Need recommendations for setting up home office

Specialties Case Management


Hi guys,

I have to get set-up for calls and faxes from my home. Yes, my company gives me a calling card, but there is no way, other than for VM for others to reach me, so my supervisor mentioned that many people get a seperate business line.

Here is my dilemma. I already have 3 lines in the house. One is our main phone number, the other is my dtr's teen line, the third is the computer & fax. If someone is on-line I can't send a fax.

I thought about DSL, but then I would still have to pay for both my phone service and the DSL service, don't I? So it's more expensive than just getting a foiurth phone line.

IF I get the 4th phone line, how can I use it for both fax and phone? If someone is trying to send a fax, how will I know not to pick it up to talk, or vice versa??

Do you recommend a multifunction printer/fax/scanner, etc?? I have heard people who say that this is a problem if one part of the device breaks down, then it makes the whole thing unusable.

I really don't know how DSL works, and I really won't need to worry about e-mail, that is taken care of, I have my main phone line I can use for my laptop, and call wave answering service for any calls that come to my home phone.

I hate like hell to get a 4th line, it seems so ridiculous, but I am not techno enough to find the right solution. Any ideas? Or any ideas who I should consult about this?? I'd rather not call the phone company, I think they have a vested interest in their products and the DSL.

Any advice is appreciated, Thanks!!

(Today was my first day on my new job, I am in love with it so far!)


111 Posts

Specializes in inpatient hospice house.

Hi Hoolahan,

I'm a casemanager for a home care agency and my office is in my home. The company I work for gives us a fax. I receive faxes only when I'm home and working in the office. It isn't an all day type thing. I thought at first it would be and it ended up not being that way. We have dsl and I love it and so does my family. We have only one phone other than the dsl so the line is always open unless someone is using the phone. Everyone knows my job is first when I'm home and their personal calls are second. We also have a laptop computer given to us at work so we can send our work to the office at the end of the day and a lot of documentation is sent via e-mail type messages etc. I also have a cell phone and my son has a cell phone. The company I work for pays for the cell phone. I don't know if that helps any but I tryed. :rolleyes:

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

Cheryl, aren't you too cute!!!! Love that avatar!

Yes, that is helpful. I actaully called Verizon today, they are one of the only ones who offers DSL, and they are my main phone co. I was on the phone w this nice girl for an hour and a half. She made all kinds of suggestions, I'm still not even sure what I am ending up with per monthly bill, but I also made them my LD carrier, and got a great deal on that plan, all the lines have upgraded caller ID, so the number will come up w call waiting, and I am going to put the DSL line in. Then, I'll just get a fax/printer/ with phone, so I can use it as my office fax and phone. I do expect a lot of faxes. Many people in the office wher I work opt not to e-mail, or learn it. Since I can e-mail schedules in, it will mean less faxing for me, and no fee for the office. Plus I will use less ink from the printer.


835 Posts

Hoolahan, Great to hear you are loving things so far!! Welcome to the WONDERFUL world of case management!! Keep us updated on how things are going... :)


122 Posts

This sounds so exciting! Let us know how it goes for you!



89 Posts

Here's my set up; I have a DSL b/c I have to chart and report online. Then I have a premium Bellsouth line with voice and fax mail. I have a ring master # for my fax, and when I am on the phone, the fax is saved in my voice mail. This way I am able to have one phone line for voice and fax.


324 Posts

Your DSL connection should use one of your existing phone lines. I use my primary phone line for DSL and I can be online and on the phone and use a faxing program all at the same time. You shouldn't need a dedicated line for DSL.

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

Sorry I haven't replied in so long.

I tried the DSL, turns out my computer needed an adapter, so had to go to the store and get that. Installed it, tried the dsl, to my surprise, it really was NOT that fast at all, in fact, it kept locking up my computer. After three days of constant phone calls to the support line, where they tell me it's my phone line, yada yada, I removed all of it! If it is a problem w my line, why did it work so well just before I loaded this crap onto my computer, NO, it's whatever this software did to my puter, please don't insult my intelligence.

So, back to dial up. I just simply got extension jacks downstairs.

The reason I am so pumped up today, is I finally found a desk set-up that worked in my tiny space. Hubby set it all up for me while I was surfing on the upstairs computer yesterday am, I came down, and viola, there was my desk, all the cords and phone lines through the little holes and all hooked up, ready to go. Only thing is, the filing cabinet that matches wasn't delivered. Had to get a trace on the package, if they can't find it, they will send me another one. So, all my charts and files are still in boxes, and laying all over the dining room table.

So, all is getting together. It sure helps to have a place for everything. Because this house is a mess the way things are right now.

PS, did I mention I can see the TV from where I am sitting now?? So, if I am working from home, I can watch my soaps! Tee hee!


38,333 Posts


sounds like you have it made now. your post after you talked to the verizon girl sounded like you made her day also. it sounded as if you had bought everything she tried to sell you! haha! i don't know about all this new-fangled stuff either and always end up confused and spending too much money. found out i can't even get dsl b/c of the way the lines are set up in the house. probably a good thing, saving me money.

anyway, your hubby is a sweetie for setting your office up for you. be sure to keep us posted once in a while. i'm interested in case mgmt as an ultimate career goal, so i am looking for info where i can find it. good luck with your new office adventure.

Brian, ASN, RN

5 Articles; 3,695 Posts

Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.


Don't give up on high speed internet access (broadband). You might want see if you can get cable or satellite, both of which do not go over your telophone lines. If you spend a significant amount of time online, broadband is the only way to go.

Regarding the all-in-one printer/fax/copy/scan machine, I was always one to belevie that having separate devices was smart in case one breaks, but my desk space was getting hogged up with all these components. Last year I finally decided to try one of these all-in ones, and I absolutely love it. I love having a copy machine option, it comes in handy. To ease my fear of one of the compents breaking, I just purchased a 5 year extended warranty. I love having my desk space back again. I have the HP G85, which is now an older model, but it still works fine for me.

Hope this helps.

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

Thanks Brian. I did think about cable, but in my area there is only one company to choose from, and the way they raise their cable rates, I'm very afraid of the same situation. I don't really mind the slower dial-up, I'm used to it.

I thought the same way with the multifunction machines at first, but now I love mine. I opted to forget the color b/c I really needed laser so the ink won't run on work documents if they get wet. Color was just too expensive. I got a Brother and I really like it. It does so much, I have to constantly refer to the instruction manual!!! If only it had an IRd port so I could print right from my palm. That'll be the next time around.

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I have two lines in our house and the phone company said there is no room for anymore lines in our entire neighborhood as they said the lines in the boxes are full. I have a fax/scanner/copier which I can pick up if it rings, if it is a fax I just push the start button.


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