FORT KENT, Maine — Northern Maine Medical Center will complete its conversion to a new, improved telephone system Monday.
The change is intended to solve recurring technical difficulties experienced with the old system, which was installed in 1992. In the past, some incoming calls have been dropped and the answering service has failed to function properly.
Telephone programming is scheduled to begin at 1 a.m. today in the Switchboard and Acute Care areas of the NMMC main building. Off-site buildings, including the Forest Hill Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center, will be programmed later in the weekend. Specific activation times for each of the off-site buildings will vary as the technical team works through the programming and testing, but, according to Development and Community Relations Director Allen Deeves, all NMMC telephones will be tested and in operation by early Monday morning.
NMMC’s emergency line, which is accessed through the main number, 834-3155, will be available throughout the switchover and, along with 40 of the hospital’s most important telephone numbers, will not change.
NMMC will discontinue the automated service number, 834-3195, that allowed callers to connect by entering extension numbers. With the new system in place, all offices and patient rooms will have direct lines. Additionally, all off-site locations in Madawaska and Fort Kent will be linked to the same phone system.
NMMC anticipates saving roughly $115,000 per year by replacing the original phone system and eliminating or grouping together selected lines. The hospital will continue to work with FairPoint Communications, its current phone service carrier, after the change.
NMMC will release a list of updated phone numbers once the new system has been activated.