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TriageLogic Releases Data on Remote Nurse Triage Calls


TriageLogic

TriageLogic®, a leader in telephone nurse triage and remote patient communication, released data pertaining to remote nurse triage in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study provide insight into how triage nurses can help hospitals and healthcare organizations provide high-quality remote care for patients during major public health episodes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how doctors and health facilities care for patients. Between lockdown orders and public fear of going to doctor’s offices or hospitals, telemedicine and remote nurse triage has become a vital service for the healthcare industry. Through these changes, TriageLogic has kept meticulous records on patient sentiments, attitudes, demographics, and triage outcomes to help providers and hospitals better understand their patients. While doing so, TriageLogic has provided high quality care to callers by diverting patients without worrying symptoms with homecare advice or by scheduling telehealth visits.

With this data, TriageLogic extrapolated trends and insights to help the healthcare industry better understand the pandemic and patient responses to it. The white paper, “Nurse Triage: Patient Phone Calls About COVID-19,” is for all healthcare providers and organizations. 

The insights from this paper are helpful in explaining the importance of telephone triage and remote patient care. The numbers clearly support the fact that patients, in times of anxiety and genuine sickness, turned to these lines because they are an effective, convenient, and safe alternative to going to the emergency room or doctor’s office. This has helped alleviate the healthcare system during a time of record hospital admissions due to COVID-19.

This data is provided to the medical community in hopes that it sheds light on patients and their behavior during this challenging time. 

TriageLogic

TriageLogic (info@triagelogic.com) is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of top-quality nurse telehealth technology, remote patient monitoring, and medical call center solutions, all with the purpose of encouraging positive patient behavior and improving access to healthcare. Founded in 2006, the TriageLogic Group now serves more than 9,000 physicians and covers over 20 million lives nationwide.

4 Ways Healthcare BPO Partnerships Deliver

By Austin Ridgeway

Healthcare has certainly made strides toward providing a member and patient experience to rival the consumer-centric disruption of other industries. But while healthcare has been slightly behind the B2C (business to consumer) curve, payers and providers lead other industries when it comes to leveraging business process outsourcing (BPO) strengths such as co-creation, design thinking, and lifecycle reference-ability of processes. Faced with the heightened prioritization of customer needs, experience, and value stream impact, health organizations are more familiar than most industries with BPOs and the value they can deliver.

Healthcare’s History with BPOs

Over the years, the healthcare market has relied on outsourcing partners that bring strategic insights, optimization, and efficiencies to critical operations. Today’s more evolved healthcare BPO partnerships speak to the dramatic shifts in how the industry is assessing vendors and to the maturity of healthcare’s adoption of these resources. Healthcare organizations—managing a fine and often challenging balance of front and back-office demands—have worked closely with BPO providers to adapt to changing market trends, technology, and customer demand. And the BPO approach has matured from an outsourced, single locale solution to coordinated efforts across geographies to optimize talent allocation, process efficiency, and data analysis. 

Strong BPO partnerships are built on the principles of lean operations, co-creation, design thinking, and globalization. Click To Tweet

Some may say that these changes pose challenges to the outsourcing model. However, it is the opposite—and notably for healthcare’s reliance on end-to-end solutions. Over the past forty plus years of outsourcing’s history, many BPO organizations have transcended their roles as providers of labor arbitrage and consistently shown themselves to be true ambassadors of transformation.

Strategic Priorities

Today’s healthcare BPO partner builds significant client ROI from these key strategic priorities:

Capacity Augmentation: Historically, healthcare organizations have leaned on BPOs for scalability. These providers and payers don’t want to expand beyond and break an operational excellence goal, so they cocreate and rely on a BPO partner to bring additional resources, solutions, and innovation. 

Typically, when sourcing for a partner, healthcare organizations rely on vendors that can improve capacity planning and offer solutions such as robotic process automation (RPA) to augment existing resources within the process. Through these initiatives, organizations can reduce effort and close operational gaps. That in turn can help scale back some operational expenses.

Challenger Mindset: In the quest to keep bettering their own organizations, payers and providers increasingly look to BPOs for a neutral business perspective and vast domain insights, tools, and talent. To this point, healthy competition helps to shake up a cultural mindset and drive organizational change. 

Often an outsourcer is brought in to challenge the internal operations champion, driving competition to improve productivity. The net result of increased pressure to succeed can be higher quality scores, improved turnaround times, and better member and patient satisfaction.

