The Examiner

NWH Looks to New Service for Quality Communication

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Primary Wave Media CEO Gregg Hamerschlag

Northern Westchester Hospital became the first hospital in the nation last month to participate in a new toll-free telephone number that promises to help the public learn more about its programs and services.

The Mount Kisco medical center signed on with Pleasantville-based Primary Wave Media, a company that licenses vanity phone numbers throughout the country, to offer 1-800-QUALITY. The number will allow callers to request information about the hospital, such as its diagnostic and treatment services and other programs. The alerts can also be delivered through text messaging directly to consumers’ phones or smart phones.

Primary Wave Media CEO Gregg Hamerschlag said he is optimistic that 1-800-QUALITY will be as synonymous with reliable programs as some of the company’s other high profile numbers relating to the health care industry, such as 1-800-HOSPICE and 1-800-HOMECARE.

“What our number can now do and what Northern Westchester Hospital is going to use it for is to disseminate information,” Hamerschlag said. “We have clients all over the country who use it. It’s really a difference maker in the market.”

Signing on to the number provides Northern Westchester with regional exclusivity to the number anywhere within the 914 and 845 area codes, he said. Hamerschlag said he wasn’t certain how many hospitals across the country might sign on to use the service but there were more than 125 homecare and hospice organizations that joined to participate in those toll-free numbers. Last week, a hospital was added in Delaware to cover that state and more are expected to be announced by the company.

Mark Vincent, vice president of marketing and communications for the hospital, said the 1-800-QUALITY service will allow its departments to better serve the community through its dedication to quality service and by using innovative tools.

“Patient service and a commitment to quality is what Northern Westchester Hospital is about,” Vincent said. “It’s going to reflect us and what we’re about.”

He said the hospital was made aware of the burgeoning service through a hospital employee who was familiar with Primary Wave Media. The employee suggested Northern Westchester should investigate whether it would be a benefit to them.

Hamerschlag, who founded Priority Home Care, Inc. a private home health care company before he sold it in 2005, said the number is more than just an easy-to-remember advertising hook but helps to drive call volume to the licensee and help build their businesses.

While Primary Wave has had experience with the health care some of its other highly successful telephone numbers that it has introduced into the market have included 1-800-CABLETV and 1-877-WINDOWS.

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