A healthcare call center is a crucial part of any healthcare organization. It allows patients to access information and services and for providers to deliver the needed care to their patients. Delivering excellence in a healthcare call center requires a team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff and well-defined processes and procedures. With the right approach, a healthcare call center can provide excellent patient service, high-quality care, and improved outcomes. In this article, we’ll discuss five key elements to delivering excellence in a healthcare call center: training and support for staff, patient-centered care, efficient and effective processes, engaging technology, and proactive customer service. By adopting these five elements, healthcare organizations can ensure their call center is providing the best possible service to their patients.
1. Training And Support for Staff Healthcare Call Center
A healthcare call center works in a high-stress atmosphere and requires specific staff competencies. Healthcare call center agents often deal with knowledge-based issues, where patients need specific details about their care. Healthcare call center agents need to navigate the healthcare system, know where to find information, and assess the situation to help patients navigate their care. For this reason, healthcare call center staff need specific training to understand their role and how to deliver excellent patient care. This training should include the specific knowledge and skills needed for the job and how to deal with stressful situations. A stressful call center environment can be the source of high turnover and decreased patient satisfaction. For example, healthcare call center agents are often placed in situations where they have to tell a patient about bad news. Providing bad news is a highly stressful activity that requires specific competencies. Healthcare call center agents need not only information from their managers about how to deliver bad news but also psychological support from a team environment.
2. Patient-Centered Care For Healthcare Call Center
When you take a patient-centered approach to care, you ensure the patient is in control of their experience. To deliver a patient-centered experience in a healthcare call center, healthcare organizations must first identify what patients want. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and usability testing. Once the specific needs of patients are identified, healthcare organizations can find ways to meet these needs within their call center. Holding weekly meetings with supervisors and managers to discuss patient issues and possible solutions can be a great way to initiate a patient-centered culture. Managers and supervisors can be trained to identify and initiate changes to make the experience more patient-centered. By taking the patient-centered approach, healthcare organizations can provide a better experience to their patients and staff.
3. Efficient And Effective Processes For Healthcare Call Center
Healthcare call centers provide various services, including scheduling appointments, information about clinical trials, and insurance coverage. Healthcare organizations must have efficient and effective processes for each of these services. For example, when a patient calls and requests information about clinical trials, healthcare organizations need a way to identify what trials the patient is eligible for, the location of the trials, and the next steps for the patient. This process can be manual, inefficient, and a potential source of error. All processes should be documented and defined, regardless of how simple they appear. This includes the process of how a patient gets connected to their provider.
4. Engaging Technology For Healthcare Call Center
Healthcare organizations are investing heavily in self-service technologies, particularly virtual assistants (like Alexa or Siri). In a healthcare call center, virtual assistants can be used to provide information to patients, allowing call center agents to focus on complex issues. Virtual assistants can also help the organization provide more efficient services, such as scheduling appointments. A key to providing a great experience is ensuring the virtual assistants can connect to the healthcare organization’s software. For example, if the organization uses Cerner as its EHR, then the virtual assistant needs to be able to connect to Cerner. If the organization is using customer service software, then the virtual assistant needs to be able to connect to that software.
5. Proactive Customer Service Healthcare Call Center
Healthcare organizations are moving towards a service-oriented mindset. This means that customer service is viewed not as a response to a problem but as a proactive way to ensure a positive patient experience. Healthcare call centers can be a great way to engage with patients and provide positive interactions. This can be done through voice announcements at the call center, or even using virtual assistants. These announcements can provide information about the organization and upcoming events or even promote the staff behind the call center.
Delivering excellence in a healthcare call center requires a team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff and well-defined processes and procedures. With the right approach, a healthcare call center can provide excellent patient service, high-quality care, and improved outcomes. To achieve this, healthcare organizations must train staff, take a patient-centered approach, implement efficient and effective processes, engage technology, and provide proactive customer service.