Vendor Spotlight: TeamHealth Medical Call Center


TeamHealth Medical Call Center


In today’s world, the rapidly evolving healthcare industry has placed its focus on providing access to high quality, patient-centric care, with an unprecedented emphasis on cost containment and continuum of care. Companies, communities, and medical professionals are challenged with the overwhelming task of balancing quality care with new cost initiatives.

The Need For Call Center Solutions Has Never Been Greater: The TeamHealth Medical Call Center (THMCC) is a premier provider of safe, professional twenty-four-hour medical call center solutions. THMCC provides its client partners with a wide range of cost-effective healthcare services, including:

RN Telephone Triage:

  • Services are branded to each practice with the ability to gather pertinent data and customize a documentation system that allows practices to drive specific directives for both pediatric and adult populations.
  • Another key feature is the ability to integrate patient information into EMRs to meet patient centered medical home and ACO requirements.
  • THMCC registered nurses use Schmitt/Thompson Clinical Content Triage Guidelines for both pediatric and adult populations.
  • Services also include post-triage appointment scheduling and a wide range of post-discharge transitional care initiatives.

Pediatric Triage: Providing high quality pediatric nurse triage requires a special skill set beyond standard care provisions. TeamPeds addresses this need by directing pediatric patients to an RN staff specially trained in pediatric telephone triage.

The TeamPeds program includes:

  • Specialized RN pediatric training and competency testing
  • Ongoing required monthly pediatric in-service requirements for RNs
  • Ability to email care advice
  • Error-free provider on-call system
  • A TeamPeds RN supervisor
  • A pediatric medical director
  • A pediatric QI program

Phone Support: Nurse advice lines and community lines can direct your patient population to the most appropriate level of care while promoting your services. Nurse advice lines can offer branded healthcare and program information that promotes a healthy community and creates an awareness of an organization’s centers of excellence and specialty programs. Their reporting and data collection features also provides you with valuable information about the healthcare needs of your population.

Additional benefits of a THMCC community or nurse advice line include:

  • Readmission prevention and appropriate care utilization
  • Patient acquisition
  • Revenue reconciliation reporting
  • Branded EXITcare or customized health information emailed to callers
  • Web-based branded online self-triage program
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Physician referrals

A dedicated ED nurse advice line or triage service helps hospitals respond to calls from patients with inquiries concerning their need for emergency care. THMCC ED nurse advice and triage line services:

  • Offers access for callers questioning their need for an ED visit
  • Promotes appropriate ED utilization
  • Prevents unnecessary readmissions
  • Provides opportunity to refer other services within system
  • Eliminates the risk of ED handling clinical questions
  • Allows clinical ED staff to stay focused on in-house patient care
  • Refers all real-time call records on callers to the ED

Transitional Care: In many cases, the provision of care is not complete when the patient visit or hospital stay ends. THMCC partners with healthcare providers to develop relationships with patients that support care plan compliance long after they return home.

Transitional care management means preparing patients for their first visit and then accompanying them through post-visit follow-up and post-hospital care. THMCC’s post-discharge call-back services are fully customizable to the needs of specific patient populations. Services include:

  • Outbound daily call campaigns for both clinical and non-clinical populations
  • Specialized scripting utilized for high-risk patients
  • Inpatient and ED patient population coverage
  • EMR access availability
  • All calls performed twenty-four to forty-eight hours post-discharge
  • Optional callback line for patients experiencing symptoms

The value of these transitional care efforts can be measured in the following ROI areas:

  • Readmission prevention
  • Rise in HCAHPS scores
  • Improvement in daily escalations or interventions
  • Enhanced monthly reporting, such as core indicator analysis (medications, discharge instructions, and follow-up appointments), positive or negative trending items, recognition, and patient satisfaction

Avoidable readmissions are a major financial problem for the nation’s healthcare system. Click To TweetAvoidable readmissions are a major financial problem for the nation’s healthcare system. For patients, hospitalizations alone are stressful, even more so when they result in readmissions.

THMCC’s outbound call campaign services are specifically designed for high-risk patients. This includes:

  • Initial post-discharge call within twenty-four to forty-eight hours, with an additional four calls at weekly intervals
  • Assessment of patient’s understanding and compliance for medication, discharge instructions, follow-up appointments, and current symptoms
  • Optional callback line for patients experiencing symptoms

Physician Answering Services: With ever-increasing workloads and patient care responsibilities, physician burnout is a real concern for hospitals, healthcare organizations, and private practices. The stress of a work/life imbalance can lower physician job satisfaction and hinder physician recruitment.

Delegating the workload to a specialized team of medical professionals can significantly reduce physician burnout. They realize that to take care of your patients, you must first take care of your providers. Partnering with the TeamHealth Medical Call Center and their staff of telephone triage RNs can provide the proper work/life balance for your physicians, which in turn, will mean the best possible care for your patients.

THMCC offers physician and practice answering services to provide seamless access for clinical and non-clinical calls. Patient coordinators deliver a high level of customer service and are supervised by an RN.

Features include:

  • After hours, daytime support or 24/7 options
  • Emergency backup for unscheduled closures
  • High volume overflow
  • Translation services
  • Branded services, including customized scripting, directives, and protocols
  • Error-free paging system
  • Secure electronic messaging through TeamDoc Mobile, a web-based application
  • All calls recorded
  • Robust reporting

Consulting Services: Another area of business focused on the call center industry is their consulting services, which can help organizations implement cost containment and provide high quality to new or existing call center services.

Their consulting team is led by vice president of strategic clinical solutions, Gina Tabone, MSN, RNC. Gina came to THMCC after spending nineteen years with Cleveland Clinic’s world-renown Nurse on Call program.

During that time, Tabone served as triage nurse, senior resource nurse, education and protocol specialist, manager, and ultimately administrator. Under her direction as administrator, ED utilization declined, continuous care coordination improved, performance metric targets dropped from 33 percent ABD to less than 5 percent, URAC accreditation was achieved, and the call center grew from covering 350 physicians to the integration of more than 1,500 employed and affiliated providers.

It is this breadth of operational and administrative experience, along with being an industry thought leader that makes Tabone an invaluable resource and distinguished leader for THMCC.

In her role as vice president, Gina partners with organizations to fine-tune and optimize operational and clinical performance, as well as supporting organizations that want to improve their own in-house medical call centers, ensuring processes are aligned, and contributing to overall goals and strategies. She conducts on-site, comprehensive assessments that identify strengths while pinpointing areas of opportunity for improvement.

