipment On Site vs Co-Location Facility?

Operating in a 24/7 environment means disaster recovery and redundancy are essential. Do you build the redundancy yourself or do you use a data center? What are the pros and cons of each? Join us as two industry experts debate the issue!

Also, don't miss our Pre-Conference: March 7-8
IS Advanced Programming Workshop

Join the NAEO Education Committee and Amtelco for a two-day intensive programmers workshop designed to help enhance how you program and script with Intelligent Series!

This hands-on opportunity is valued at thousands of dollars if you were to bring an educator in to your office to train you or your staff. Throughout this workshop, attendees will be able to effectively learn the tricks of the trade from industry experts and be able to lead their programming department or hospitals and businesses to new levels.

Budget Now for 2015:

Earlybird Conference Registration Rates

  • Member $695
  • Non-member: $952

Earlybird Pre-conference Registration Rates

  • Member $525
  • Non-member $825

Hotel Room Rate:

The room rate at the Rosen Shingle Creek: $209

Stay tuned and check back at naeo.org for more session information and conference details!

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Upcoming Webinars

Business Continuity Part 1
September 17, 2014 | 2:00 pm ET

Speaker: Kurt VanderScheer
Host: Evelyn Portinari

This webinar will be the first of two sessions offered that will cover the NAEO Disaster Recovery Plan that was written exclusively for our NAEO members. This program was developed over a two-year span in conjunction with Barney Pelant and Associates (a leader in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning).

We will discuss why your business (regardless of its size) will benefit from this program.

We will also discuss the program materials as well as what outside resources will be made available to the membership to assist with completing this program. We will briefly discuss the various sections of the plan and we will also start working through Chapter 1 of the program.

The goal of this webinar series to work through the plan as a group so that everyone will benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge.

Business Continuity Part 2
October 1, 2014 | 2:00 pm ET

Speaker: Kurt VanderScheer
Host: Evelyn Portinari

This webinar will be the second session offered that will cover the NAEO Disaster Recovery Plan that was written exclusively for our NAEO members. This program was developed over a two-year span in conjunction with Barney Pelant and Associates (a leader in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning).

We will discuss why your business (regardless of its size) will benefit from this program.

We will also discuss the program materials as well as what outside resources will be made available to the membership to assist with completing this program. We will briefly discuss the various sections of the plan and we will also start working through Chapter 1 of the program.

The goal of this webinar series is to work through the plan as a group so that everyone will benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge.

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Lisa Phillips

The NAEO Mentor Program Has Evolved…

by Lisa Phillips, Stericycle

Is your business currently going through an upgrade or a change? Do you have a new employee in a managerial/leadership position? If you said yes to either of these, the Mentor Program could be for you…

The Mentor program was originally developed for companies that were new to the Amtelco products. However, the membership committee recognized that oftentimes our existing members could use the same type of guidance and support system for the changes that happen within their companies. And so, the Mentor program grew into a benefit for our existing members as well.

  • If you are working with Amtelco to upgrade your system…
  • If you are adding on additional features for your Amtelco system…
  • If you have a new employee who wants to learn more about our industry, how they can best do their job…

The Membership committee can provide you with a Mentor company to help you understand the process, what you will need to do to prepare for it and how you can maximize it within your business!!!

For more information about the Mentor program, how to get a Mentor company or how to become a Mentor company, email our team at mentoring@naeo.org.

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Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Time Management Tips:

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot."
~ Michael Altshuler, CEO

Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Personal Commentary:

I have the unique privilege of speaking to thousands of people around the world every year and I correspond with thousands of others through my publications and the emails I answer. These people come from every industry, profession, race, country, and economic condition. But they all have one thing in common: None of them have enough time.

That's sad, because the use of your time determines the quality of your life.

Until you get a handle on your time, the success of your work and depth of your relationships are pretty much left to chance. And that's unacceptably scary ... and totally unnecessary.

Let me give you a few time tips right now.

1. Do one thing at a time ... WELL.

Yeah, I know this will sound old-fashioned to the younger generations who proudly tout their ability to effectively multi-task a variety of tasks, all at the same time. The problem is ... the research doesn't back them up.

According to an article in Scientific American Mind magazine, our brains are not wired for multi-tasking. We have a left brain that is primarily logical and a right brain that is primarily emotional. If you're dealing with an Excel spreadsheet, it goes to the left side of the brain. If you get interrupted in the midst of your analysis by an upset customer, your right brain gets activated as well. All it takes is an urgent cell phone call in the midst of all that and your brain will be on overload. And chances are, you'll make a mistake of some sort in one of those areas.

