Medical Call Centers - How To Make Them More Effective

Medical call centers have become increasingly popular amongst the medical community. Call centers are taking over large portions of administrative tasks related to the initial patient-interaction process and managing tasks like scheduling appointments and organizing the required paperwork, therefore, making life more comfortable for the physicians too. They also serve as tools for promoting the brand of a healthcare service.

If you run a hospital or even a large practice, you would know that the first stop in most patients’ journey with your hospital is usually their dealing with a representative at your call center. The first exchange that a patient has with a call center representative is the key to setting the tone for the remaining time that they are going to spend with the rest of your staff. It is thus imperative that this first experience is as flawless as possible to pave the path for a satisfying experience for both the patient and the providers involved.

Many call centers linked to hospitals fail to see that they are different from other call centers that operate for businesses like e-commerce ventures, electronic equipment manufacturers, etc. Call centers servicing healthcare facilities are expected to have many additional qualities owing to the sensitive nature of the organization they support. We are presenting some tips and tricks that will facilitate a healthcare call center function better –

1.       Invest in training the call center staff – Call center representatives working for a healthcare facility need to be educated on not just the technical aspects of their jobs but also soft skills. Such training is crucial because healthcare call centers are expected to deal with people who are already quite harassed by illness and are bound to edgy. It is essential for a call center that services a healthcare facility to train their staff on how to connect with patients who are going through a lot already and making sure that all their needs are being met to the highest possible level.

2.       Build a Call Metrics Assessment Process – We all know how annoying it is to be put on hold and then forgotten! It is all the more frustrating if such a thing were to happen while talking to a healthcare facility’s call center. To improve patient experience, it is critical to periodically evaluate metrics like call abandonment rate and average hold time for calls.  Parameters studied as part of call metrics assessment can give valuable insights that can help you zero in on improvement areas and work towards eliminating calls dropped by irritated customers and reducing the time that a patient has to be on the phone with a representative. These measures increase patient satisfaction manifold and reduce the turnaround time per customer, freeing up representatives to take more calls, leading to an overall reduction in costs.

3.       Invest in state-of-the-art technology – Call centers that service healthcare facilities are incorrectly viewed as auxiliary units that are not directly involved in the primary area of work which is helping people get better and saving lives. As a result, hospital administrations tend to cut corners when it comes to installing equipment at their call centers, leading to expenses in the long run. For instance, having the ability to use other modes of communication like chat to interact with patients can allow representatives to be in touch with more patients at a time. Similarly, a robust reporting system can help in analyzing call metrics in minute detail which will, in turn, help improve processes and save costs.

4.       Put stringent data security protocols in place – Owing to the sensitive nature of data that healthcare-call center representatives deal with (electronic health records, insurance details, etc.); it is crucial to define robust data security protocols that are not just embedded in the processes but also included as mandatory training sessions for the representatives. Having such protocols in place will ensure that data breaches do not occur therefore making your practice more trustworthy in the eyes of your patients.

 

Mirra Healthcare offers a fully functional call center facility that fulfills all of the requirements mentioned above. Partner with Mirra today to provide your patients and physicians a service center that makes their lives easier by answering their initial inquiries, helping them coordinate and setup appointments and helping them understand processes and procedures without having to sift through too much information!