Cultural Assimilation and Alignment: Gone are the days when offshore locales were viewed as secondary to onshore locations. With the increased focus on globalization, there has been more direct alignment—and even assimilation—of partner and client cultures. This includes the fact that BPOs can fill a niche as a brand ambassador with retail-honed customer experience skills and bring access to a wider customer base.

Market Differentiation: In recent years, there has been a shift to more consultative services rather than simply answering calls. Today’s BPOs possess best-in-class solutions, and they have the scale to launch them to a broader market. The ramp up and speed-to-market can accelerate with the right BPO, one that can best work across a client’s own internal siloes and bring positive impact to other areas of the business. Today’s BPO providers can pilot multiple capabilities to truly transform end-to-end processes and bring value outside of traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreement (SLAs). 

Conclusion

No matter the strategy, strong BPO partnerships are built on the principles of lean operations, as well as co-creation, design thinking, and globalization. Healthcare organizations that view BPO as strictly a cost-cutting measure are missing out on the real value, which is the meaningful changes that help eliminate siloes and align objectives to achieve true operational and engagement impact.

Austin Ridgeway is director, sales support, and business development for HGS Healthcare.

December 2020 Issue of AnswerStat

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



Feature Content:

Care Management, by Terri Hibbs
See how you can educate and support patients and their families to help them make better healthcare choices that can save lives. . . . read more >>

Vital Signs: Finish Strong and Don’t Coast into the New Year, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
End this year with intention and prepare to move into next year. . . . read more >>

A Problem—and Opportunity—for Healthcare Call Centers, by Greg Kefer
Using chatbot technology, the odds of reaching someone and helping them with their care can only increase. . . . read more >>

3 Steps to Improve the Patient Experience Through Contact Centers, by Donna Martin
Achieve maximum scalability, reliability, and flexibility for agents who work on-premise or at a BPO partner. . . . read more >>

Virtually Consolidate Large and Multi-State Hospital Call Centers to Work from Home, by Nicole Limpert
Discover the benefits and cost-savings of having staff work from home. . . . read more >>

Ten Years Ago: What Are Your Call Metrics Really Telling You? by Vasudha K. Deming
Use metrics to balance between quality, productivity, customer service, and patient satisfaction. . . . 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:

Ameridial healthcare solutions
Call 4 Health
Startel
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)
Pulsar360
Keona Health


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.

Finish Strong and Don’t Coast into the New Year

How We Conclude This Year Will Prepare Us for What Happens Next Year

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

This year continues to be a challenging one, more so than most others—perhaps any other. As we look forward to a new year in our healthcare call center, we turn the calendar with expectations of a better future, along with a wondering about how much things will change. Whether we find ourselves forced into a new normal or can return to an old normal looms as a huge question. But what we do know for sure is that what we do today in the remaining months of this year will influence what we encounter in the next.

Here are some things to consider.

Make Flexible Plans 

As you look forward to the new year, develop a strategy with contingencies. Do it now. Factor in options. This means developing a plan A and a plan B and even a plan C. It means considering tactics in how to do things in person and remotely. Look to implement technology that can adapt to accommodate expectations as needed, regardless of what path the future takes. Assume that what you’re doing today in your call center will change as you move throughout the year.

Don’t Coast

The understandable temptation, after an especially grueling year, is to relax. It might be you’re worn out and want a break. Another thought is that you’ve worked hard and deserve to take it easy. Though resting has its merits, that’s not justification to check out and coast through this year’s remaining days. 

Resist the temptation to tell yourself that you’ll make up for taking a break now by promising to hit the ground running on January 2. By then inertia will have set in, and it will take too long to get back up to speed. Breezing through work for a few weeks may seem like an attractive option, but the big-picture perspective is that you run the risk of not being able to embrace a new year.

Pursue small initiatives now to form a foundation you can build on to produce success faster when you return to work after the holidays. Click To Tweet

Be Intentional

Instead, be deliberate in how you wind down the final days of December. This doesn’t mean accelerating at full speed, but don’t hit the brakes either. Look to wrap up projects so that you don’t have to carry them into a new year. Pursue small initiatives now to form a foundation you can build on to produce success faster when you return to work after the holidays.

Make Time for Family and Friends

Speaking of holidays, this year your celebrations may look different than in the past. Even so, seek safe ways to connect with family and friends. Don’t take unnecessary risks, but don’t be a hermit either. We need each other, we crave connection—whatever that looks like today, and we require interaction if we are to stay mentally fit and emotionally healthy.

May you finish strong this year and move with confident preparedness into the next.

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 at PeterDeHaanPublishing.com.