In study after study, the most successful managers are the ones who do one thing at a time. Indeed, the very best managers complete their tasks sequentially, working and completing one item before going on to another.

Interestingly enough, one of Albert Einstein's students couldn't believe that he worked that way. After all, being one of the most intelligent men of all time, he figured he must have a thousand things going on in his mind at the same time. So he asked him, "Dr. Einstein, what do you think about when you're tying your shoe?"

Einstein replied, "Mostly young man, when I am tying my shoe, I think about the bow."

Along that same line of thought, to be a great time manager...

2. Keep your focus.

One of the primary reasons you may feel like you never have enough time is because you may be easily distracted. You let every new thought take you in a different direction.

My stepmom calls it A.A.A.D.D. or "Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder." That may be true, although I've seen the same symptoms in people of all ages. But this is what my stepmom sent me.

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
And notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first...

But then I think,
Since I'm going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my checkbook off the table,
And see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
So I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks,
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside
So that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm,
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
A vase of flowers on the counter
Catches my eye—they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk,
But first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote,
But I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
But first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
The car isn't washed,
The bills aren't paid,
There is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter,
The flowers don't have enough water,
There is still only one check in my checkbook,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day,
And I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my email....

We can all laugh at this little story, but we could just as easily cry. Because it's all too close to the truth. To experience the happiness and satisfaction you want in your life, to experience the meaningful achievements you want in your work, you must learn to keep your focus.

It will be a battle. Distractions will do their best to keep you confused, befuddled, and overwhelmed. But it is a battle you must win.

As American poet Carl Sandburg put it, "Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people (or distractions) spend it for you."

Finally,

3. Manage your "gotta minutes."

I know I'm guilty of this. When I'm running 100 miles an hour and a question pops into my mind, I want an answer right now. So I barge into one of my employees' offices or interrupt my wife and ask, "Gotta minute?" I may not even take the time to consider whether this would be a good time to interrupt them and their work; I just want an answer now.

Of course, most everyone in my personal and professional lives does the same thing to me. They run into my office, call me on the phone, or send a text with their "gotta minute" request. It seems to be a part of everyday life these days.

Unfortunately, those "gotta minutes," whether legitimate or frivolous, fall into the category of interruptions. And they're serious time wasters. According to a survey by Basex, a U.S. technology research firm, you only get 11 minutes to focus on a task before you encounter some form of interruption. And then another 25 minutes are consumed before you're able to return to your original task with full focus. So it's no wonder Basex says interruptions devour 28% of the typical professional's workday.

To manage the interruptions or "gotta minutes" in your work life, you need to establish some guidelines ... and follow them. For example, you may:

  • Decide to shut off the sound every time a new email comes in,
  • Decide to read your email no more than three times a day,
  • Decide to reply to all emails at once rather than constantly throughout the day,
  • Allow some calls to go to voice mail,
  • Inform your coworkers, unless something is truly urgent and important, to save up their "gotta minutes" until they have at least 3 of them, or
  • Reduce the number of "gotta minutes" you impose on others until you have at least 3 to discuss.

You get the idea. You've got to reduce the number of interruptions you allow into your life. Because if you're not in charge of your life, somebody else will be. And you may not like some of the decisions they're making for your life.

ACTION:
Decide this day two things you can do and will do to handle time more effectively.

About the author:

©2014 Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker, Dr. Alan Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of business." His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy, and high involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they work. To learn more about his programs and products, or to receive a free subscription to his weekly newsletter, go to DrZimmerman.com.

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Internet newsletter, the 'Tuesday Tip.'
Copyright © 2014
Zimmerman Communi-Care Network
800-621-7881 | Alan@DrZimmerman.com

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Combing the Llama – a Short Story About Better Time Management

by Donna Lambertucci, Marketing Director, AnswerNet

Once upon a time, my then-husband and I went to a street festival, and while there decided to buy a 3 foot stuffed llama. It was wearing a Peruvian blanket and was made of wire and straw and covered in Alpaca fur. I thought it was beautiful.

That fall, we were devastated by a hurricane, and the llama was a sad and unfortunate victim. Being one of the first things we had purchased as a couple, it was sentimental, so the sticky, soggy and plaster-covered creature was tucked away in a closet for future cleaning and presentation.