Some considerations include:

  • Workforce Management: Are you utilizing your human resources to exceed customer satisfaction? Have you deployed remote staffing?
  • Post-Acute Care Outbound Call Initiatives: Hospital discharges, outpatient procedures, ED visits, and wellness checks.
  • Managed Care and Population Health: Does your care coordination model address care gaps? Have you been able to reduce unnecessary ED utilization? How does your organization move from a culture of acute to preventative care? Is your organization positioned to accommodate planned and unexpected growth opportunities?
  • Hospital Readmission Penalty Prevention: Acute MI, CHF, pneumonia, total knee, total hip, and COPD
  • Key Goals: Are you on target to achieve the goals of the triple aim?
  • Attract, Hire, and Train Caregivers for Success
  • Current Technological Capabilities: Are you achieving first call resolution? Does it drive intelligent data that reflects your call center’s value? What self-service tools will eliminate unnecessary calls to your nurses?
  • Quality Assurance: Does your quality program provide meaningful data?

Creating Successful, Long-Term Client Relationships Is Their Goal: The TeamHealth Medical Call Center enters into true partnerships with clients to provide individual service offerings, with measurable results, and to develop a long-term relationship. Their technology allows them to meet the needs of the changing healthcare industry while they continue to make the patient experience their primary focus.

TeamHealth Medical Call CenterFounded by a team of physicians more than twenty-one years ago, the THMCC has the unique advantage of having a provider perspective in each aspect of the services they provide. They understand the special bond between physician and patient. Like their clients, they value each caller as an individual who deserves a clinically correct and caring response from their staff to ensure a positive experience, which adds value to their relationship with their clients. With more than twenty-one years of experience and ten million triage calls, the TeamHealth Medical Call Center’s medical call center solutions can serve a vital role in your patient care coordination efforts. Call 888-203-1118 or visit them online at www.teamhealthcallcenter.com to learn more.

Vendor Spotlight on Echo, a HealthStream Company


Echo Access provider directory


Redeploy Your Legacy Call Center to Transform Patient Experiences

With CMS’s (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) launch of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems (CAHPS) program in 2006, hospitals have dedicated significant resources to improving survey results. Centralizing access and strengthening trust through a patient experience contact center begins at the first point of contact. For example, perhaps the caller is new to the community and is looking for a physician referral.

That first touchpoint is critical. According to Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) 2012, the first three seconds of the initial interaction influences both hospital selection and subsequent preference.

A patient experience contact center serves as a health network’s virtual front door. It delivers personalized, trust-building support, and referrals before a patient receives care and individualized follow-up and coaching after the patient returns home.

EchoAccessUnlike a legacy call center, the EchoAccess PX Hub™ provides the specific resources you need to deliver engaging experiences.

Tools that Transform Caller and Patient Experiences:

  • Automate satisfaction surveys and patient experience scores.
  • Track population health goals and document messages to callers and patients.
  • Monitor and improve kept appointment rates.
  • Deploy post-discharge surveys.

Provider Directory with Visual Ratings:

  • Strengthen trust with graphically illustrated CHAPS scores and comments from previous patients.
  • Enjoy the flexibility of four deployment options which are cloud-based and API (application program interface) enabled.
  • Discover the relationship between patient experience ratings and provider directories.

Physician Referral and Physician-to-Physician Referral:

  • Sort provider lists by rotation priority, proximity, or next available appointment.
  • Connect referring providers and their patients with a panel of expert providers.
  • Select from dozens of criteria to ensure the optimal provider match.

Class Enrollment:

  • Add value to patients with user-friendly class and event registration on the phone or online with secure payment.
  • Enable online users to manage their registration with MyEnrollment.

Gold Standard Clinical Triage:

Avoidable Readmissions Reduction:

  • Document and track calls and texts to both patients and caregivers to increase rates of kept follow-up appointments.
  • “It’s a new day in healthcare,” said Mary Alice Worrell; director, contact center services of St. John providence Health System. “Our contact center’s readmission reduction program, powered by EchoAccess, is a vital part of our standard of care.”
  • Learn how St. John Providence Health System reduced preventable readmissions.

Computer/Telephony Integration:

  • EchoAccess offers computer telephony integration (CTI) with CTI-ready telephone software. This technology reduces call times and results in more accurate data entry.
  • Seamlessly transfer calls to specific agents with the caller’s phone number and appropriate call classification.
  • EchoAccess will
    1. start the call,
    2. apply the call type (physician referral, class enrollment, health information, and so forth), and
    3. identify previous population records that match the calling phone number. This saves time for call center agents, shortens call length, and improves data accuracy.

Best Practice Content: Utilize a library of referral letters and reports, including caller letters, class configuration emails, and monthly operations reports.

HealthStream Benefits:

  • Includes HCAHPS score integration provided by HealthStream, a CMS-certified HCAHPS survey provider and Echo’s parent company. Patient satisfaction scores by provider is vital information for callers and patients when selecting a physician.
  • Provides the option of installed software, cloud deployment, or outsourced services for evenings, weekends, and peak call times.
  • Combines EchoAccess product expertise with patient experience consulting through the HealthStream Engagement Institute. The HealthStream Engagement Institute has coached over 350 healthcare organizations to create patient-centered cultures with measured increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, care quality, and profitability.
  • Clients can harness talent for patient experience journey mapping, enterprise contact center consolidation for integrated access, contact center operations, emerging technologies, and customer service certification.
  • Customer service certification assures your team has the skills and toolset they need to consistently deliver extraordinary patient experiences beginning at the first point of contact.
  • Echo, a HealthStream company, delivers healthcare’s only patient experience contact center software solution from a CMS-certified provider of HCAHPS surveys. HealthStream’s deep, nationwide experience provides unique insight into raising HCAHPS scores. Raising HCAHPS scores improves reimbursement.

Explore the timely benefits of redeploying your legacy call center to transform patient experiences. Exit the call center: Yesterday’s call centers managed transactions. Enter the patient experience contact center: Today’s patient experience contact center serves as the organization’s virtual front door. It delivers intentionally memorable experiences that mitigate risk, solidify loyalty, and reduce unnecessary readmissions. Compared to EchoAccess PX Hub, everything else is just a call center.

HealthStream Provider Solutions—comprised of Echo, a HealthStream® Company, and Morrisey®, a HealthStream Company—is dedicated to deploying process improvements, automation, and validated provider data to improve credentialing, privileging, enrollment, and patient experience contact centers for more than 3,000 hospitals and medical groups. Echo’s solution for hospital-based contact centers, EchoAccess, enables organizations to deliver intentionally memorable experiences that mitigate risk, solidify loyalty, and reduce unnecessary readmissions.

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Vendor Spotlight: LVM Systems


LVM Systems


LVM Systems, one of the industry’s largest providers of hospital-based healthcare call center solutions, celebrated another successful year in 2016. This marked its twenty-ninth consecutive year of annual profitability since its founding in 1988.

