All posts by Peter Lyle DeHaan

Peter DeHaan is the president of Peter DeHaan Publishing, Inc., ( the publisher and editor of Connections Magazine, AnswerStat, TAS Trader, and Medical Call Center News. Peter DeHaan ( is a published author and blogger.

The September 2023 Issue of Medical Call Center News

Read the September 2023 issue of Medical Call Center News.

Medical Call Center News is an e-newsletter published by Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc, in conjunction with AnswerStat magazine.

Please tell your coworkers about Medical Call Center News.

Thank you!

[Medical Call Center News is published by Peter DeHaan Publishing IncPeter Lyle DeHaan, editor.]

Nurse Triage for Morbidity and Mortality


Save Lives and Lower Healthcare Costs

By Ravi K. Raheja, MD

We recently discussed why a nurse triage service is important for helping patients avoid unnecessary ER visits. The same holds true for those patients who have serious conditions but hesitate to seek emergency care. Read on to learn why implementing nurse triage can reduce patient morbidity and mortality and lower the associated healthcare costs at the same time.

Why Patients Delay Care

Many patients can feel self-conscious about their health, and don’t like to go to the ER unless they think it’s absolutely necessary. They may also be worried about insurance costs and would prefer waiting to see if their symptoms improve. But this hesitancy can put their overall health at risk if they’re exhibiting symptoms associated with underlying conditions: for instance, neck and shoulder pain that may be precursors to a heart attack.

Even if these symptoms don’t seem problematic immediately, it can take a very short period of time—sometimes less than 24 hours—before they may worsen. Having a qualified triage nurse who can talk with that patient and evaluate all of their symptoms using Schmitt-Thompson protocols will give them a definitive answer about whether or not they need the emergency department.

Not only does this lower the mortality rate at a given practice, it also helps patients avoid high medical bills. Those who may experience symptoms but continue to delay care may find themselves ultimately needing the ER anyway—and potentially an ambulance to get them there—and will have to pay more out of pocket compared to those treated early by a PCP. 

Conversely, patients who take active roles in their own healthcare are better able to avoid these situations. But they still need to know when their symptoms warrant going to the ER. Nurse triage is the best means of determining that.

Benefits of Nurse Triage

Nurse triage is a service where registered nurses talk with patients—either over the phone or through telehealth videoconferencing—to evaluate their symptoms and determine the best dispositions for care.

Those dispositions can be applied to both pediatric and adult cases. For a more in-depth discussion of how these age groups differ, and why there is a high referral rate for ER visits for adults, check out the e-book, Patient Symptoms & Outcomes.

Nurse triage should include:

  • Understanding the 10-step process for handling each call,
  • Access to the most up-to-date versions of daytime and after-hours triage protocols,
  • Use of intuitive nurse triage software to document all patient interactions, and 
  • Proper training on how to interact with all types of patients.

This service has demonstrated its ability to enhance patient health outcomes and provider revenue by assisting patients in comprehending the gravity of their symptoms, whether related to physical or mental health. It covers a spectrum from moderate to severe or even chronic conditions, and effectively identifies suitable healthcare professionals capable of providing treatment. This can even extend to ER referrals when necessary.

Morbidity and Mortality Examples

In a recent study we identified 60,753 patient callers who did not originally intend to go to the ER. Once evaluated by our triage nurses, we found that: 

  • 40,596 were correct and did not need to go,
  • 20,157 did need to go (33.2 percent), and 
  • 343 were actually instructed to call 911.
Morbidity Article Graph

Here are some examples of when our triage nurses have advised patients to seek treatment at an emergency department.

Case 1: 3-Day-Old Newborn with Loss of Appetite

Problem: A father called our nurses, worried that his newborn was not feeding or latching after just coming home from the hospital. The baby had been feeding and latching well earlier that day.

Outcome: After assessing that the newborn had demonstrated abnormal behavior, our nurses recommended emergency response.

Case 2: 22-Year-Old Adult with Chest Congestion

Problem: A patient called our nurses to ask for a refill on his inhaler, which expired earlier that year. He complained of chest congestion, a runny nose, and a sore throat that had started two days prior.