Amtelco’s Soft Agent Helps Customers Transform the Agent Experience


1Call, a division of Amtelco

Soft Agent now rated “Avaya compliant,” compatible with Avaya OneCloud CCaaS solutions

Amtelco, a leading supplier for more than 40 years of communication technologies and software communications applications, announced that its Soft Agent application version 5.4 is compliant with key Avaya OneCloud™ CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) solutions, helping customers optimize the agent experience by turning any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station. 

The backbone of the Soft Agent application is the Amtelco sandbox, a single-point-of-entry solution that provides agents with the most current information possible to process calls. Click To Tweet

Amtelco solutions helps customers simplify and optimize their contact center operations. Applications like Soft Agent can be integrated with both hard-wired legacy systems and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based Voice Over IP (VoIP) networks. The backbone of the Soft Agent application is the Amtelco sandbox, a single-point-of-entry solution that provides agents with the most current information possible to process calls. The application is now compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with the Avaya Aura® platform 8.1.

“We are excited that this latest release of our Soft Agent application has successfully completed Avaya DevConnect compliance testing,” said Tom Curtin, president, Amtelco. “Our mutual customers can confidently deploy Soft Agent with their Avaya OneCloud CCaaS solutions, helping them uncover new possibilities for getting more out of their communications infrastructure.”  

“Technology partners like Amtelco are helping customers make the most of the Avaya technology they deploy, while improving the customer service experience by optimizing contact center efficiency,” said Eric Rossman, vice president, Partners, Developers and Alliances, Avaya.

1Call, a division of Amtelco

The 1Call Division of Amtelco is a leader in developing software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of the healthcare call center marketplace. 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, save an organization’s limited resources, and increase efficiency, helping them bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

Care Management

By Terri Hibbs, BSN, RN, CCCTM

The healthcare system has a large population of elderly patients, many with multiple healthcare issues or chronic conditions. Taking part in a care management program can help these patients become healthier by educating them about their disease processes and the importance of medication compliance, regular blood work, annual tests, and preventative measures such as flu and pneumonia shots and mammograms, and colonoscopies. 

Care management services provide patients with contact to inform them of their conditions in terms they understand and to involve them in personal healthcare goals. In this way, patients are more likely to want to be involved in reaching their goals and becoming healthier. The intent is to keep these patients out of the emergency room and hospital as much as possible. 

What is Care Management?

“Care Management programs apply systems, science, incentives, and information to improve medical practice and assist consumers and their support system to become engaged in a collaborative process designed to manage medical, social, and mental health conditions more effectively. The goal of care management is to achieve an optimal level of wellness and improve coordination of care while providing cost effective, non-duplicative services.” (“Care Management Definition and Framework,” Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., 2007.)

Taking part in a care management program can help these patients become healthier. Click To Tweet

Two Types of Care Management

1. Transitional Care Management is a Medicare service that became effective Jan. 1, 2013, per cms.gov. The care management team or nurse navigator will call a patient or caregiver within two days of inpatient discharge to discuss medication, a new diagnosis, or important follow up appointments with the purpose of reducing and preventing readmissions and medical errors. 

2. Chronic Care Management (CCM), according to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is a chronic care management services, which are a critical component of primary care that contributes to better health and care for individuals. The goal is to provide the patient and family with the best care possible to keep them out of the hospital and emergency room and to minimize overall medical cost. The program is used to help patients achieve a better quality of life through continuous care and management of their chronic conditions. Patients collaborate with healthcare providers to set healthcare goals, thus making it more likely they will accomplish those objectives.

Case Study

One patient I worked with is a successful participant in the CCM program. He initially visited the emergency department because of unstable vital signs, weakness, dizziness, and uncontrolled hypertension. He had been out of his medication for three months, was admitted for congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation, and spent four days in the hospital. He also had uncontrolled diabetes with a Hemoglobin A1C of 10.7 percent and his average fasting blood sugars at home were running in the 300s. 

The patient consented to the CCM program for his chronic conditions of atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. He was very eager and willing to learn about his disease processes and to take his medication on a regular basis. He was given information on Medicaid services to help with medication expenses and was educated on Metformin titration and use of his insulin. 

I also regularly contacted him for a report on his blood sugar and blood pressure readings. In just two short months the patient has stopped smoking and his fasting blood sugars are now running in the low 130s. He has a better relationship with his son and granddaughter, is more physically active, and is making better food choices. He is due for a repeat Hemoglobin A1C level next month. 

