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    February 16, 2023

    6 Best Practices for Health Care Contact Center

    The healthcare sector is differentiated from other industries because many patients require constant monitoring to maintain their health at optimal cost and high satisfaction. Enhancing existing strategies to improve patient satisfaction and optimize your healthcare contact center’s operations can help increase the satisfaction and stickiness of customers coming to you. 

    The application of automation, artificial intelligence, and self-service options are often seen as the best ways to ease hiccups in customer experience, but other unique recommendations can help your team discover the fresh potential for service improvement.

    What Goes on in a Health Care Contact Center?

    When you speak of the healthcare industry, what comes to mind are doctors and nurses running around hospital hallways. We often forget the back-office staff who ensure the health care contact center service runs well. 

    Normally, healthcare organizations outsource service operations such as cleaning, laundry, and catering. In today’s marketplace, more healthcare organizations are considering outsourcing more services to save space, gain flexibility, save money, optimize resources, and save time. Many healthcare organizations have or are planning on contact center outsourcing. These healthcare contact centers undertake several responsibilities spanning from appointment setting to medical billing. 

    A contact center for healthcare has a specific function. It acts as a safety net to enhance personal health, help patients understand the medical system, and is vital to enabling outstanding patient experiences.

    These differ from traditional consumer-based contact centers. Whenever a phone call comes into a healthcare contact center, it is never about how a product is not working or getting a refund. Instead, it is often about how the patient can care for themselves better, whether through a routine examination or a possibly life-saving treatment.

    The top contact centers for healthcare emphasize creating relationships, loyalty, and empathy through emotional ties. Your purpose is to help people take charge of their wellness through regular communication, supportive agents, and relevant resources. A contact center team is vital to your health system’s patient management plan. 

    To overcome these obstacles, sourced and outsourced healthcare contact centers have specific collaboration areas with their clients and patients.

    Providing Proof of Coverage

    Hospitals can receive hundreds of patients daily, some with insurance coverage and others without. The priority here is to always take care of people’s health despite the vast divide between the number of patients with and those without medical insurance. 

    Healthcare contact centers handle everything, from pre-authorization to background verification to checking patient profiles to scheduling appointments, equipment, rooms, and third-party services. This service guarantees to reduce financial risks for patients and healthcare professionals.

    Referral Services for Physicians

    Sometimes hospitals need to refer patients to specialists who might not be part of their staff or request their help in specific procedures. Here, the healthcare contact center will keep a comprehensive database of general practitioners and specialists to ease the process. 

    Handling Healthcare Claims

    Healthcare contact centers integrate automation into the hospital’s claims processing system to evaluate and handle claims for the facility in a quick pass, ensuring a clear claim rate. The possibility of claims rejection or short payments emanating from incomplete or erroneous claims paperwork is eliminated by automating what would have been done manually. This, by extension, frees up space in the hospital’s income stream.

    24-Hour Healthcare Response Services

    The healthcare industry needs to be on its toes every time. Patients expect hospitals to always respond to their needs, and when this is not delivered, they seek alternative options. No hospital wants to lose its patients to another because they didn’t respond to calls quickly, and for this, healthcare contact center personnel provide round-the-clock client service

    Contact center services make it easier for a hospital or healthcare provider to communicate with patients effectively and resolve matters quickly. Medical emergencies don’t care whether your hospital staff is swarmed with work. You will always need to have a response team ready.

    Best Practices for Health Care Contact Centers

    Healthcare contact centers should always be operational, given that they are involved with life and death situations. This means giving your contact center the best resources and incorporating exceptional practices.

    1. Take Compliance Issues Seriously

    Compliance in the healthcare industry is a serious problem that, if you fail to abide by, can result in steep fines and devastating long-term effects on your hospital’s reputation. While your contact center may have scripts to help your agents manage particular circumstances, they may say something that goes against the law.

    Ensuring every employee, especially those working in the contact center, is knowledgeable about HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations and other legal requirements will help your business stay out of trouble and prevent bad publicity that might otherwise threaten your patient relationships.

    2. Cloud-Based Service Approaches

    Moving your contact center’s systems to the cloud could appear impossible, especially if you have large files. Nevertheless, there would be significant corporate benefits from such a relocation, particularly lower operational costs and exposure to more potent technology for data analysis. Your business may be able to find better methods to look after patients’ demands if you have all the resources required to execute tactical analytics on call-related information at scale. 

