Healthcare Contact Center Best Practices
Medical centers have unique needs that require healthcare call center companies to ensure compliance with federal regulations, careful handling of high call volumes and delivery of meaningful customer experiences along with implementation of industry best practices [crosslink]. Outsourcing partners provide a host of services for the healthcare industry, ranging from patient support to provider assistance to emergency dispatch.
When evaluating your healthcare contact center, check to make sure it is following these six best practices:
Every sector of the healthcare community, including third-party vendors, must meet government guidelines for protecting sensitive patient information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates how data is collected. Agents working in healthcare call center companies must receive specific, extensive training to ensure that they follow industry protocols when interacting with patients. Outsourcing your healthcare contact center to a provider who understands these complex rules will keep your organization HIPAA compliant so that you do not incur penalties or jeopardize insurance payments.
HIPAA regulations also dictate how patient information is stored and how files are transmitted between agencies, providers and patients. Stringent security protocols are necessary in a medical contact center to safeguard personal health information (PHI) and prevent security breaches. It is important to know if your BPO call center houses records in the cloud, onsite or with a third-party provider. The communications network must support encrypted conversations, and electronic files must be protected with automatic expiration dates. Additionally, your outsourcer should have clear emergency protocols that are immediately triggered if a security threat manages to slip through.
A Compassionate Call Center
Compassion should be one of the most important considerations when looking for healthcare call center companies. When patients reach out to their healthcare providers, it is critical that they connect with a compassionate voice who can provide comfort and guidance. Metrics like call length and number of calls processed should fall down the priority ladder behind first call resolution, wait length, abandonment rates and quality of engagement. Customer satisfaction in the health field is based on an agent’s ability to give accurate information and a customer’s ability to easily access important account information, quickly make appointments and get advice about ailments, so tools must be put in place to support these tasks.
Multichannel, Multilingual Support
Healthcare groups serve one of the most demographically diverse customer segments. Since practitioners, centers and insurance companies interact with an array of consumers who have different technology capabilities and language preferences, delivering meaningful experiences depends on meeting customers where they are at. Your BPO medical contact center should employ a multilingual workforce and offer multiple ways for patients to reach out via phone, email, text, live chat or social media. Every message must be consistent across touchpoints, and customers must be able to seamlessly switch between platforms.
Front Office Automation
Healthcare call center companies should also offer front office support solutions that boost in-house productivity and efficiency. Practice management software is integrated with the medical contact center’s CRM system to free up staff from the time-consuming tasks of setting and rescheduling appointments. The service also automates the appointment reminder process to virtually eliminate no-shows, and outbound call center agents can follow up with patients to gauge their reactions’ to quality of care.
Deep Dive into Analytics
One inaccurate answer, one misdirected call or one disrespectful conversation can abruptly end the provider-patient relationship. The worst part is that you may never know why a patient never returns since only 4 percent of consumers directly voice their complaints with an organization. Medical call centers need to allocate resources to effectively tracking performance and setting realistic goals based on the patients’ needs and streamlining workplace efficiencies.