This is just one of many examples of what care management can do for a patient. As a nurse navigator, my patients become like a part of my family. I am blessed to be able to educate and support our patients and their families and to help them to make better healthcare choices that can potentially save their lives. 

Terri Hibbs, BSN, RN, CCCTM is a care navigator for Baptist Health Hardin Family Medicine.

Virtually Consolidate Large and Multi-State Hospital Call Centers to Work from Home


1Call, a division of Amtelco

By Nicole Limpert

According to a survey published by the American Hospital Association (AHA) in 2016, there are 3,231 community hospitals in the United States that are a part of a larger hospital system.

The AHA defines these enterprises as either a multihospital system where two or more hospitals are owned, leased, sponsored, or contract managed by a central organization; or a single, freestanding hospital that includes membership of three or more, and at least 25 percent, of non-hospital healthcare organizations. These sizable healthcare systems are often the result of mergers. Hospitals announced a total of 115 merger and acquisition transactions in 2017 alone and this trend is on the rise.

No matter how large the hospital enterprise, call centers are often the first point of contact when a patient or prospective patient contacts a healthcare organization. It’s essential that callers have a helpful, positive interaction with the operators they speak with because medical call center representatives often serve as the face of a health system.

Communications within these large hospital systems were already incredibly complex before the coronavirus began to spread. When the pandemic began, many hospitals sent their call center workforce home to safely handle calls while in isolation.

Call center software gives hospital organizations the flexibility to turn any computer into a fully functional operator workstation. Callers have a seamless communication experience with their provider, even if their hospital has various campuses or locations across multiple states, all while the person they are talking to is working from home.

Using a Virtual Server Brings Multiple Hospital Call Centers Together

Healthcare systems with multiple hospitals, clinics, and call centers can run on a single virtual server located anywhere in the country to function together seamlessly—even if they all use different PBX telephone systems.

This enables hospital call centers to pivot during uncertain times, such as the current coronavirus outbreak, and also grow without adding additional server hardware. Using a virtual server means less equipment needs to be maintained. This saves an organization time and money, which has become even more crucial with pandemic-related budget crises. 

To streamline call flows, hospital enterprises are combining and scaling their communication systems virtually. This allows them to take advantage of running their call centers in a virtual server environment or in the cloud, while keeping staff safe. 

Other benefits of running call centers remotely:

  • Ability to route calls to another center in the event of an emergency
  • Offering longer operating hours by taking advantage of call centers or agents located in different time zones
  • Easier for supervisors to get fill-in operators if an agent is sick
  • Ability to handle more calls during peak hours by overflowing calls to other centers during their non-peak times
  • Tap other labor markets such as retired nurses, students, or a lower-cost workforce and hire people who are located outside of expensive city areas with high compensation rates

Secure Messaging Apps Remotely Support Care Teams

Secure organizational communication is crucial for protecting patients, medical staff, and hospital organizations. Care teams use these apps to send secure text, photo, audio, and video content related to a patient’s electronic protected health information (ePHI), via smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. 

These apps simplify healthcare communications to provide a better patient experience and speed the process of patient admissions, lab results, and patient transport within a hospital. Call center agents working from home also use cloud-based secure messaging apps to contact on-call medical staff via their computer. 

“As a healthcare system, we need a secure messaging platform for our clinical staff to share critical health information quickly and easily,” says Steven Spachtholz, director of information systems for Butler Health System in Butler, PA. “For us, the advantage of using the platform is its tight integration to our call center system that we use to provide answering services to our physicians.”

Steven explains, “We started using secure messaging with our internal answering service, but it grew to become our only secure messaging platform. What makes the secure messaging app we use different, is its integration with our call center software for on-call data and the integration engine we use which allows us to inject messages from other systems. All routine consults now flow from our electronic health record (EHR) database to our secure messaging app automatically.”

Secure texting apps can also keep track of all message activity with an audit log and a message log, complete with message histories, indicating whom messages were sent to, when messages were read, and who replied to a message. These logs can be made into reports for call center supervisors and hospital management.

Future of Web-based Hospital Communication

Hospital staff must be able to access the information they need at any time from any place. It’s a fundamental and critical part of any healthcare organization’s communication protocol. This is especially true during a pandemic since it’s more likely that both call center and medical staff may be working from home or from different hospital locations.

Web-based applications that are specifically developed for the healthcare industry have proven to be incredibly effective in providing fast and secure communication, improving communication times, adding efficiencies through remote access, and reducing the number of potential errors caused by miscommunication. 

