Hospital Call Center Software as Unified Communications Solution
Changes in healthcare delivery require a different approach to how hospitals handle phone calls. Hospital call center software is one tool that augments communication between patients and care providers, as well as the sharing of information between providers. Once, hospital phone interactions were limited to scheduling appointments in what has been called "episodic care"—the treatment of specific conditions—to "life-based" care that looks at the total health of a patient.
This change in perspective requires a shift in how patient information is accessed and communicated. More than ever, providers need true Unified Communications solutions that turn hospitals into call centers, providing answers and enabling a variety of communications methods. Here's a deeper dive into hospital call center software, and how Unified Communications supports life-based care.
Hospital Call Center Software: Contact and Data in the Healthcare Cloud
Hospital phone systems were once designed with little more than cost-effectiveness as a planning goal. Phone communications systems were seen almost as a necessary burden. With efficiency efforts limited to reducing cost, older phone systems provided little added to patients. The tide began to change once providers began utilizing specialized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and platforms for healthcare patients.
At the same time, hospitals and other healthcare providers began to see the benefits of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as the backbone for phone systems. VoIP technology provides many business benefits, such as lowered cost and scalability that is impossible with plain-old-phone systems, but the greatest rewards from VoIP in healthcare are how hospitals can integrate all communications under one solution.
VoIP and Unified Communications as the Ideal Solutions
This combination is referred to as Unified Communications (UC). In this model, traditional desk-based voice calls, mobile calls, remote access, emails, messages and other forms of communication are combined. The result is seamless and intuitive patient communication and shared information between providers. These HCRM solutions (short for Healthcare CRM) now integrate with VoIP and UC to provide a virtual Cloud Contact Center aimed at providing responsive information in organizations that are increasingly data-driven.
UC can take the form or a software application, but more organizations are adopting Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). This model provides a cloud-based approach to integrating communications with other platforms and services. Another method is Call Center as a Service (CCaaS), which can be particularly useful in a hospital environment.
Integrate Communications with a Cloud Contact Center
Hospitals can benefit from replacing legacy phone systems with a fully-integrated solution aimed at enabling collaboration, easing communication, and coordinating schedules. Cloud-based contact center solutions achieve these goals and also allow remote doctor-patient dialogue while providing a backbone for managing voice, email, web and chat interactions. While this solution aggregates communications and permits the secure exchange of information, it is also a useful tool for hospitals to ensure compliance and patient privacy.
It's equally important for these solutions to meet the regulations outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which has been increasingly enforced by auditors and regulators. HIPAA covers a host of controls to protect sensitive patient records. One potential risk of opening communications through a UC solution is the improper divulging of patient information. While this is often inadvertent on the part of employees, HIPAA is strictly enforced.
8x8 is a HIPAA-compliant Business Associate, meaning we know the ins-and-outs of compliant phone systems and contact centers. Our compliance efforts translate to easing our customers' regulatory burdens. With 8x8's solutions such as the Cloud Contact Center, your patients can experience the benefits of increased access to information and easy communications about their health concerns, without worrying about their personal information getting in the wrong hands.
The concerns aren't only about inadvertent information leaking. Healthcare providers are increasingly targeted by hackers. Some of these bad actors may be looking for financial information, but some target hospitals and insurers with ransomware, effectively shutting down legitimate access to information until a bounty is paid. These ransomware attacks are especially problematic if your cloud-based communications and HCRM solutions are not secure. In addition to HIPAA compliance, find a solution that's reliable and secure. With security as a priority, providers can rest assured when using the cloud and collaborative tools to facilitate communications. When you use the right company to serve you, the cloud is a security tool, not a risk.
When it comes to healthcare, 8x8 provides reliable and compliant cloud solutions at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.