Driven by comprehensive software, customized training, and exceptional support services, LVM has established a reputation for quality. At LVM, past accomplishments drive ongoing improvements and the development of additional functionality to increase the success of its clients.

LVM has again taken the lead by bringing to market a comprehensive, individually customizable, multi-morbidity care management program. Appropriately named, the Co-Morbidity Care Management Program (CCMP) assists hospitals in cutting costs through better care coordination and advanced health coaching solutions. Included in the program are annually updated standards of care, diabetes distress screening, Zung depression survey, adherence report card, and patient and physician letters.

LVM’s extensive health coaching solutions combine detailed clinical content along with the technological capabilities needed to structure and run a multi-level, multi-morbidity program. The health coaching solutions enable clients to track outcomes, cost savings, and revenue associated with the patient over time, linking these values back to the initial and on-going interactions.

Since being officially recognized as a disease state, eradicating, or at least reducing, obesity has gained critical importance. And with many obese individuals also suffering from additional chronic health conditions, the ability to address multiple morbidities within a single program is more important than ever in order to effectively manage resources and save costs.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ—2013), 71 cents of every dollar of US healthcare spending goes to treating people with multiple chronic conditions. AHRQ further found that “More than a quarter of all Americans—and two out of three older Americans—are estimated to have at least two chronic physical or behavioral health problems.”

Further supporting these findings was a study by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (2015), which found that 191 million people in America had at least one chronic disease and 75 million had two or more chronic diseases.

Despite this growing number of high-risk, high-cost patients in need of coordinated care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently passed a final pass-through pay rule estimated to cost hospitals more than $3 billion a year in supplemental funding to safety net providers. Consequently, today well-coordinated, cost-effective care is more critical than ever.

It’s not just about cost savings. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease in a 2016 study, noted that, “In America 1,100,000 lives could be saved annually through better prevention and treatment of chronic disease.” This should be care management’s top priority.

To improve communication with a hospital’s associated organizations enabling them to easily integrate with the core Centaurus call center system, LVM has developed iCentaurus, a remote reporting function. iCentaurus enables the call center to provide restricted report printing capabilities to any related organization from remote locations via the web. The call center determines the reports and specific parameters the associated organization can generate. Now, the partnering care facility can access patient care management reports whenever desired.

LVM constantly adds increased functionality, greater usability, and enhanced call handling efficiency to its base system. Client input assists LVM’s development team to assure the products and services LVM delivers address the industry’s greatest needs.

Recent enhancements include:

  • Send real-time photos videos via the Internet to the call center nurse of the condition prompting the triage call (such as a rash, burn, laceration, etc.) This allows the triage nurse to use an otherwise missing critical triage tool: visual assessment.
  • Saving the photos and videos to the call transaction file makes them available for inclusion in the patient’s EHR or paper chart
  • Interactive patient history, accessible at any point during the call
  • Discount fee structures for various programs, memberships, and classes
  • Ability to send an email of any report as a secure, web-based document to any recipient
  • Override options to hide system controls or unlock fields
  • Functionality to store documents to a database attached to the individual’s record
  • Color-coded records, for example: high acuity triage calls.
  • Global gmail.com addresses to enable patients to directly reach hospital departments.
  • Automated system notifications that monitor and display specific data, such as status bar, balloon notifications, or pop-up messages.
  • Check data routine that suggests maintenance reports that need to be run
  • The ability to host an installed solution or run it as SaaS hosted by LVM in one of its two, high-security data centers.

In addition to its advanced pediatric and adult nurse triage functionality, LVM’s healthcare call center solutions include CRM database segmentation functions along with a full array of physician referral, class, and membership management systems, patient transfer, and behavioral health input functions, among others.

LVM SystemsFor more information or a demonstration of LVM’s call center solutions contact Carol Zeek, regional VP, sales, at 480-633-8200 x279 or Leann Delaney, regional VP, sales at 480-633-8200 x286.

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Spotlight on the TeamHealth Medical Call Center

TeamHealth Medical Call Center


In today’s world, the rapidly evolving healthcare industry has placed its focus on providing access to high quality, patient-centric care, with an unprecedented emphasis on cost containment and continuum of care. Companies, communities, and medical professionals are challenged with the overwhelming task of balancing quality care with new cost initiatives.

The need for call center solutions has never been greater.

The TeamHealth Medical Call Center (THMCC) is a premier provider of safe, professional 24-hour medical call center solutions. THMCC provides its client partners with a wide range of cost-effective healthcare services, including:

RN Telephone Triage

  • Services are branded to each practice with the ability to gather pertinent data and customize a documentation system that allows practices to drive specific directives for both pediatric and adult populations.
  • Another key feature is the ability to integrate patient information into EMRs to meet patient centered medical home and ACO (accountable care organization) requirements.
  • THMCC registered nurses use Schmitt/Thompson Clinical Content Triage Guidelines for both pediatric and adult populations.
  • Services also include post-triage appointment scheduling and a wide range of post-discharge transitional care initiatives.

Pediatric Triage: Providing high quality pediatric nurse triage requires a special skill set beyond standard care provisions. TEAMPeds addresses this need by directing pediatric patients to an RN staff specially trained in pediatric telephone triage. The TeamPeds program includes:

  • Specialized RN pediatric training and competency testing
  • Ongoing required monthly pediatric in-service requirements for RNs
  • Ability to email care advice
  • Error-free provider on call system
  • TEAMPeds RN supervisor
  • Pediatric medical director
  • Pediatric QI (quality improvement) program

Nurse Advice Lines: Nurse advice lines and community lines can direct your patient population to the most appropriate level of care while promoting your services. Nurse advice lines can offer branded healthcare and program information that promotes a healthy community and creates an awareness of an organization’s centers of excellence or specialty programs. The reporting and data collection features also provide valuable information about the healthcare needs of your population.

Additional benefits of a THMCC community or nurse advice line include:

  • Readmission prevention and appropriate care utilization
  • Patient acquisition
  • Revenue reconciliation reporting
  • Branded EXITcare or customized health information emailed to callers
  • Web-based branded online self-triage program
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Physician referrals

A dedicated ED (emergency department) nurse advice line or triage service helps hospitals respond to calls from patients with inquiries concerning their need for emergency care. THMCC ED nurse advice and triage line services:

  • Provide access for callers questioning their need for an ED visit
  • Promote appropriate ED utilization
  • Prevents unnecessary readmissions
  • Provides opportunity to refer other services within system
  • Eliminates the risk of ED handling clinical questions
  • Allows clinical ED staff to stay focused on in-house patient care
  • Refer all real-time call records on callers to the ED

Transitional Care: In many cases, the provision of care is not complete when the patient visit or hospital stay ends. THMCC works with healthcare providers to develop relationships with patients that support care plan compliance long after they return home.