Outcome: After asking further questions about the patient’s symptoms, nurses learned he had difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and a pulse of over 100 BPM. They then determined the patient’s case was more severe than he realized and directed him to the ER.

Case 3: 47-Year-Old Adult with Chest Pain and Vertigo

Problem: A patient called our nurses and said that he was feeling chest pain, vertigo, dizziness, and headaches after taking his first dose of an SSRI earlier that day.

Outcome: After learning that the patient’s chest pain was intermittent, but increasing in severity, our nurses directed him to the ER.

Reduce Morbidity and Mortality Rates

Nurse triage plays a crucial role in assisting a wide range of cases, from new patients experiencing moderate symptoms like dehydration, to established patients with chronic conditions like heart disease. Whether you manage this service in-house or choose to outsource it, you’ll immediately see how these nurses can reduce incident rates and the number of deaths.

Ravi K. Raheja, MD is the CTO and Medical Director of the TriageLogic Group. Founded in 2007, TriageLogic is a URAC accredited, physician-led provider of high-quality telehealth services, remote patient monitoring, nurse triage, triage education, and software for telephone medicine. Their comprehensive solutions include integrated mobile access and two-way video capability. The TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over 25 million lives nationwide.

Contact them to talk about a program to reduce morbidity and mortality.

August 2023 Issue of AnswerStat

Read the August 2023 issue of AnswerStat, the information hub for healthcare contact centers.

Feature Content:


Embracing Digital Transformation, by Mark Montgomery
Embracing digital transformation can help healthcare providers enhance member support in the changing landscape of healthcare. . . . << read more >>

Vital Signs: Call Center Stakeholder Integration, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Don’t overlook stakeholder integration in your call center when seeking to optimize your operation and to pursue successful outcomes. . . . << read more >>

Vendor Spotlight:  TriageLogic Case Study: Improving Medical Message Intake with Augmented Intelligence
Improve medical message intake with augmented intelligence for your operators by using MedMessage Assist from TriageLogic. . . . << read more >>

Guest Column: Gamification in the Contact Center by Nicole Limpert
The evidence is clear. Gamification of call analytics is a win for everyone. . . . << read more >>

3 Reasons Why Triage Nurses Need to Train with Simulated Patients, by Ravi K. Raheja, MD
Training with simulated patients is critical to ensure that nurses are well-prepared to provide high-quality care in real-world situations. . . . << read more >>

Ten Years Ago: Telehealth Checklists: Staying on Track Across the Miles, by Dr. Charu Raheja
Telehealth checklists offer a simple solution that provides a significant impact, offering protocols that safeguard quality. . . . << read more >>

Industry News

Send us your healthcare call center news for consideration in the next issue of AnswerStat.

Marketplace Directory: AnswerStat Directory of leading Healthcare Contact Center vendors:

LVM - Healthcare Contact Centers
Startel first impressions are everything
Keona Health
Patients Count: Enterprise patient feedback solution

About AnswerStat
AnswerStat is the information hub for healthcare contact center news and resources, published specifically for hospital and medical contact centers and distributed free to qualified readers, decision -makers, and influencers at hospitals and healthcare contact centers worldwide.

Contact us for more information.

Call Center Stakeholder Integration

Connect with Critical Groups Who Often Go Overlooked

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

As we wrap up our five-part series, Integrate Your Call Center, our fourth consideration is stakeholder integration. (If you want to review, the other three are Integrate Your Call Center Staff, Integrate Your Call Center Tools, and Integrate with Your Organization.)

When we integrate our call center with our stakeholders, this means a better information flow between you and other groups that are ancillary to the call center but also integral to success. Here are some items to consider when it comes to integrating with your stakeholders.


First up for stakeholder integration is your vendors and suppliers. They are critical to your call center success, so it’s critical to have a good relationship with them. I’ve been on both sides of adversarial vendor-call center relationships, and the results are never good. For this reason, I always strive for mutually supportive, win-win interactions.

When you lift your vendors up, they’ll lift you up. And if you tear your vendors down, your operation is apt to suffer as a result. Seek interactions and solutions that are in your mutual self-interest. Your positivity will be rewarded.

And when difficulties arise—which they invariably will—seek to work with your vendors to find a solution rather than harass or threaten them. Remember, patience goes both ways.