    You can take advantage of this opportunity by transferring parts of your operations to the cloud. Start by moving small portions of your data to the cloud to make it easily accessible and minimize the chances of data loss.

    3. Determine and Monitor the Appropriate KPIs

    The KPIs you select for your contact center do more than sum up how well your staff performs from a centralized dashboard. Your team’s goals and initiatives are predetermined by each KPI you implement. Some experts advise monitoring statistics like the patient experience, which is an excellent choice for enhancing patient contentment. 

    Others advocate using them to calculate average handle time and other matters. There is no doubt that you will have to monitor the right KPIs to fully comprehend your current achievements and the areas you should improve.

    4. Make EHR Integrations A Priority

    A CRM can only empower your contact center’s representatives if they can access patients’ electronic health records (EHR) to offer callers immediate, precise help. This connection is the foundation for supplemental functions like finding appointments with well-known doctors and addressing medical history issues that the representative would not be aware of otherwise. 

    5. Construct Self-Service Options

    Although it is usually ignored, the basic list of frequently asked questions may be a very effective tool in building out your patient care system. A straightforward FAQ site can enhance patient contentment and experience while reducing the volume of queries your contact center workers must regularly answer and resolve. 

    It shouldn’t be shocking to learn that customers choose FAQs over contact centers as their preferred customer assistance method. Research shows that 80% of customers, regardless of the industry, would rather get their facts from the FAQ section because they can always cross-check if they forget something. 

    6. Prioritize Empathetic Communications

    Most patients reaching out to health care contact centers are distressed, often needing advice and assurance. There is no better way of showing them you understand what they are going through than being compassionate. Health Care Contact Center representatives must treat the customers kindly in all circumstances, even if their language or tone is unpleasant.

    At the same time, patient experience is frequently improved by empathy, particularly when they are feeling overly sensitive. A contact center must emphasize qualitative metrics under these circumstances, such as first-call resolution, abandonment rates, and degree of involvement. 

    Health Care Contact Center -DEMO-best practices for healthcare contact center

    Best Practices for Health Care Contact Center

    How Call Criteria Help Healthcare Contact Centers

    Client happiness is key to sustaining stable growth through patient retention and referrals. A healthcare contact center should always work to meet patients’ expectations to enhance their services and boost retention rates. 

    A contact center can increase its services by automating particular operations, such as scheduling appointments, providing test results, and confirming health benefits. This will also streamline the procedure and free representatives to handle more pressing problems that need compassion and human attention. Healthcare providers may improve patient engagement, boost service quality, and raise the standard of care with the ideal contact center partner. 

    Understanding Your Objectives and Expected Outcomes

    A healthcare organization has different objectives than companies from other industries, making their contact centers different. When we partner with a healthcare contact center, we first try to understand their objectives and assess whether we can work to achieve their expectations. Most organizations seek to implement strategies that improve patient retention, privacy, engagement, and satisfaction. 

    Streamlining activities in your contact center can help meet these expectations, and we can help you do this in several ways.

    Outsourced Contact Center Quality Assurance

    With all the regulations you must keep up with, running a healthcare contact center can be laborious. Your in-house QA team will find it challenging to keep up with the changes, and if your QA team is incompetent, your agents will fail at their job. This will leave you compromised with numerous legal battles you can avoid by outsourcing QA from an expert company. Call Criteria ensures all your protocols are updated and that agents are well-versed with compliance and legal implications of violations.

    Speech Analytics

    Speech analytics analyzes conversations between your customers and agents to determine whether everything was handled well. Voice analytics may not always relay the right information, which is why we implement Artificial Intelligence and Human Verification protocols. Once the AI-enabled voice analytics completes its job, we analyze each recording using human-aided review.

    AI-Agent Coaching

    Contact Center agents can only serve right if they receive proper training. Unfortunately, not all contact centers have trained their agents. We understand coaching is hard, so we have the Call Criteria Coaching session dashboard to provide you with all the information you need to train your agents. Our interactive dashboard helps identify agents and groups supervisors into different tiers based on a scorecard that flags failing points and then helps you schedule coaching sessions.