Transitional care management means preparing patients for their first visit, and then accompanying them through post-visit follow-up and post-hospital care. THMCC’s post-discharge callback services are fully customizable to the needs of specific patient populations, which include:

  • Outbound daily call campaigns for both clinical and non-clinical populations
  • Specialized scripting utilized for high-risk patients
  • Inpatient or ED patient population
  • EMR (electronic medical record) access available
  • All calls performed 24-48 hours post-discharge
  • Optional callback line for patients experiencing symptoms

The value of these transitional care efforts can be measured in ROI (return on investment) in the following areas:

  • Readmission prevention
  • Improvement in HCAHPS (hospital consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems) scores
  • Daily escalations or interventions
  • Monthly reporting:
    • Core indicator analysis: medications, discharge instructions, follow-up appointments
    • Positive and negative trending items
    • Recognition
    • Patient satisfaction

Avoidable readmissions are a major financial problem for the nation’s healthcare system. For patients, hospitalizations alone are stressful, even more so when they result in subsequent readmissions. THMCC’s outbound call campaign services are specifically designed for high-risk patients, and include:

  • Initial post-discharge call within 24-48 hours: additional four calls at weekly intervals
  • Assessment of patient’s understanding and compliance to medication, discharge instructions, follow-up appointments, and current symptoms
  • Optional callback line for patients experiencing symptoms

Physician Answering Services: With ever-increasing workloads and patient care responsibilities, physician burnout is a very real concern for hospitals, healthcare organizations, and private practices. The stress of a work/life imbalance can lower physician job satisfaction and hinder physician recruitment.

Delegating the workload to a specialized team of medical professionals can significantly reduce physician burnout. THMCC realizes that in order to take care of patients, they must also take care of their providers. Collaborating with the TeamHealth Medical Call Center and their team of telephone triage RNs can provide the proper work/life balance for physicians, which in turn, will mean the best possible care for patients.

THMCC offers physician and practice answering services to provide seamless access for clinical and non-clinical calls. Patient coordinators deliver a high level of customer service and are supervised by a RN. Features include:

  • After hours, daytime support or 24/7 options
  • Emergency backup for unscheduled closures
  • High volume overflow
  • Translation services
  • Branded services
  • Customized scripting
  • Customized directives and protocols
  • Error-free paging system
  • Secure electronic messaging through TeamDoc Mobile, a web-based application
  • All calls recorded
  • Robust reporting

The TeamHealth Medical Call Center enters into true partnerships with clients to provide the individual service offering, with measurable results, and to develop a long-term relationship. Technology allows THMCC to meet the needs of the changing healthcare industry while they continue to make the patient experience their primary focus. Creating successful, long-term client relationships is their goal

TeamHealth Medical Call CenterFounded by a team of physicians more than twenty years ago, the THMCC has the advantage of having a provider perspective in each aspect of the services they provide. THMCC understands the special bond between physician and patient. Like their clients, they value each caller as an individual who deserves a clinically correct and caring response from their staff to ensure a positive experience, which adds value to their relationship with their clients. More than twenty years of experience and ten million triage calls show that the TeamHealth Medical Call Center’s medical call center solutions can serve a vital role in patient care coordination efforts.

To learn more call 888-203-1118 or visit www.thmedicalcallcenter.com.

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Spotlight on Echo, a HealthStream Company

Echo Access provider directory


Does Your Contact Center Process Transactions or Deliver Transformative Experiences?

Yesterday’s call centers managed transactions. Exit the call center. Enter the patient experience contact center. Today’s patient experience contact centers serve as central communication hubs. They deliver intentionally memorable experiences that mitigate risk, solidify loyalty, and reduce unnecessary readmissions.

Welcome the EchoAccess PX Hub™. “Everything else is just a call center.”

Echo, a HealthStream CompanyWith the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launch of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems (CAHPS) program in 2006, hospitals have dedicated significant resources to improving survey results. Centralizing access and strengthening trust through a patient experience contact center begins at the first point of contact. Perhaps the caller is new to the community and is looking for a physician referral.

That first touchpoint is critical. According to SHSMD (2012), the first three seconds of the initial interaction influences both hospital selection and subsequent preference.

A patient experience contact center serves as a health network’s virtual front door. It delivers personalized, trust-building support and referrals before a patient receives care and individualized follow-up and coaching after the patient returns home.

Unlike a legacy call center, an EchoAccess PX Hub provides the specific resources you need to deliver engaging experiences:

Tools to Transform Caller and Patient Experiences:

  • Automate satisfaction surveys and patient experience scores.
  • Track population health goals and document messages to callers and patients.
  • Monitor and improve kept appointment rates.
  • Deploy post-discharge surveys.

Provider Directory with Visual Ratings:

  • Strengthen trust with graphically illustrated CHAPS scores and the comments of previous patients.
  • Enjoy the flexibility of four deployment options, which are cloud-based, and API enabled.
  • Discover the relationship between patient experience ratings and provider directories.

Physician Referral and Physician-to-Physician Referral:

  • Sort provider lists by rotation priority, proximity, or next available appointment.
  • Connect referring providers and their patients with a panel of expert providers.
  • Select from dozens of criteria to ensure the optimal provider match.

Class Enrollment:

  • Add value to your patients with user-friendly class and event registration on the phone or online with secure payment.
  • Enable online users to manage their registration with MyEnrollment.

Gold Standard Clinical Triage:

  • Triage with confidence. Schmitt-Thompson Clinical Content is preferred worldwide for telephone triage care and is the clinical content provider for EchoAccess.
  • Deploy over 600 adult and pediatric protocols.

Avoidable Readmissions Reduction:

  • Document and track calls and texts to both patients and caregivers to increase rates of kept follow-up appointments.

Resources:

  • Patient Experience Journey Mapping: Map experiences from your patients’ perspective from first contact through post-discharge follow-up conversations to strengthen trust and improve handoffs of care.
  • Best Practice Content: Utilize a library of referral letters and reports including caller letters, class configuration emails, and monthly operations reports.

Unique HealthStream Benefits:

  • Includes HCAHPS score integration provided by HealthStream, a leading CMS-certified HCAHPS survey provider and Echo’s parent company. Patient satisfaction scores, sorted by provider, gives vital information for callers and patients when selecting a physician.
  • Provides the option of installed software, cloud deployment, or outsourced services for evenings, weekends, and peak call times
  • Combines EchoAccess product expertise with patient experience consulting through the HealthStream Engagement Institute. The HealthStream Engagement Institute has coached over 350 healthcare organizations to create patient-centered cultures with measured increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, care quality, and profitability. Clients can harness talent for patient experience journey mapping, enterprise contact center consolidation for integrated access, contact center operations, emerging technologies, and customer service certification.
  • Customer service certification assures that your team has the skills and toolset they need to consistently deliver extraordinary patient experiences beginning at the first point of contact.