Whether you’re part of a for-profit or nonprofit organization, someone has invested money in your operation, and they expect a return on that investment (ROI). If the call center fails to provide the return they expect, they’ll close it down and outsource the work. In a worst-case scenario, the organization will go out of business and close their doors. Either way, all those calls center jobs will be lost.

Yes, it’s the owners of your operation that control the purse strings. They are the ones who can say no to your funding requests. But they are not your enemy, so it’s important to have a good working relationship with them.

Call center investors and owners are the second source of stakeholder integration.


We’ve already talked about the importance of cross training when it comes to integrating your staff, yet call center employees are also stakeholders. They can be appreciative of their employers or hostile towards them. While this is a choice they decide, management plays a critical role in how well they’re integrated into the mission of the organization.

Key elements include their compensation package, managerial support, and how appreciated they feel for the work they do. Other areas are scheduling, workload, and a sense of a shared vision.

If they’re unhappy they’ll vent their frustrations with their coworkers, their family and friends, and potentially everyone who calls. Since they talk to a lot of people every day, a disgruntled telephone agent can harm your brand and hamper your objectives in quick order.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true. When they’re treated right, they’re much more apt to be happy and satisfied with their work. Then they’ll likewise let other people know, and their work will show it.


When it comes to making your call center the best it can be, be sure to include your stakeholders and integrate them into your operation. Though these groups often go overlooked, they are critical to your success. Don’t overlook stakeholder integration.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.

Read more of his articles or his book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials.

Case Study: Improving Medical Message Intake with Augmented Intelligence for Your Operators


By Ravi K. Raheja, MD

How accurate are the medical messages that your nonclinical operators send to your providers? According to Gilman and Bedigian, LLS, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice, one of the biggest factors that leads to a lawsuit is when operators don’t send critical messages to doctors immediately. In fact, we have found that out of all emergency messages, about 30 percent do not accurately relay the situation for the provider to react. (Also see this white paper on the accuracy of medical messages.)

So how do you ensure that nurses and providers are receiving appropriate information? Below we discuss an easy-to-use tool that helps train operators so that all medical message intake verifies potential emergencies related to each patient complaint. Best of all, this solution only increases call time by an average of 30 seconds. 

Consider this example of a patient message: a patient calls and reports they are feeling dizzy, experiencing both a headache and what they think is a sinus infection. At first glance, this may not be serious. To an uncertified operator, this wouldn’t sound like an emergency. However, after using our augmented intelligence tool, MedMessage Assist, the message adds that the patient is feeling weakness in their arm, leg, or face. 

This information, coupled with the reported headache, automatically reprioritizes the patient’s request. The triage nurse calls the patient back within a minute and ends up advising them through triage protocols to go to the emergency department immediately.

The bottom line: the difference between a nonurgent and emergent call can be a single overlooked symptom.

When we refer to accuracy, we aren’t just talking about how well an operator records what a patient tells them, we’re talking about whether the operator knows to ask additional questions based on those symptoms. This is because patients and operators aren’t medically certified, so it’s easy for both of them to overlook potentially harmful health conditions that their initial symptoms represent. 

This also means that if a message doesn’t accurately reflect the urgency of the patient’s symptom, the patient might end up waiting too long to receive a callback. Unnecessarily long wait times for patient care then leads to poor health outcomes.

So how can augmented intelligence improve medical message intake?

Analyze Data Recorded by Your Operators

When you implement MedMessage Assist (MMA), its software will analyze the text that your operators are typing into their online forms while they’re listening to patient callers. Then, when it detects symptoms that might indicate more severe medical conditions, it prompts operators to ask qualifying follow-up questions. Those answers will improve the specificity of each message and allow providers to establish a proper sense of urgency for processing patients’ requests.

How big of a difference that could really mean?

By the Numbers

When reviewing 2,661 report tickets for patient complaints submitted to triage nurses, MedMessage Assist generated additional information for 726 of them, or roughly 27 percent.

We also learned that about a third of all emergency messages submitted were initially insufficient. MMA helped clarify the messages that were emergencies, and in about 2 percent of the cases, the symptoms were serious enough to require 911 intervention.

