Being a healthcare professional is one of the most stressful jobs to have during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if your healthcare center does not cater to COVID-19 testing or treatment, you likely have several patients whose health you need to monitor closely in radically different conditions than any of us were used to previously.
Most healthcare providers cannot in good conscience neglect their patients, urgent or otherwise, for extended periods of time. Physician groups, hospitals, and clinics around the country are shifting to telehealth or minimum-contact patient care. However, they are not fully equipped to deal with these drastic changes. With most patients preferring to call in or video-link to doctors, but not willing to wait for care, it is important to ensure that these processes run like a well-oiled machine.
You need experienced medical call center agents to handle this sudden influx of calls. The calls might range from appointment scheduling, to prescription refilling, to questions about invoices, and reliable after care. Relying on your employees to do both this work and their usual roster of tasks will almost certainly result in poor customer satisfaction.
Why You Should Have a Medical Call Center
Give Your Patients COVID-19 Information
Healthcare practices are the first point of contact for people when they have questions about the pandemic. This is especially true for especially those specializing in general medicine or internal medicine. Since new information about COVID-19 is coming forth constantly, patients reach out repeatedly, trying to quell their anxieties about potential symptoms. Many also keep calling to ask how to stay safe in these conditions. Doctor offices around the world, from India to the UK and the US, are reporting a deluge of calls with a dearth of patient visits. Mobilizing to cater to these calls with a minimum of disruption to all other essential work is necessary. Your one solution to this problem; which will likely stretch to the next year and possibly beyond, is hiring a healthcare call center.
Improve Customer Satisfaction and Keep Revenue Streams Ongoing
These days, patient footfall has fallen drastically on site; so quality measures should focus largely on call responses instead of on-site dealings for the time being. Training a staff that is used to face-to-face interactions to transition to communicating only over call is an uphill battle.
However, keeping customer satisfaction levels high is as imperative as ever. Bear in mind that any patient receiving comprehensive and compassionate guidance from you during this time is likely going to show customer loyalty towards you for a long time. You will reap dividends many times over in the long run by focusing on patient satisfaction through healthcare call center support.
Patients are asked to provide information about their healthcare experience via the annual Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Unacceptable survey results can lead to hospitals losing some reimbursements from Medicare; an overall loss of over $1.7 billion in 2017. A healthcare call center influences and improves the patient experience, ensuring that a minimum of these reimbursements is lost. This is why two-thirds of US hospitals use healthcare call center support.
Healthcare Call Centers Can Save Money for Physician Groups
A healthcare call center brings with it a wealth of experience and guaranteed HIPAA compliance.
By sharing a healthcare call center across a physician group or a clinic shared by several providers, the cost of handling patients goes down considerably. Instead of hiring several people, one competent and trained healthcare call center representative can handle all calls made to the group. This brings down the immediate cost of labor for all physicians who are part of the group. The cost of training is reduced as well, while the cost of lost patient revenue due to irate clients becomes negligible.
If only one provider wants to hire a healthcare call center, that provider can hire a call center representative who works part-time but manages or returns all the calls made. Through IdeasUnlimited’s healthcare call center facilities, you can hire a call center representative to work for you for a pre-agreed number of hours per week. The healthcare call center’s focus leads to efficiency, with immediate results being apparent.
Lower Risk and Better Compliance
Having a HIPAA-certified agent handle your calls lowers compliance risk considerably. While initial HIPAA-training can take from 2 to 3 hours, the ongoing training and compliance is a struggle for each provider. HIPAA procedures need to be so ingrained in the staff that patient privacy and best processes take center stage. The best way to do this is by hiring a healthcare call center that has certified agents.
Identifying Where You Are Losing Money
Some healthcare call centers, such as those operated by IdeasUnlimited, offer a holistic package which includes cost audits. IdeasUnlimited’s healthcare call center service includes an audit of the business, which will identify where the healthcare provider is losing money. This service is imperative during the coronavirus crisis. Especially since healthcare providers and physician practices are being encouraged to operate at full capacity, yet income is slow with coming in. Reducing unnecessary costs and administrative bloating can improve the bottom-line manifold. Most healthcare providers who grow beyond an office of ten people don’t realize that their administrative costs are too high and can be reduced through consolidation. Having a third party objectively analyze your costs will identify where your business can improve cash flow in these trying times.
Access to Service Data and Quality Control
When you hire front desk representatives to take patient calls, you don’t have access to the kind of data you need for quality control. In such a situation, your options for keeping tabs on and improving customer service are very limited. On the other hand, healthcare call centers operate with strict quality measures in place, and content dashboards with access to service data. Having access to data regarding each patient contact grants you immediate feedback regarding services. Moreover, it helps you steer the direct and indirect messages going out to your patients.
IdeasUnlimited’s quality assurance team can take this task off your hands as well. The quality assurance team monitors calls and ensures that the standard operating procedures, as defined by the client, are observed. Quality assurance ensures excellence at each stage of contact with the patient.
By documenting each client contact in an easily searchable way, you ensure that your client contacts are up to par. You also have a detailed client contact history that enables you to have as complete a picture as possible when dealing with a client. Having detailed records also minimizes provider liability.
Why IdeasUnlimited is Your Best Choice for A Healthcare Call Center
If you are not yet employing a healthcare call center, now is the time to take the leap and reap the dividends. Not shifting to a healthcare call center may actively be harming your business without your knowledge. IdeasUnlimited is the ideal partner to help you transition to a new way of handling your patients. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a custom quote for your business today.