HealthStream delivers a patient experience contact center software solution from a CMS-certified provider of HCAHPS surveys. HealthStream’s deep experience nationwide provides unique insight into how to raise HCAHPS scores.

Raising HCAHPS scores improves reimbursement. Explore the timely benefits of redeploying a legacy call center to transform patient experiences.

About Echo: Echo, a HealthStream Company has been delivering healthcare software solutions since 1985. Echo is an established leader in medical staff credentialing, payer credentialing and enrollment, provider analytics, and referral management solutions. More than 1,400 healthcare organizations nationwide currently benefit from Echo’s powerful suite of products.

Echo has modernized the user experience and launched an ecosystem with new products and partners to accelerate credentialing and enrollment processes, bolster provider satisfaction, improve care quality, and optimize revenue cycle management, and strengthen patient experiences.

Echo, a HealthStream CompanyEchoAccess has served healthcare organizations throughout North America for over three decades. An Echo team member would be pleased to understand your unique challenges: 800-377-8737.

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Vendor Spotlight on 1Call, a Division of Amtelco

1Call, a Division of Amtelco

Amtelco Celebrates 40 Years of Innovation

Since 1976, Amtelco has been providing innovative communication solutions to call centers around the world. In 1997, the 1Call Division was formed to offer enterprise-wide communication solutions designed specifically for healthcare organizations. 1Call is dedicated to serving the unique call center and communication needs of healthcare organizations, helping improve communications for patients, physicians, and staff by connecting people and information. Amtelco has been awarded twenty-eight patents, covering a wide range of communication processes.

Hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the world turn to 1Call to solve their medical call center, answering service, on-call scheduling, call handling, secure messaging, voice processing, conference calling, and automated middleware notification needs. In an independent survey, 100 percent of the respondents said they would highly recommend Amtelco and 1Call to another healthcare organization (according to an Amtelco satisfaction research study conducted by TMA+Peritus, February 2015).

Five-Star Service and Support: Amtelco and 1Call are well known for continually developing comprehensive call center and communication solutions, all backed by five-star after-the-sale service and support. Customer advocates and account managers are available to help customers and answer questions before, during, and after the sale.

1Call has a reputation for complete, professional system support, offering training, installation, and tech support staff on call on a twenty-four-hour basis. When customers need assistance for their call center solutions, 1Call’s customer support staff provides fast and reliable service.

1Call’s customer support staff includes trainers, installers, project managers, and technical support staff, with an average tenure of fifteen years, which is virtually unheard of in technology and IT businesses. All support staff members are located in the United States. While a majority of the staff members work from the Midwest home office, there are several regional offices around the US.

Help When Needed: Support is just a phone call away. 1Call customers can also email the support team, or even access the exclusive online TechHelper tool, where documentation, manuals, videos, and training tools are available. TechHelper is available twenty-four hours a day, with unlimited access and features a Google search engine. Emergency assistance for 1Call systems is available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

Software upgrades are included with support agreements, helping ensure that 1Call customers always have access to the newest features. In the recent independent customer satisfaction survey conducted by TMA+Peritus, 97 percent of the respondents said the Amtelco and 1Call service and support was excellent. 1Call looks forward to partnering with more healthcare organizations to provide this same level of service.

Solutions That Work: 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, eliminate errors, and reduce training time for new operators. All of the specialized 1Call solutions save an organization’s limited resources, making each one more efficient, and helping bring wellness to their members and their bottom line.

Each 1Call solution comes with the benefit of Amtelco’s years of experience in the field of call handling and messaging. Thousands of 1Call and Amtelco systems are in operation around the world, twenty-four hours each day.

Easily Customizable: 1Call understands that every healthcare organization has unique needs and sometimes receives unusual requests from physicians and departments. That’s why 1Call offers powerful solutions that are easy to customize – by the customer. Customers have access to a wide variety of administrative functions, including the ability to customize scripts for any department, with individual scripts for every physician, if needed. For additional help, 1Call also has a script pro team that is available to assist customers with any specific requests.

Switching is Easy: Hospitals continually recommend the 1Call solutions to other healthcare organizations, who switch to 1Call all the time. And it’s no wonder. With all of the customizable hospital call center solutions available, the high levels of customer satisfaction, and quality support services, 1Call is in a class by themselves.

What do customers have to say about switching to 1Call? Here’s one example: “It was a great decision switching to Infinity. The 1Call technology is innovative. It’s easy to learn, and it really seems to mold around what the particular needs of our hospital are. Everything runs so much more smoothly now. I think it’s also worth noting, the customer service – great. We couldn’t be happier.” Read more at www.1call.com.

Strong Partner Relationships: 1Call forms solid partnerships with their customers. Each organization is encouraged to work closely with the 1Call team of consultants and engineers through each phase of system planning, configuration, and implementation. This helps ensure the 1Call systems are at their optimum performance levels to meet all the communication needs of their organizations.

1Call also works closely with key technology partners to provide organizations with the solutions that best fit their communication and technology requirements. 1Call’s partners integrate at a high level with the call center, on-call scheduling, HIPAA secure messaging, and emergency notification solutions to produce a comprehensive solution that satisfies the needs of each organization.

The 1Call technology partnerships include:

  • Avaya DevConnect Community
  • Black Box
  • Cisco Solution Partner Program
  • Copia OEM Partner
  • Genband Partner Program
  • Google Play Developer
  • Health Level 7 International (HL7)
  • Hiscall
  • Interactive Intelligence Global Alliance
  • iOS Developer Program
  • Microsoft Developers Network
  • Mitel Solutions Alliance
  • NEC Univerge Solutions Partner Program
  • ShoreTel Innovation Network Alliance Partner
  • Spectralink Application Integration and Management Solvers Program
  • Unify (formerly Siemens) Technology Partners
  • Vocera Solution Partner Program
  • Windows Dev Center Member

One Company, One Solution: The software, hardware, and customer support teams are located in the “innovation way” hallway at the Amtelco and 1Call home office. These teams work together closely, and when a question arises, it’s a quick walk down the hallway to find the solution. One company, one solution; proudly located in the USA.

Recent Innovations: As customers have come to expect, Amtelco and 1Call continue creating innovative solutions. In addition to Infinity, Intelligent Series, soft agent, and miSecureMessages (all of which have seen many advancements in recent months), MergeComm is the newest innovation.

