Humboldt General Hospital Expands Telephone System

Humboldt General Hospital has expanded its telephone system.

That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that all extensions at the facility have now changed.

The automated phone system is designed to expand access to the various departments and patient rooms at the hospital. All calls placed through the 623-5222 number are routed through the system. Residents still may dial local physician offices directly; those numbers have not changed.

Humboldt General Hospital Maintenance Supervisor Craig Prest said the hospital's recent physical expansion necessitated the upgraded system; Prest said hospital officials also wanted to provide updated options for local callers.

"For those who wish to bypass the front desk and go directly to a chosen department, this automated system will act as a guide," he said. "And for those who need assistance, our admitting staff will be happy to help."

Prest said the main menu now includes a one-button option for anyone with questions about a bill or about financial assistance. Another one-button option will route calls to the hospital's Quality/Risk Management Director for help with patient care issues.

The hospital's maintenance team estimates that during peak hours, the hospital can receive two to three calls a minute. "That's hundreds of phone calls during our normal business day," said Prest.

"Most of those are simply transfers to other stations in the hospital," he continued, "so this is a good way to pare down phone traffic while still offering a warm voice for those who prefer that option."

Still, new extensions will mean some back-and-forth for local residents. Prest said the hospital will begin publishing the new four-digit extensions in its coming literature. "But we have a lot of brochures and newsletters and other things with our old extensions, so we ask for the public's patience as we make this transition."

A list of the new extensions has been added to the hospital's website at www.hghospital.ws. On the home page, click on "What's New?" and then on the link for the list of updated phone extensions.

Those experiencing a medical emergency should dial 9-1-1.

For more information on the hospital's upgraded telephone system, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 0.

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