Using MMA adds little time to any patient call: roughly 24 seconds when the original complaint isn’t changed, and 40 seconds when it is. That means each call requires less than a minute to ensure the accuracy of patient symptoms so that they receive the appropriate care advice.

As operators gain more experience with MMA, we also expect to see them anticipate which questions to ask and use MMA to compare their work. Implementing MMA has led to accuracy scores of over 99 percent, in some cases vastly improving the message intake that some providers previously reported.

Additional Benefits

Message accuracy has a positive domino effect on several additional aspects of the patient experience.

Improving the patient intake process leads to faster dispositions and greater safety for those who may need assistance sooner than scheduled appointments. In turn, operators become more efficient, which shields providers from malpractice liability.

Beyond these benefits, MMA can work with existing software, so you don’t have to worry about implementing an entirely new system or synchronizing your data with it. There’s also a minimal learning curve for MMA, as the system is designed to be self-teaching. Finally, it meets all requirements necessary to be HIPAA compliant.

Improve Medical Message Intake with a Free Trial of MMA

We’re confident that MedMessage Assist and its augmented intelligence will transform the way that offices manage its patients’ calls. 


Ravi K. Raheja, MD is the CTO and Medical Director of the TriageLogic Group. Founded in 2007, TriageLogic is a URAC accredited, physician-lead provider of high-quality telehealth services, remote patient monitoring, nurse triage, triage education, and software for telephone medicine. Their comprehensive solutions include integrated mobile access and two-way video capability. The TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over twenty-five million lives nationwide.

Are you ready to improve medical message intake and your patient health outcomes? Email us at to schedule a 15-minute demo. You may also qualify for a free trial of MedMessage Assist.

Gamification in the Contact Center


By Nicole Limpert

When was the last time you played a game? Did being competitive give you a boost of energy and make you feel engaged in what you were doing? According to WebMD, when a person wins a competition, their brain releases dopamine—a chemical that makes people feel good. The experience is also a learning opportunity and offers people a chance to improve their performance.

Human resource managers use game elements in the workplace to engage and motivate employees. Gamification in a traditionally non-game environment, such as when used within a company, leads to happier, more productive employees.

According to a Gamification at Work Survey from TalentLMS, gamification in the workplace made employees:

  • Feel more productive (89 percent) and happier (88 percent).
  • Believe they’d be more productive if their work was more gamified (89 percent).
  • Feel motivated during training (83 percent). For comparison, 61 percent of those who received non-gamified training felt bored and unproductive.

The Benefits of Using Gamification in Your Call Center

According to the 2022 NICE WEM Global Survey, the call center employee attrition rate in 2021 was 42 percent—one of the highest percentages of all industries. The same report found that 31 percent of customer service agents and managers were job hunting, and 40 percent of that group were so unenthused with the industry that they were searching for jobs in entirely different fields. One of the conclusions drawn by the report was, “It’s essential that organizations find ways to engage their existing agents to enhance loyalty and retention.”

Contact center gamification is an enjoyable and engaging approach to improve agent performance. Using gamification in conjunction with key performance indicator (KPI) management, present and share data in a fun way that taps into natural human behavior to increase productivity levels and support teamwork—even if your workforce is remote.

Gamifying call center analytics not only makes it more pleasant for managers to monitor operator performance, but it can also result in agents getting a boost of morale from the camaraderie fostered through friendly competition and receiving performance feedback in a fun way.

Call center metrics that can be gamified include:

  • Number of successful inbound calls and missed calls.
  • Call transfer rates.
  • Average call handling time and call length.
  • Hold times and call queue wait times.
  • Customer satisfaction scores and first call resolution rates.

Give prizes, such as gift certificates, to agents as a reward. If individual awards aren’t an option, consider donating to a charity to honor your employee or team. Doing something good for the community raises morale too.

Gamifying Contact Center Metrics

Some vendors include gamification tools in their workforce management software, while others support third-party integrations. If your contact center software has superior call metric capabilities, then you already have the data you need to take advantage of gamification in your call center.