Some hospital call centers already had a select group of operators working from home, but the COVID-19 crisis forced more hospitals to take advantage of having a virtual call center. Many studies have since been published about the benefits and cost-savings of having staff work from home. Some organizations have already decided to keep their call center staff remote, and the latest trends indicate this once temporary solution is going to be a permanent shift in the industry.

1Call, a division of Amtelco

Nicole Limpert is the marketing content writer for Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco is a leading provider of innovative communication applications. 1Call develops software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.

A Problem—and Opportunity—for Healthcare Call Centers



By Greg Kefer

Your phone starts ringing, you drop what you’re doing, look at the screen, and see a call from some odd number from a faraway place. Or worse yet, it says “Scam Likely!” I’m rarely in the mood to listen to some foreign language robot or get rich pitch. Phone calls that matter have increasingly become the minority.

According to estimates, US mobile phone users were exposed to 48 billion robocalls in 2018, which means that every time the phone rings, there’s a 50 percent chance it’s a spam robocall.

Training the Masses to Decline Calls

There are few viable solutions available for blocking 100 percent of these annoying intrusions, so the best option when that unknown phone number shows on the caller ID is to simply hit the decline button and move on with whatever you were doing. Robocalls are creating anti-call center muscle memory across the entire mobile phone user population.

The shunning of annoying telemarketing cold calls is not a new thing. But thanks to robocall automation, the surge of incoming noise has become so intense, there’s little chance a consumer will pause and consider the possibility that an incoming call might actually matter. This is a problem for the healthcare industry.

Call centers have always been a big part of the healthcare patient experience. Challenges with being on hold, ineffective agents, and general customer dissatisfaction with call centers are well documented. But what about the outbound side?

The Challenge for Healthcare Call Centers

The healthcare industry is investing heavily in engaging patients, and call centers are a big piece of that strategy. Outbound calling campaigns help patients navigate their care, set appointments, take medicines, or check in after a visit. These are potentially important touch points. If people stop answering their phones, what happens? Email outreach is frequently intercepted by spam filters, secure messaging is clunky, and most patients don’t log into their healthcare portals.

At call centers, human capacity has always been a constraint. When it comes to dealing with healthcare situations, there have not been a lot of viable automation options that blend a quality, well-designed engagement experience with a high-scale system. Anybody that has received a robocall doctor’s appointment reminder knows how disengaging it is.

The healthcare industry faces a challenge when it comes to reaching out to patients, often for critical issues.

  • Providers and pharma companies need to reach out and connect with patients.
  • Most patients have a mobile phone and prefer to communicate through them.
  • Robocalls have trained consumers to avoid answering their phones.
  • Healthcare mobile apps are too clunky and remain unused.
  • Consumers prefer text messaging.

Heavy investment in call center technology that’s focused on intelligent patient information and agent enablement is still key. But is there a new opportunity for call centers to reach out to patients as part of a patient engagement effort?

Digital Conversations at Unlimited Scale

Conversational chatbots that interact with people in a way similar to text messaging are finding their way into many industries. What would happen if an interactive text front end, first touch was woven into the outbound call center approach? The bot could completely handle simple tasks, such as reminders and information gathering. Or it could start on some of the more advanced workflows, such as monitoring care progression or providing drug background information in advance of a human to human interaction.

As they stand today, call center agents are premium level expenses when compared to a well-designed chatbot that can run 24/7. Imagine a call center not constrained by human capacity.

If the virtual dimension of a modern patient engagement strategy requires outreach and interaction with vast populations of patients, the answer isn’t to hire more agents. Rather, you must find a way to make the agents you already have handle an increased volume, with conversational chatbots conversing and engaging patients across a spectrum of workflows. And the entire process would be in the medium that consumers increasingly prefer—text-based messaging.

With this chatbot technology, the odds of reaching someone and helping them with their care can only increase.

Greg Kefer is the CMO at LifeLink.

3 Steps to Improve the Patient Experience Through Contact Centers



By Donna Martin

Hospitals and health systems are competing ever more fiercely to gain and retain patient business, and first impressions are critical. This is why a modern patient contact center is essential both for differentiating your organization from the competition and preventing revenue leakage.

As we head into 2021, the healthcare industry will face continued financial distress and uncertainty. To remain competitive, it will be crucial to understand how your organization uses vital contact points to ensure patients have a seamless experience from start to finish. 