The MergeComm middleware solution is designed to automate communication throughout an organization, speeding response times to help organizations provide better patient care. MergeComm takes an incoming message and uses a script to determine who needs to receive that message. MergeComm can receive a message from a wide variety of sources, including alarms, alerts, HL7 messages, nurse call, severe weather alerts, TCP, WCTP, and web services. Notifications can be sent to an individual, to an entire group, or to the current on-call personnel. The notifications can be sent by email, miSecureMessages, IP phones, pagers, phones, smart devices, SMS, and Vocera badges.

1Call, a division of AmtelcoStay Tuned… As technology continues to evolve (and everyone knows it will), and as customers have new communication challenges, rest assured that 1Call and Amtelco will continue to develop new innovative solutions, as they have for forty years.

Vendor Spotlight: LVM Systems


LVM Systems


From its start in 1988, LVM Systems’ exclusive objective has been to help healthcare call centers help the patients they serve. This focused emphasis on the needs of healthcare call centers has enabled LVM to become a leading vendor in this niche. LVM listens to the expressed needs of the 250 plus healthcare call center clients it serves.

To remain an industry leader, LVM constantly refines its products by adding more functionality, greater usability, and enhanced call handling efficiency. Client input assists LVM’s development team to assure the products and services LVM delivers address the industry’s greatest needs.

Recent enhancements include:

  • Discount fee structures for various programs, memberships, and classes
  • Interactive patient history, accessible at any point during the call
  • Ability to send an email of any report as a secure, web-based document to any recipient
  • Enhanced reporting efficiency of commonly run reports
  • Override options to hide system controls or unlock fields
  • Functionality to store documents to a database attached to the individual’s record
  • Color coded records, for example: high acuity triage calls
  • Global gmail.com addresses to enable patients to directly reach hospital departments
  • Automated system notifications that monitor and display specific data, such as status bar, balloon notifications, or pop-up messages
  • Check data routine suggests maintenance reports that need to be run

In addition to its traditional marketing and CRM capabilities, LVM’s healthcare call center solutions offer advanced nurse triage functionality, along with a full array of physician referral, class and membership management systems, patient transfer, and behavioral health functions. These are offered as either installed solutions or as SaaS hosted by LVM at one of its two data centers.

To increase the hospital’s communication with its associated organizations’ ability to integrate with the core Centaurus call center system, LVM has also developed the following products:

  • iCentaurus, a remote reporting function, enables the call center to provide restricted report printing capabilities to any related organization from remote locations via the web. The call center determines the reports and specific parameters the associated organization can generate. Now, the Lamaze class trainer can generate class rosters whenever it fits her schedule.
  • iNurseTriage, a streamlined web-based triage system, is accessible from any PC or laptop without the need for IT support or installation. It provides an efficient, standardized triage assessment and recommendation, electronically generating a detailed patient chart that can be sent to the hospital’s ED, electronic health record (EHR), or a specific referred-to department via a secured server. If preferred, it can be printed and added to the hard-copy patient record. Patient data is stored in a single shared database, facilitating communication between the clinics and the call center. As a result, reporting is robust. iNurseTriage virtually eliminates the need for training, saving both time and money.

Health coaching (HC) solutions continue to gain prominence in a hospital’s corporate offerings. LVM’s comprehensive health coaching solutions combine detailed clinical content along with the technological capabilities needed to structure and run a multi-level program. LVM’s HC solution enables its clients to track outcomes, cost savings, and revenue associated with the patient over time, linking these values back to the initial and on-going interactions.

Since being officially recognized as a disease state, eradicating, or at least reducing, obesity has gained critical importance. LVM is currently developing a stand-alone obesity health coaching care plan, as well as integrating obesity co-morbidity factors into other health coaching solutions.

As we all have seen in recent years, ongoing improvements in cellular phones and in sending photos via the Internet now enable the patient, as appropriate, to send to the call center nurse a real-time photo (or video) of the reason prompting the triage call (such as a rash, burn, laceration, or so forth). The photo or video would then be saved to the call transaction file and made available for inclusion in the patient’s EHR or paper chart. This will allow call center triage nurses to use an otherwise missing critical tool of triage, visual assessment.

How has LVM not only survived but continued to grow during its twenty-eight year history? Certainly key has been providing both comprehensive, efficient software coupled with recognized quality clinical content. But LVM’s success goes beyond the product to the relationships built with clients by various support staff. Whether it is a technical need, a product or report customization, or a web revision, LVM has earned a reputation for providing excellent after-sale support.

This reputation for meeting the clients’ needs positioned LVM as the logical company to take over support of McKesson’s RelayCare Call Center customers. Effective February 1, 2015, LVM began providing third party support and maintenance services to McKesson’s call center customers. These call centers are now positioned to join the hundreds of healthcare call centers around the world that depend on LVM Systems to provide best-in-class customer support, leading-edge reporting methodologies, and exceptional customization capabilities.

LVM has defined an orderly migration process for the McKesson call centers to make the switch to LVM. Over the next few years, the McKesson RelayCare clients will have an opportunity to move to LVM’s Centaurus call center solution.

For more information or a demonstration of LVM’s call center solutions, please contact Carol Zeek, regional VP, sales, at 480-633-8200 x279 or Leann Delaney, regional VP, sales at 480-633-8200 x286.

LVM SystemsLVM Systems, Inc. develops and markets software and related Internet products exclusively in the healthcare call center industry. Its primary niche is CRM healthcare solutions that support hospital readmission reduction, nurse triage, health coaching, referral and marketing services, patient transfers, behavioral health, and physician relations management. LVM Systems has proudly served this market since 1988 and has hundreds of healthcare organizations as clients. For more information about LVM Systems, contact Mark Dwyer, COO, at 480-427-3175 or mark@lvmsystems.com.

Vendor Spotlight on Echo, a HealthStream Company

Echo Access provider directoryReimagine Your Legacy Call Center to Transform Patient Experience

The healthcare contact center is frequently where a patient’s first experience with your organization occurs. That first experience is an unmatched opportunity to deliver on your brand promise. Research indicates that we have thirty seconds to make a positive, memorable connection with callers; that first thirty seconds shapes hospital preference and hospital selection.

Call center transactions are a commodity. Transformative experiences differentiate. How can healthcare call centers make the equivalent shift from coffee as a commodity on the grocery shelf to coffee as an experience at Starbucks? How can healthcare call center leaders enable an intentional shift from acceptable but perfunctory transactions to personalized, meaningful engagements?

Exit the call center.

Instead discover EchoAccess PX Hub™, a reimagined access touchpoint for the new era of healthcare. Reduce – and hopefully eliminate – re-admission penalties. Improve imbursement by raising HCAHPS scores. Create transformative patient experiences that have callers and patients sharing positive stories about their unforgettable experiences with your organization. In short, redeploy your legacy call center as a profound competitive advantage.