Fast forward a year; we were back on our feet in a swank little condo on a Florida beach and having a housewarming party. We worked like demons at our jobs, so of course, prep for this party was last minute — we had 3 hours to get ready for 15 people, including some overnight guests.

In the 3 hours available we needed to vacuum, dust, clean the kitchen and the bathrooms, change beds, ready the guest room, generally tidy, set the table, prep the appetizers, get the bar ready, wash the glassware and dinnerware so it was shiny and clean, shower, change, and look spectacular along with a million other things. I got to work — as the child of Italian immigrants, I could do housework! I vacuumed and polished, I dusted and scrubbed. In the meantime, I wasn’t hearing a great deal of activity in the other rooms. We were down to our last hour. I went to investigate. There was my husband sitting on the floor with my teasing comb — having done nothing to ready the house or himself for the imminently arriving horde — slowly and with great attention to detail, combing the llama. Tweezing out chunks of dried plaster, combing the yellowed, matted fur... yes, the same dried plaster-covered creature that had been in the closet a solid year, NOW, was being prepped for the big reveal.

So in the 2 hours that I had spent making our condo a party center, all my (then) husband had to show for his investment was 5 inches of llama butt. I was furious — he was confused. The llama was a key part of showing off our new home. He couldn’t have worked on this while watching TV over the 10 months or so we had lived there? Would this make a better presentation to our guests? Would they prefer a combed llama to perhaps a cocktail and some food? Would they prefer to sit on newspapers and look at our slippers and reading glasses on the dusty coffee table while admiring the llama? WHAT WAS HE THINKING? WE HAD ONE HOUR TO PREP FOR 15 PEOPLE.

That incident happened nearly 20 years ago. It taught me an unforgettable lesson and to this day, when I see people spending valuable hours on misdirected tasks, but with the best of intentions, it’s referred to as Combing the Llama.

When you have staff and a deadline, particularly if they are inexperienced, or accustomed to a task-based work day, it’s up to you to think strategically about what will make the biggest positive impact using the least amount of energy. Time management is not about lists and reminders, alarm clocks and sticky notes — often all that takes up more time than the time saved! All you need to do is avoid “Combing the Llama”. Decide early on what will garner real results and drive you closer to your goals. When you are prioritizing your day, your week, your project, think about this little story. Is what you are doing right now going to make a real difference — or are you Combing the Llama?

I bet you make some different choices.

 

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david drenk

Infinity Operator Grouping Feature

by David Drenk

The optional Infinity Operator Grouping feature provides settings for assigning an employee ID and a statistics group number to operators for grouping operators in reports. The Operator Grouping feature adds an Employee ID setting and a Statistics Group setting to Operator Setup in the Infinity Supervisor application. The Employee ID and Operator Group designation can be used to group operator statistics in the MDR Op Login and MDR Op Interval reports.

When the Operating Grouping feature is enabled, the Stat Group field and Employee ID field are displayed on a new ID tab in the Operator Setup pages of Infinity Supervisor.

To configure the Operator Grouping settings, open the Infinity Supervisor application.
Click the Operator icon.

The Operator Setup pages are displayed.

Select an operator name from the Operators menu.
The Properties for that operator name are displayed. A new tab labeled “ID” is displayed if the Operator Grouping feature is enabled.

Click the ID tab.
The ID page is displayed. The Employee ID and Stat Group settings are located on the ID page.

Employee ID

This field can be used to enter an employee ID number for the selected operator.

Stat Group

This field can be used to enter a group ID number for use with operator statistics reporting.

After editing the Employee ID or Stat Group number, click the Save icon to save your changes.
The latest version of the MDR Op Login report and the MDR Op Interval report include a “Grouping Options” parameter that enables you to group the report data by Op Group, Employee ID, or None.

  • Select “OpGroup” to group the report by Stat Group.
  • Select “EmployeeId” to group the report by Employee ID.
  • Select “None” to run the report without grouping.

Requirements:

  • Infinity 5.60.12 or later
  • Infinity Operator Grouping
  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.0016 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.09 or later

Amtelco Part Number: 232MP167

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Use IS Contact Templates to Assign Default Values to IS Contact Method Properties

by David Drenk

Contact Templates are part of the optional Infinity Intelligent Series (IS) Directory Contacts feature. Contact Templates make it possible to set default values for the IS Directory Contact Method properties. The default values are entered in the Master Field properties of Contact ID fields created in the IS Directory. Default values can be assigned for the Contact Method Name, Instruction, Order ID, and Web Visible properties.

