Using Healthcare Call Center Solutions to Improve Patient Experience
Fast-evolving patient expectations are creating a sea change in the healthcare industry. Patients compare their healthcare experiences with other consumer services, demanding a seamless, efficient, and friendly experience from their doctors and hospitals.
One of the biggest frustrations reported by patients is their call experience. Many hang up because they wait too long to speak to a live agent, while others are unwilling to hold for more than a minute. A poor phone experience could cost a medical facility a patient. Using healthcare call center solutions can help improve patient enrollment and satisfaction while streamlining the operation of your medical facility.
What Are Healthcare Call Center Solutions?
A call center solution includes call center providers and/or software that support the operation of call centers and the associated customer relationship management (CRM) tasks.
These products and services can either be a total package such as unified communications, a turnkey product (e.g., an outsourced call center), or a software platform that runs a call center system.
There are different types of call center solutions for healthcare providers, such as:
- Inbound Call Center: Handles incoming calls such as appointment scheduling and billing inquiries
- Outbound Call Center: Handles outgoing calls such as patient outreach and research
- Blended Call Center: Provides both inbound and outbound calling services
- Contact Center: Offers web-enabled solutions that allow patients to communicate using their computers with voice, video, or text
Besides hiring and training agents on a customer's behalf, modern call center solutions typically include the use of call center software to integrate telephony and computer systems. Some of these platforms may have a CRM component while others require integration with additional applications.
Most of these software platforms offer features that can help improve call agents' efficiency and enhance their interactions with patients - providing phone control or showing a patient's profile and history on the computer screen during a call, for example.
Call Center Solutions Help Solve the Healthcare Industry's Challenges
The healthcare industry has unique communication problems, and the breakdown in communication between a provider and patients can negatively impact patient experience and treatment outcomes.
Here are some of the industry's most common communication challenges and how healthcare call center solutions can help solve them:
- Delayed Post-Op Follow-Up/Appointment Reminders: Delays in post-operation follow-up or appointment reminders could cause patients to miss the care they need to optimize outcomes. A call center solution provides hospitals with the resources to handle a large number of follow-up activities and track the call statuses to ensure patient compliance.
- High Call Volumes: The complexity and high volumes of patient service-related calls, such as patient registration, appointment booking, and billing, can put undue pressure on front-office staff and distract them from servicing patients seeking treatment in the facility. A call center solution can handle many of these administrative tasks to free up your staff.
- Expensive and Time-Consuming Infrastructure Upgrade: Upgrading to a new communication system to handle calls in a way that meets patient expectations often requires the installation of software and hardware that's both expensive and time-consuming. Using a call center solution, healthcare providers can access the latest communication tools without the upfront cost and overhead associated with equipment maintenance.
- Subpar Customer Service: Today's patients expect a level of customer service from their healthcare providers on par with that of top-tier consumer brands. Using a call center solution, you can have access to agents trained in customer service while ensuring the quality of the interactions is consistent, friendly, and professional.
- Long Hold Times: Long hold time is one of the main reason callers hang up before they get to speak with a representative. If the person who hung up is a potential patient trying to make an appointment, you just lost a new patient. A call center solution offers the scale to ensure all patient calls can be answered quickly to optimize patient engagement.
Healthcare Call Center Solutions: Improving Patient Experience
Using a healthcare call center solution can help providers improve every patient’s experience while lowering the cost of hiring and training staff, installing software, and maintaining hardware. In addition, many healthcare call center solutions can be integrated with your communication platform, allowing you to streamline operation and improve efficiency while delivering a seamless patient experience.
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