Leverage call analytic reports to provide scores to determine how well agents handle calls. Call scoring tracks operator performance regarding:

  • Answer time (critical for code calls).
  • Accuracy of answer phrase.
  • Required questions asked
  • Proper grammar (such as saying yes instead of yeah or yep)
  • Manners (saying please and thank you)
  • Pacifying words (such as um, or ah).
  • Accuracy of call close

For specialized calls, such as code calls, customized scripts can verify that the agent correctly obtained the type of code, patient location, patient status, and if the agent announced the code overhead (if required), along with the timing from the answer to initiation and completion of paging.

Present the analytics gathered by your call center software using gamification principles. Report call assessments alongside informative graphs and scores to create individual and team rankings and leaderboards.

Creating a Call Center Gamification Strategy

Creating a strategy for your contact center’s use of gamification will guide decision-making and ensure you retain the original focus(es) over time.

Define what you hope to achieve by incorporating gamification into your contact center: Set goals such as higher employee satisfaction, lower turnover rates, improved productivity, better caller satisfaction scores, or shorter call times.

Measure success by setting clear, attainable, and objective benchmarks: Define how your scoring system will work. Explain what data will be measured, how they will be weighted, and any rules that fit your organization’s needs. Standard scoring tools include point systems, graphs, rankings, or levels.

Recognize good work and provide feedback on areas for improvement: Performance evaluation gives managers an opportunity to identify operators who would benefit from additional training and reward those who attain or exceed goals. These numbers from Gitnux highlight why it is essential for a company to have a recognition program:

  • Eighty percent of employees would work harder if they felt better appreciated.
  • Strong employee recognition programs reduce turnover rates by 31 percent.
  • Employees recognized for their work are almost six times more likely to stay at their jobs than those who aren’t.
  • Ninety-two percent of employees are likely to repeat a specific action if given recognition for it.

The evidence is clear. Gamification of call analytics is a win for everyone.

1Call, a division of Amtelco

Nicole Limpert is the marketing content writer for 1Call, a division of Amtelco.

LVM Systems Announces Partnerships with Arizona Golfers

LVM Systems

Sarah Schmelzel and Amy Bockerstette to Represent Healthcare Contact Center Provider

LVM Systems, a healthcare contact center solutions leader since 1988, supports women’s athletics by sponsoring two Arizona-based female golfers. The partnership will span over three years, and the team will include LPGA Tour Professional Sarah Schmelzel and Special Olympics Athlete and Disabilities Advocate Amy Bockerstette. The LVM Systems logo will appear on the front of each athlete’s hat beginning July 10th at the LPGA Tour’s Dana Open at Highland Meadows Golf Club and the U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst No. 6.

Sarah Schmelzel is an Arizona native and played collegiate golf at the University of South Carolina. She earned her LPGA Tour card for 2019 via the Epson Tour. She has collected six top-10 LPGA Tour finishes. “I am so excited to join the LVM Systems family,” said Schmelzel.

“With their amazing people, Arizona roots, and commitment to helping others, I am very honored to receive their support and serve as an ambassador for them as I compete on the LPGA Tour.”

Amy Bockerstette was the first person with Down syndrome to play in the Arizona High School Girls Golf Division I State Championship or to receive a collegiate athletic scholarship. She also became the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a national collegiate championship and later earned a silver medal at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

Amy and her family launched the I Got This Foundation, whose mission is to promote golf instruction and playing opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. “It is awesome to partner with a company from my home state that believes in me,” said Bockerstette. “I am happy and proud to join the family at LVM Systems. We can do great things together to make a difference!”

LVM Systems’ CEO, Robert Cluff, shared that “LVM is thrilled to support women’s golf by sponsoring two Arizona athletes. Sarah and Amy are wonderful people that also have amazing talent. LVM is happy to play a small part in supporting their dreams.”

According to Cluff, Bockerstette’s “I got this” mantra embodies the spirit of LVM Systems and its service commitment to its healthcare software clients.

LVM Systems logo

Since 1988, LVM Systems has developed leading-edge healthcare contact center solutions, becoming a well-established name in the industry. LVM’s mission is to “Help healthcare organizations help the patients they serve.” To accomplish this, LVM anticipates industry needs and constantly updates its company and products to stay current with today’s healthcare changes.

Leading healthcare contact centers depend on LVM Systems to provide best-in-class customer support, advanced reporting methodologies, and software flexibility. Its configurable software enables healthcare organizations to address their current needs while positioning them to overcome unforeseen future challenges.