Default values make it easier to enter contact information into the IS Directory because the common information is already supplied. This feature can be used to help your agents enter directory information through Infinity Telephone Agent and the Intelligent Soft Agent and to help your clients to enter directory information through the IS Web.

To use Contact Templates, click the Directory & Scheduling icon on the IS Supervisor Toolbar.

Select a Directory Subject from the Subject menu.

The General Settings page is displayed.

Select the Contacts Subject check box.

The Contact Subject check box enables the Directory Subject to use IS Directory Contacts.

Click the Master Fields tab.

The Master Fields page is displayed. The Master Fields page controls the creation of fields for a Directory Subject.

Select a Contact ID field that has been created, or click the Add icon  on the Subject Fields toolbar and add a Contact Email ID, Contact Phone ID, Contact TAP Pager ID, Contact SMS ID, Contact Secure Messaging ID, Contact SNPP ID, or Contact WCTP ID field.

The Defaults pane is displayed in the right column of the field properties.

Defaults

The Defaults pane is used to set default values for the field selected on the Subject Fields menu. Any values entered here will be filled in automatically when a new listing is created but can be changed in the Listing Properties.

Default

The Default field (not shown) is displayed when a Text, Numeric, Date, Url, Email, or Image ID field is selected. It is used to assign a default value to a field when new listings are created.

Name

The Name field is displayed when a Contact Email ID, Contact Phone ID, Contact TAP Pager ID, Contact SMS ID, Contact Secure Messaging ID, Contact SNPP ID, or Contact WCTP ID field is selected.
The Contact Name field identifies the Contact Method in the IS Directory and in the Dispatching window.

If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to have a default Contact Name, type a short, descriptive name for the Contact Method, such as “Cell Phone.”

Instruction

The Instruction field is displayed when a Contact Email ID, Contact Phone ID, Contact TAP Pager ID, Contact SMS ID, Contact Secure Messaging ID, Contact SNPP ID, or Contact WCTP ID field is selected.
The contents of the Instruction field are displayed to agents in the Contact Methods section of the IS Directory and in the Dispatching window.

If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to have default instructions for the use of this Contact Method, type the instructions.

Terminal

The Terminal field is displayed when a Contact TAP Pager ID, Contact SNPP ID, or Contact WCTP ID field is selected.

If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to have a default terminal, select a terminal.

Terminals are configured on the Paging pages of System Setup. More information about configuring terminals is provided in the “System Setup” section of the Infinity Intelligent Series Supervisor Reference Guide.

Device

The Device field is displayed when a Contact SMS ID field is selected.

If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to have a default device, select a device.

SMS Devices are configured on the SMS Setup pages of System Setup. More information about configuring devices is provided in the “System Setup” section of the Infinity Intelligent Series Supervisor Reference Guide.

Order

The Order field is displayed when a Contact Email ID, Contact Phone ID, Contact TAP Pager ID, Contact SMS ID, Contact Secure Messaging ID, Contact SNPP ID, or Contact WCTP ID field is selected.

The Order field determines which Contact Method is displayed first in the IS Directory when more than one of the same type of Contact Method (Phone, TAP Pager, Email, SMS, Secure Messaging, SNPP, or WCTP) is displayed.

If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to have a default Order, type a number to indicate the order in which this Contact Method should be displayed in the IS Directory, with “1” being the first.

Web Visible

The Web Visible field is displayed when a Contact Email ID, Contact Phone ID, Contact TAP Pager ID, Contact SMS ID, Contact Secure Messaging ID, Contact SNPP ID, or Contact WCTP ID field is selected.

The Web Visible field determines if this Contact Method can be accessed from the IS Web application through any tab other than the My Settings tab.

  • If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to be accessible from the IS Web by default, click the Web Visible menu and select “True.”
  • If you would like new Contact Methods entered into this contact field to not be accessible from the IS Web by default, click the Web Visible menu and select “False.”

Note: If a listing is associated with an Agent ID, people logging into the IS Web with that agent ID are able to access the listing’s Contact Methods through the My Settings page, even if Web Visible is set to “False.”

To save your Properties entries, click the Save button.

Requirements:

  • IS Server 3.7.4339.23486 or later
  • IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.00 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • IS Directory Contacts
  • SQL Server 2005 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4363.01 or later (optional)
  • Soft Agent 3.7.4364.01 or later (optional)

Amtelco Part Number: 232A461

 

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