Beginning this September, changes to the telephone system used on the Washington University Medical Center campus and at all BJC HealthCare facilities will require employees to “Dial 10” when placing calls to internal and external numbers.
“Dial 10” is an abbreviated way of communicating to people at all School of Medicine and BJC facilities that, with the new changes, they will need to use the area code when dialing phone numbers, even in-house numbers. For example, to reach 2-1234 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a caller would need to dial 314-362-1234 once the changes go into effect.
The change will eliminate the need to dial a “9” for external calls and will phase out internal five-digit dialing within and between facilities.
The only change affecting the university’s Danforth Campus is in using the 362- and 747- exchanges to dial the Medical Campus. Currently, Danforth callers only have to dial five digits when using numbers with the 362- and 747- exchanges. When the changeover occurs on the Medical Campus, Danforth callers will use eight digits to reach such numbers (9-362-xxxx or 9-747-xxxx).
With the “Dial 10” system, one consistent dialing process will be in effect for all School of Medicine and BJC facilities, regardless of whether calls are internal or external.
The 10-digit dialing system is necessary because of the rapidly increasing demand for new phone, fax and other telecommunications extension numbers required as the medical school and BJC continue to grow.
With new facilities such as the St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center, Siteman-South County and the new bed towers under construction on the Washington University Medical Center campus, the current limit for phone numbers that can accommodate five-digit dialing will be exceeded by December.
“We realize this is going to be a significant change in habit that will take some time to get used to,” said David Weiss, BJC senior vice president and chief information officer. “But making the change to a 10-digit dialing system provides a resolution to this shortage before it becomes a problem.
“It also provides the ability for BJC and WUSM to adapt to anticipated future additions of new overlay area codes in the St. Louis region,” Weiss added. “Although this will be a substantial change, ‘Dial 10’ will allow BJC and WUSM the capacity and technology needed to expand, adapt and keep moving forward.”
“Dial 10” will come about in phases, with the first changes going into effect in September and the final phase scheduled for completion in 2019. A project team is developing communications materials to help prepare physicians, other faculty, and staff for the “Dial 10” change, to minimize any impact on patient and visitor dialing.
If you have questions, please email them to Dial_Plan_Project@bjc.org.