Mobius Vendor Partners Releases Comments on Proposed Rule Changes to the HCAHPS Survey Process

Patients-Count: Enterprise patient feedback solution

Indianapolis-based Mobius Vendor Partners (MobiusVP) presented comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a number of proposals to improve and modernize the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey process. (See their full comments to the proposals.)

In general, Mobius Vendor Partners supports the policy proposals and is excited to play a role in both increasing accessibility for patients and ensuring that providers are receiving accurate data from a larger pool of stakeholders.

The policy proposals supported by Mobius VP consisted of a variety of methods to increase accessibility and inclusivity, including:

  • Expanded modes of survey administration (website, email, text messaging)
  • Allowing proxy responses
  • Extending the data collection period (49 days)
  • Requiring a Spanish-language option
  • Removal of interactive voice response (IVR) and multi-site options

With these changes to the HCAHPS survey, providers will be able to collect significantly more data from patients, giving the healthcare industry an opportunity to further improve their practices and enhance the overall patient experience.

Patients-Count® is a tool that assists hospitals in the online deployment of the HCAHPS survey. As one of the most accessible patient feedback management products on the market, Patients-Count helps measure not only episodes of care, but every step of the patient and healthcare employee journey.

In 2021, Mobius Vendor Partners was the recipient of the BBB Torch Award for Ethics and Commitment to Customers, which recognizes companies throughout North America that maintain an outstanding dedication to upholding ethical business standards and promoting trust in the marketplace, a rare accolade for a Business-to-Business (B2B) company.

Mobius is an active member of several community and industry organizations, including the Indy Chamber, OneZone Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association (ITIA), Conscious Capitalism’s Senior Leadership Network, the Beryl Institute, the American Hospital Association, and the Society for Health Care Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD).

Mobius is a member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). Bob Kobek, CEO of Mobius Vendor Partners, sits on the ARDA Membership Committee and is a founding member of the ARDA Women in the Industry (WIN). Kobek has also served as the Interim President of the American Teleservices Association.

Mobius Vendor Partners is also an Industry Partner for the Computer Science Industry Partnership Program (CSIPP), which is part of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Department of Computer and Information Science in the Purdue School of Science, to help train and inspire the next generation of technology professionals.

Patients-Count: Enterprise patient feedback solution

For more information about Mobius Vendor Partners, visit

Embracing Digital Transformation

Enhance Member Support in the Changing Landscape of Healthcare

By Mark Montgomery

In the wake of the digital revolution, the healthcare industry is beginning to embrace technology and transforming the way patient care and support is delivered. The shift to digital platforms has undoubtedly improved accessibility and convenience for patients. However, as healthcare providers race to keep up with the digital wave, concerns have emerged regarding the potential erosion of patient-centric care.

From Crisis Response to Patient-Focused Approach

During the peak of the pandemic, healthcare providers quickly pivoted to telehealth services to address immediate digital needs. This shift not only demonstrated the effectiveness of virtual care but also paved the way for broader acceptance of digital healthcare management. Deloitte’s recent digital health integration research shows that 75 percent of health system leaders surveyed said their organizations are rethinking business models by shifting away from a treatment-based approach to focus on maintaining patients’ health and well-being through digital technologies and patient support systems.

In the evolving landscape of healthcare, providers must not overlook the crucial role that customer support tools and investments play in ensuring a seamless and patient-centric experience. By leveraging these resources effectively, providers can enhance patient support, improve communication, and elevate the holistic experience they deliver.

Facing An Array of Challenges

With the rapid shift to digital healthcare as a main platform, patients still face challenges in accessing care, scheduling appointments, and communicating with healthcare providers. Communication issues, such as the use of complex medical jargon and rushed consultations, leave patients feeling confused and unheard. Additionally, inadequate patient engagement, billing and insurance complexities, and a lack of emphasis on the overall customer experience contribute to dissatisfaction.

The existing challenges are exacerbated by fragmented care coordination. To enhance customer service, healthcare providers should prioritize accessibility, effective communication, patient engagement, transparent billing processes, and comprehensive care coordination.