A patient experience hub is a timely solution that reimagines yesterday’s call center transactions to transform patient experiences at touchpoints along the continuum from inquiry to discharge and at every interaction in between. Unlike a legacy call center, an EchoAccess PX Hub provides the specific tools needed to deliver engaging, memorable patient experiences.

For example, Call Center+ includes legacy referral management functions plus texting, a consumer portal with responsive design, data exchange, and API (application program interface). The provider directory includes patient satisfaction scores and patient comments by physician. The class enrollment solution enables class and event registration over the phone or online with secure payment. Other functions include deploying clinical triage care with the Schmitt-Thompson Clinical Content and reducing re-admissions with calls and texts to both patients and caregivers as a tool to substantially increase the number of kept follow-up appointments.

Now you can enable the shift from transactions to transformations, from volume to value. The EchoAccess PX Hub allows you to:

  • Include HCAHPS score integration provided by HealthStream, a CMS-certified HCAHPS survey provider and Echo’s parent company (vital information for callers and patients when selecting a physician)
  • Provide the option of installed software or cloud deployment, as well as the ability to outsource services for evenings, weekends, and peak call times
  • Deliver these advantages and clinical triage using industry gold standard Schmitt-Thompson Clinical Content
  • Combine EchoAccess product expertise with patient experience consulting through the HealthStream Engagement Institute; for example harness talent across key disciplines including enterprise contact center consolidation for integrated access, contact center operations, emerging technologies, and customer service certification

The HealthStream Engagement Institute has coached over 350 organizations to create patient-centered cultures with measured increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, care quality, and profitability. In addition customer service certification ensures that your team has the skills and toolset required to consistently deliver extraordinary patient experiences, beginning with the first point of contact.

Finally, HealthStream is the only referral management solution software provider who is a CMS-certified provider of HCAHPS surveys. HealthStream’s nationwide experience provides unique insight into how to raise scores. Of course, raising HCAHPS scores improves reimbursement. Explore the benefits of the EchoAccess PX Hub. “Everything else…is just a call center.”

About Echo, a HealthStream Company

Echo, Inc., a HealthStream Company with offices in San Diego, California, and Brentwood, Tennessee, has been delivering healthcare software solutions since 1985. Echo, Inc., the combination of HealthLine Systems and Sy.Med Development, is a market leader in medical staff credentialing, payer credentialing and enrollment, provider analytics, and referral management solutions. More than two thousand healthcare organizations currently benefit from Echo’s suite of products.

EchoAccess is an enterprise-class platform that provides hospital referral management centers with functionality for physician referral, clinical triage, provider directories, class enrollment, and re-admission reduction. EchoAccess enables hospitals to launch an integrated PX Hub that unites call center technology with trust-building patient experiences beginning with the first point of contact.

Echo, a HealthStream CompanyEchoAccess has served healthcare organizations throughout North America for nearly three decades. For more information visit www.echo-solutions.com or call 800-377-8737. An Echo team member would be pleased to connect with you.

[From AnswerStat December 2015/January 2016]

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Vendor Spotlight: 1Call

1Call, a division of Amtelco1Call, a Division of Amtelco: Providing Innovative Call Center Solutions
Backed by First-Class Customer Care

Since 1976, Amtelco has provided innovative communication solutions to call centers around the world. In 1997 the 1Call division was formed to offer enterprise-wide communication solutions designed specifically for healthcare organizations. 1Call is dedicated to serving the unique call center and communication needs of healthcare organizations, helping to improve communications for patients, physicians, and staff by connecting people and information.

Hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the world turn to 1Call to solve their medical call center, answering service, on-call scheduling, call handling, secure messaging, voice processing, conference calling, and emergency notification needs. In a February 2015 Amtelco Satisfaction Research Study conducted by TMA+Peritus, 100 percent of the respondents said they would recommend Amtelco and 1Call to another healthcare organization.

Five-Star Service and Support: Amtelco and 1Call are well known in various industries for continually developing comprehensive call center solutions, all backed by five-star service and support. Customer advocates and account managers are available to help customers and answer questions before, during, and after the sale.

1Call has a reputation for complete, professional system support, training, and installation, with technical support staff on call 24/7. When customers need assistance for their call center equipment, 1Call’s customer support staff provides fast and reliable service.

1Call’s customer support staff includes trainers, installers, project managers, and technical support specialists. The customer support staff has an average tenure of fifteen years, which is virtually unheard of in technology and IT businesses. All support staff members are located in the United States. While the majority of the staff members are located in the Midwest home office, there are several regional offices around the United States.

Help When Needed: When help is needed, it’s just a phone call away. 1Call customers can also email the support team or access the online TechHelper tool, where documentation, manuals, videos, and other tools are available. TechHelper, featuring a Google search engine and eChat, is available 24/7. Emergency assistance for 1Call systems is available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

Software upgrades are included with support agreements, helping ensure that 1Call customers always have access to the newest features.

In their recent independent customer satisfaction survey, 97 percent of respondents said the Amtelco and 1Call service and support was excellent. 1Call looks forward to partnering with more healthcare organizations to provide this same level of service.

Solutions That Work: 1Call features a complete line of modular solutions specifically designed to streamline enterprise-wide communications, eliminate errors, and reduce training time for new agents. All of the specialized 1Call solutions are designed to protect an organization’s limited resources, making each organization more efficient and helping bring wellness to both their members and their bottom line.

Each 1Call solution comes with the benefit of Amtelco’s years of experience in the field of call handling and messaging. Thousands of 1Call and Amtelco systems are in operation around the world.

Easily Customizable: 1Call understands that every healthcare organization has unique needs and sometimes receives unusual requests from physicians and departments. That’s why 1Call offers powerful solutions that are easy to customize by the customer. Customers have access to a wide variety of administrative functions, including the ability to customize scripts for any department, with individual scripts for every physician if required. When additional help is needed, 1Call has a Script Pro team available to assist customers with any specific requests.

Switching Is Easy: Hospitals recommend the 1Call solutions to other healthcare organizations, so healthcare organizations can make the switch to 1Call at any time. With all the customizable hospital call center solutions available, high levels of customer satisfaction, and quality support services, 1Call continues to distinguish itself in the marketplace.

What do customers have to say about switching to 1Call? Here’s one example: “It was a great decision switching to Infinity. The 1Call technology is innovative. It’s easy to learn, and it really seems to mold around what the particular needs of our hospital are. You don’t get that with a lot of answering services. We certainly didn’t get that with our previous service. Everything runs so much more smoothly now. I think it’s also worth noting, the customer service is great. We couldn’t be happier.” (Read more at www.1call.com.)

Strong Partner Relationships: 1Call forms solid partnerships with their customers. Each organization is encouraged to work closely with the 1Call team of consultants and engineers through each phase of system planning, configuration, and implementation. This helps ensure that the 1Call systems are at the optimum performance levels to meet all the communication needs of their organizations.