Assess Your Patients’ Needs

Just like you, your health system’s patients are consumers who shop at Amazon, go to Starbucks, and purchase airline tickets. As a result, they’ve grown accustomed to expect a concierge level of ultra-personalized customer service. The retail industry has decades of experience providing this level of service. Retail companies tap technology to make constant improvements to help differentiate their brand through predicting and delivering on the needs of their customers. This, in turn, helps retain and grow their customer base. 

The healthcare industry is just starting to catch on to this level of customer service, with providers being incentivized or penalized to implement value-based care throughout the patient experience. Let’s explore how to measurably improve patient experiences and engagement in ways that are realistic and based on the unique requirements of healthcare delivery.

The goal of contact centers should be to make the patient experience as easy as possible through both personalization and self-service. Click To Tweet

Step 1: Create a Foundation

From your patient’s perspective, even small hospitals are difficult to navigate via telephone. Partial or full automation of inbound phone calls from patients can allow providers to create a “single front door” for patients. This will create a unified patient experience and cut down on a needless chain of call transfers. 

Adding automated patient identification and authentication not only personalizes the interaction and ascertains the primary reason for the patient’s call, but also leads to complete resolution for a host of common inquiries like appointment confirmations, directions, hours, and payments, without ever needing to engage an agent. With this streamlined foundation in place, providers can begin to continuously and consistently track patient interactions to build intelligence for future contact, as well as gather communication preferences where possible. 

Every new element of data collected builds on previous elements and paints a holistic portrait of your patient. This helps create the foundation for predictive intent and provide an effortless patient experience. In addition, as you develop a performance baseline, you can conduct patient experience surveys to use actionable data to make agile, targeted improvements.

Step 2: Be Proactive and Dynamic

One goal of value-based care is keeping patients in your health system, but out of the hospital. Why not apply a similar goal to patient engagement? By applying dynamic decision-making to the data collection efforts established in Step 1, you can begin to develop proactive patient engagement strategies that may reduce the need for patients to call. 

For example, with the right automated inbound solution, your organization can identify patients calling from a mobile device and then take that opportunity to drive them to alternative, lower cost channels, such as SMS, text, and patient portals. The combination of these elements will further the productivity of your access center, drive costs down within your business, and maximize the patient experience. In addition, this level of dynamic data collection and usage can also provide you with a steady stream of valuable patient data to continue to enhance and optimize your solution.

Step 3: Integrate Patient Preferences

Last, using components of Steps 1 and 2, layer in patient communication preferences and cross-channel patient interaction data. In this scenario, you could see that a patient accesses the patient portal to find a specialist and is now calling into the access center for help. An intelligent self-service solution recognizes the patient, confirms they are looking for a specialist and sends the patient directly to the appropriate scheduling agent without the patient having to make a single menu selection—again, an effortless and loyalty building patient experience. 

Conclusion

With all these steps offered in a cloud-based, self-service environment, your organization will achieve maximum scalability, reliability, and flexibility for agents who work in either a brick-and-mortar setting or through a business process outsourcing partner. Implementing these three steps ensures your access center will always be available to support patients and providers. The goal of contact centers should be to make the patient experience as easy as possible through both personalization and self-service—striving for that perfect balance between automation and a live, human-touch interaction.

Donna Martin is senior vice president at HGS Healthcare.

October/November 2020 Issue of AnswerStat

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



Feature Content:

Remote Health Monitoring and Care Management, by Nicole Limpert
Remote health monitoring and wearable technologies, will enhance care management by providing detailed health readings about patients . . . read more >>

Vital Signs: Serve Your Stakeholders, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Understand your purpose in working at a healthcare call center . . . read more >>

Vendor Spotlight on AccessNurse
Discover more about AccessNurse, formerly TeamHealth Medical Call Center . . . read more >>

Care Management and the Contact Center, by Traci Haynes
Contact center care management, is a win for healthcare systems, the providers (interprofessional team), and most importantly, patients . . . read more >>

Successful Telemedicine Service Strategy, by Dr. Ravi Raheja
Telemedicine has exploded and doesn’t seem to be stopping. Evaluate these factors to consider when implementing or expanding telemedicine services . . . read more >>

Healthcare Customer Engagement, by Srikanth Lakshminarayanan
Healthcare customer service is as uniquely fulfilling as it is challenging. Discover how to produce better outcomes . . . read more >>

Ten years ago: To Train or Not to Train, by Rosanne D’Ausilio, Ph.D.
Tools, techniques, common phraseology, and language are just a few requirements for world-class customer service. Introduce them in live, interactive training sessions . . . 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:

Ameridial healthcare solutions
Call 4 Health
Startel
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)
Pulsar360
Keona Health


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.