Several significant factors contribute to these challenges:

  • Decreased Human Connection: The rise of digital interactions has inadvertently diminished the human connection between healthcare providers and patients. Studies show that patients value empathy, compassion, and personal attention, which can be compromised when most interactions occur through digital channels.
  • Communication Gaps: Digital platforms often fall short in replicating the nuanced communication offered by face-to-face interactions. This can result in misunderstandings, reduced patient satisfaction, and compromised healthcare outcomes. Patient concerns may be misinterpreted, explanations may be inadequate, and limited opportunities for patients to ask questions can arise.
  • Fragmented Healthcare Experiences: Over-reliance on digital technologies leads to fragmented healthcare experiences. Throughout their care journey, patients encounter various digital touchpoints such as online scheduling, telemedicine visits, and remote monitoring apps. While these innovations offer convenience individually, the lack of integration among these platforms can result in disjointed experiences, leading to confusion and frustration.
  • Information Overload: Digital platforms generate an overwhelming amount of health information readily available to patients. While patient education is crucial, excessive information can confuse patients and hinder their decision-making process. Moreover, patients may come across inaccurate or unreliable information, potentially exacerbating their concerns or leading to self-diagnosis.

Put Patients First

In the era of digital healthcare, customer service plays a crucial role in ensuring patient satisfaction. Patients have high expectations for timely and personalized support throughout their healthcare journey. Using technology, healthcare providers can offer efficient and responsive customer service. This includes addressing inquiries and concerns through various channels like phone, chat, and email. There are several important opportunities for healthcare providers to enhance patient support, such as:

  • Creating Seamless Omnichannel Experiences: Providers should prioritize the development of integrated digital platforms that streamline the patient journey, with patient support and service at the forefront. By harmonizing different touchpoints such as telemedicine, online scheduling, and patient portals, healthcare organizations can ensure smooth transitions between channels to improve the overall patient experience. By engaging a BPO partner, providers have an opportunity to gain a comprehensive view of patient data and needs more seamlessly. This facilitates better care coordination and enabling providers to deliver personalized, patient-centric services and support networks.
  • Placing Importance on Human Interaction in Digital Experiences: While technology is instrumental in enhancing efficiency, healthcare organizations must find ways to incorporate a human touch into digital interactions. The implementation of empathetic chatbots (yes, that is a thing), video consultations with healthcare professionals, and personalized follow-up communications can bridge the gap between automation and authentic patient experiences. These initiatives emphasize the significance of patient-centricity and help build trust in the digital realm. Having a partner in customer support that can rapidly ramp up support during spikes or critical times, all while understanding the business needs and patient demands is crucial to the long-term success of patient support programs.
  • Leveraging Data for Personalization and Proactive Care: By harnessing the power of data analytics, healthcare providers can customize services to meet individual patients’ needs, providing personalized care on a larger scale. According to the Harvard Business Review, the healthcare sector has more customer information than any other industry. By utilizing patient data such as medical history, preferences, and social determinants of health, providers can anticipate patient needs, identify potential health risks, and offer proactive interventions. This data-driven approach empowers patients and ensures their care remains at the forefront of healthcare delivery.

Patient customer service should proactively engage patients by providing educational resources, preventive care reminders, and personalized wellness programs. What’s more, by utilizing data analytics, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into individual members’ needs and preferences, enabling proactive and personalized user engagement. This approach not only strengthens the patient relationship but also contributes to better health outcomes.

In an increasingly competitive healthcare landscape, health systems must prioritize customer service elements to position themselves for growth. Being data-driven is crucial, but it is equally important for health systems to align themselves with measures that cater specifically to healthcare users. By focusing on patient-centric information, health systems can effectively compete for patients’ share of care in an environment where the supply of services exceeds the current demand.

Mark Montgomery is the head of global operations delivery at Ubiquity. He is responsible for contact center operations and client delivery across Ubiquity’s global footprint. He has more than twenty-five years of management and operational excellence experience in the BPO space.

The July 2023 Issue of Medical Call Center News

Read the July 2023 issue of Medical Call Center News.

Medical Call Center News is an e-newsletter published by Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc, in conjunction with AnswerStat magazine.

Please tell your coworkers about Medical Call Center News.

Thank you!

[Medical Call Center News is published by Peter DeHaan Publishing IncPeter Lyle DeHaan, editor.]