1Call also works closely with key technology partners to provide organizations with the solutions that best fit their communication and technology requirements. 1Call’s partners integrate at a high level with the call center, on-call scheduling, HIPAA secure messaging, and emergency notification solutions to produce a comprehensive solution that satisfies the needs of each organization.

The 1Call Technology Partnerships include Avaya DevConnect Community, Black Box, Cisco Solution Partner Program, Copia OEM Partner, GENBAND Partner Program, Google Play Developer, Health Level 7 International (HL7), HISCALL, Interactive Intelligence Global Alliance, iOS Developer Program, Microsoft Developers Network, Mitel Solutions Alliance, NEC UNIVERGE Solutions Partner Program, ShoreTel Innovation Network Alliance Partner, Spectralink Application Integration and Management Solvers Program, Unify (formerly Siemens) Technology Partners, Vocera Solution Partner Program, Windows Dev Center Member.*

One Company, One Solution: The software, hardware, and customer support teams are located in the “Innovation Way” hallway at the Amtelco and 1Call home office. These teams work together closely, and when a question arises, it’s a quick walk down the hall to find the solution. One company, one solution – proudly located in the USA.

Recent Innovations: As customers have come to expect, Amtelco and 1Call continue creating innovative solutions. In addition to recent advancements with Infinity, Intelligent Series, Soft Agent, and miSecureMessages, MergeComm is the newest innovation.

MergeComm is a middleware solution, designed to automate communications throughout an organization, thus increasing response times. MergeComm takes an incoming message and uses a script to determine who needs to receive that message. MergeComm can receive a message from a wide variety of sources, including alarms, alerts, HL7 messages, nurse call, severe weather alerts, TCP, WCTP, and Web services. Notifications can be sent to an individual, an entire group, or the current on-call personnel. The notifications can be sent by email, miSecureMessages, IP phones, pagers, phones, smart devices, SMS, and Vocera badges.

As new technology continues to evolve and as customers have new communication challenges, 1Call and Amtelco will continue to develop new innovations, as they have for almost forty years.

*Registered, trademarked, and copyrighted names are used here only in an editorial fashion and to the benefit of the registration, trademark, or copyright owner with no intention, expressed, or implied, of infringement of the registration, trademark, or copyright.

[From AnswerStat June/July 2015]

Vendor Profile: HealthLine Systems

As you read the examples below, do any of these challenges sound familiar? Can you identify with the problem of high re-admission rates that risk fines from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)? How about multiple points of access that confuse the newly insured? Have you experienced the awkwardness of trying to respond to a provider’s inquiry about key physician issues that have become lost in the system?

Yikes. It’s enough to give you a headache.

Today’s complex healthcare environment requires proven solutions. EchoAccess contact center software has earned client-validated results for over nearly three decades, delivering pain-reducing remedies. Take an EchoAccess, and call me in the morning. Here are three EchoAccess prescriptions that deliver the tools and technology for these specific headaches.

Headache #1: High re-admission rates risk fines from the CMS.

Prescription: Reduce avoidable re-admissions with these EchoAccess pain-relieving tools:

  • Discharge follow-up call queuing, scheduling, and documentation system to automate and track the follow-up appointment process
  • Comprehensive data capture, coding, and reporting

Imagine you are in a management meeting. Your CEO shares that your health system’s re-admission rate for the previous year is a whopping 25 percent. Worse, the CMS just issued your organization a fine of $2.5 million.

This occurred at St. John Providence Health System, a leading healthcare provider in southeast Michigan and a component of Ascension Health, the largest Catholic health system in the United States. As you can imagine, reducing preventable re-admissions became an immediate priority. (This example is shared with permission.)

The leader of the EchoAccess contact center suggested that the call center pilot a re-admission reduction program. EchoAccess functionality was a critical success factor, enabling six essential process steps:

  1. Capture critical data. EchoAccess enables both patient and physician records to be kept current, with all data in one database as a single source of truth. Key data elements for re-admission reduction include:
    • When a follow-up appointment was made for a patient
    • With which physician the appointment was scheduled
    • Whether or not the patient kept the appointment
  2. Produce quality reports. Information regarding referrals provided, appointments made, and appointments kept is generated from EchoAccess and sent to the health system quality team each month.
  3. Attach the reason code. A special reason code in EchoAccess captures that this appointment is part of the re-admission reduction program.
  4. Email patient appointment time directly from EchoAccess.
  5. Email re-admission team the appointment time directly from EchoAccess.
  6. Generate monthly practice referral summary letters. A monthly referral letter is generated in EchoAccess that states patients’ names, addresses, and phone numbers along with their follow-up appointment dates and times; these letters are mailed or emailed to participating physicians.

What was the result?

  • The re-admission rate decreased from 25 to 15 percent.
  • The $2.5 million fine from the CMS was reduced by $1.9 million over two years.
  • The kept appointment rate for post-discharge physician visits climbed to 83 percent.
  • The percentage of primary care physicians whose patients scheduled follow-up appointments within seven days of discharge increased from 30 to 80 percent.

Headache #2: Multiple points of access that confuse the newly insured.

Prescription: Integrate first point of access functions with these EchoAccess pain-relieving tools:

  • One single source of truth for provider data instead of multiple, redundant systems
  • Integrated database for both phone and Web
  • Evidence-based clinical content from Cleveland Clinic
  • HL7-interface enables the triage nurse notes to populate electronic health records.
  • Comprehensive reporting system

One solution to multiple points of access is to integrate the first point of contact services. For example, AtlantiCare consolidated scheduling, transfers, physician referral, class registration, physician-to-physician referral, nurse triage, and switchboard. A critical requirement of this solution is cross-training access center staff to deliver all communication and navigation services. (This example is shared with permission.)

AtlantiCare provides members and their dependents with navigation to the right level of care at the right time for the right cost. Triage nurses and navigators do this by offering three types of assistance to the center’s 140,000 callers every year:

1) Symptom-based triage
2) Health advice
3) Assistance with accessing programs and services

EchoAccess enables the AtlantiCare access center to:

  • Schedule primary care appointments prior to discharge
  • Place post-discharge calls to reduce re-admissions
  • Identify medication-compliance problems and needs for durable medical equipment
  • Provide evidence-based clinical triage with protocols from Cleveland Clinic
  • Reduce call processing time
  • Document kept appointments
  • Bridge gaps and manage transitions of care from hospital to medical home

As featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Spectrum magazine, the AtlantiCare access center documents over $9.00 of reimbursed (not gross) downstream revenue for every $1.00 of cost. The 2014 updated ROI is $10.32 returned for each dollar invested.

[From the Dec 2014/Jan 2015 issue of AnswerStat magazine]