Healthcare Providers: Your Key Contact Centers are Critical to Driving Patient Satisfaction Levels

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Are you a Healthcare provider looking to improve your patient satisfaction levels? Have you looked into your contact centers? How are you managing those critical patient interactions?

As the Healthcare industry has grown more competitive, with patients now having numerous options for where they receive care, many providers I work with have begun to focus on improving their key patient contact centers as a way to increase overall satisfaction levels and attract more business to their hospitals. Typically, these contact centers include Scheduling, the ER, the Pharmacy, and Billing, but there may be others scattered around your hospital.

If you are like most healthcare providers, you probably just set up a bank of phones for a couple of agents and routed calls to them. Maybe, you organized a Hunt Group so you could answer more calls. Call Centers are not your core business – right? Why spend resources in these areas? While the level of care is still the primary factor in patients selecting a Healthcare facility, the overall “Patient Experience” has grown significantly in importance. That means, every time you “touch” a patient, you have to ensure they are delighted with your service! No more long call hold times, poorly-trained agents, transferred calls to “nowhere” and unfulfilled patient requests. These outcomes are unacceptable in today’s market and could be costing you business.

How Can You Improve Your Contact Centers?

You could invest in very expensive Call Center Solutions that run upwards of $2,000+ per seat – and that’s just the license fee! That’s probably an overkill for a small patient contact center. Many of my Healthcare clients have taken a different approach. Certainly, there is a place for the sophisticated Call Center Solutions, especially when you’re dealing with hundreds of agents. But, you only have a small group of 20 agents. How can you manage that team more effectively, at a lower cost, and still ensure you are providing top-notch patient service?

Deploy Call Reporting & Recording

A number of vendors offer just the solution you are looking for at a reasonable cost! Search out a robust Call Reporting software solution. Many of these products interface with Cisco CallManager, Microsoft Skype for Business, Avaya Communication Manager, and other top collaboration platforms. They provide near real-time information on:

  • Amount of calls coming into your Scheduling Team/Pharmacy/Billing Group/ER/etc.
  • When are you receiving these calls, your peak period?
  • How many agents are you staffing on this team.
  • Which agents are taking calls.
  • How many calls agents are answering.
  • Amount of callers hanging up and going elsewhere.
  • The average time it takes for your agents to answer a patient call.
  • Length of time your agents are on the phone with the patient.

This information is all critical to assessing the performance of your contact center teams. You’ll know when you receive the largest volumes of calls and how to better staff these critical teams, so you service more patients in a timely fashion.

If you really want to take your service to the next level, add Call Recording Solution to your mix. By recording calls, you can analyze how your agents are interacting with your patients, and whether they are providing them with the information the patient needs. What kinds of requests are you receiving? Are your agents “sticking to the script” and reading any mandated medical disclaimers or confirming the appointment time for the patient? Do you need to add training to help your agents better assist patients? What kind of training would work best?

Best of all, I have seen Call Reporting and Call Recording solutions priced at a total of about $400 to $500 per seat, not $2,000!

Are you taking care of your patients the way you would want to be taken care of if you were calling your Healthcare provider about a test result, a Bill, or to schedule an appointment with a specialist? If you’re not sure, you may need to gain control over, and visibility into, your critical patient contact centers.

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Mark McNeill is the Vice President of Healthcare Telecom Services for ISI Telemanagement Solutions, Inc., a Schaumburg, IL based telecom consulting and software development firm. Mr. McNeill has over 25 years of experience in Telecommunications and Medical Software industries. He has consulted with hundreds of healthcare providers and management companies on how to streamline IT costs, improve patient services and optimize efficiencies in the hospital environment.

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