When patients call their doctor’s office, it’s because they have a medical problem that needs to be dealt with. They don’t want to deal with a harried receptionist who may be trying to deal with in-office patience or worse, be put on hold for an extended period of time. Research has shown that being stuck on hold is one of the top reasons given for patient dissatisfaction.
A health care call center can help to ensure that every patient has a positive experience when they call their doctor’s office. However, there are differences between the various call centers. Discover how health care call centers improve patient satisfaction and how to find one that best suits your needs.
The biggest challenges for many physicians are daily management issues. Challenges such as lack of administrative staff make running their practices less efficient. A health care call center can relieve that burden and provide the support doctors and their staff need to operate effectively.
Benefits of a Health Care Call Center
- Quick Responses – A health care call center can respond quickly to patient calls and ease the workload for administrative staff at the doctor’s office.
- Patient Retention – A superior call center helps to keep patients. Today’s patients have options; they can always find another doctor to go to. Every contact on the telephone must be perfect because first impressions count.
- ROI – Health care call centers can motivate patience loyalty, generating a return on investment of 3:1. When someone is helped in a time of need, they return over and over again. That’s the biggest return on investment for any health care practice.
- Cost-Effective – Health care professionals save money by not having to hire additional full-time employees with salaries and benefits.
- Help for Staff – A call center can work with administrative and medical staff to ensure that they get the right appointment for the right patient. An experienced call center agent can handle the entire matter, which frees up the clinical team to spend more time with their patients.
- 24-7 Patient Support – A call center can extend patient care beyond clinic hours.
- Improved Efficiency – Health care practitioners can spend their time focusing on patient care, without the distraction of ringing phones.
- Access to the Latest Tools – Good healthcare call center services use highly-trained professionals in accounting, customer service, payroll, IT and other areas which are necessary to the health care business, along with state-of-the-art equipment that health care professionals can use without having to invest in it themselves
- Compliance to Regulations – The healthcare industry has its fair share of strict regulations and standards. Professional health care call centers operate with quality protocols to make sure these are followed, meaning that health care providers can be confident that regulations and standards are being met.
What to Look For in a Health Care Call Center
A quality call center works with patients to make sure they have a positive experience because every single call is important. Companies need to train their stall well so that they respond professionally and have a level of sympathy and empathy with each patient.
The most important thing for a health care call center to do is to make an investment in their agents; teaching and empowering them. An enhanced training program and working with each agent individually is very important to the success of a health care call center.
Each new agent coming out of training needs to feel well-equipped to handle any situation and understand that they have the support of the whole team. A solid organization will help them throughout the on-the-job learning period.
Acquiring knowledge takes time, but an agent with great customer service skills, who can engage with the patient and understand what they’re going through, is the goal of a great health care call center. Whether the patient is calling for a wellness visit or dealing with stage four cancer, the agent needs to connect with them and be caring.
A call center with superior technology, such as speech analytics, is an important factor in distinguishing one health care call center from another. That being said, even with the latest technology, agents who have not been properly trained to work in a health care call center will not be an asset to a medical practice.
Meeting Patient Expectations
Many health care providers lack the resources needed to meet their patients’ high expectations but a growing number of them are now experiencing the benefits of health care outsourcing, including minimizing costs and better patient care.
Because a health care call center takes care of the non-core tasks in the health care business, as well as making appointments for and otherwise servicing patients, medical professionals can concentrate on helping their patients get well. Overall efficiency is improved by working with the experienced experts at a health care call center.