March 18, 2021
Stay in the Know
Patients have been seeking a broader range of services and more personalized relationships with healthcare providers for some time. Many healthcare providers have yet to deliver. Those who can will be the ones to thrive in this ever-changing healthcare landscape.
Healthcare contact centers, most often the first point of patient contact, are typically tasked with handling a wide range of functions. They answer for everything from call routing to scheduling appointments, triage, admissions, referrals and billing questions. Many struggle to meet all of these needs. Additional demands of the coronavirus pandemic and transitioning to an at-home workforce have tested their limits even further.
To be successful going forward, it is critically important that healthcare providers continuously assess the evolving needs of their patients. They must address their patients’ desire both for additional services and more personalized engagement.
In Part 1 of this 2-part blog series, we will discuss the top trends and healthcare call center best practices to consider. In Part 2 we review the latest technologies that can help leverage their rich data sources to attract new patients. New tools can also improve existing patient loyalty by providing better experiences that garner greater satisfaction.
Healthcare Call Center Best Practices and Trends to Consider
1. Cloud-based healthcare contact centers eliminate business interruption
Hospital call centers and other healthcare businesses recently learned very quickly about the benefits of a cloud-based unified solution. One of the primary benefits is how imperative they can be for maintaining business continuity during a crisis. Cloud-based solutions provide the agility and flexibility needed to quickly support a remote workforce while continuing to manage patient service operations. In fact, many that shifted from on-premise to the cloud saw improvements in customer service, agent efficiency and productivity.
Other benefits of cloud-based medical contact centers include:
• greater scalability to quickly accommodate fluctuations in call volume
• reduction in internal IT resources by outsourcing implementation, hosting, operations and maintenance
• access to a better talent pool that can work from anywhere
• quick implementation of new workflows to adapt to changing legislative and emerging compliance requirements.
2. Omnichannel communication provides an experiential rather than transactional patient journey
Patients want to reach out on the channel of their choice. One time, this might be email, the next, phone, and the next, social media or chat. Whatever channel they choose, they want the experience to be consistent and personal. In order to ensure this, health call centers must be able to seamlessly access patient information and history. This eliminates forcing patients to provide the same information over and over again.
Omnichannel communications also help healthcare contact centers deliver an experiential journey tailored to each patient. The value that a patient derives will be based on their experience.
3. AI enhances patient care
AI and machine learning are included in healthcare call center best practices to provide the right information to both agents and patients at the right time. AI drives better communication and resolution through chatbots. It can help improve accuracy and enable skills-based routing, and provide live guidance to agents during calls. Patients benefit from a more personalized experience and faster responses to their requests.
4. Advanced Self Service Enhances Efficiency and Frees Agents
Patients don’t always need to – or want to – talk with an agent. Self-service options offer the preferred level of engagement for some patients. And they free up agents to address cases with more complex issues. Some examples of patient self-service applications used in healthcare call centers include:
• Appointment confirmations
• Account contact information changes
• Answers to FAQs
• Educational tutorials on health concerns and lifestyle changes
Healthcare Call Center Best Practices Help Drive Better Patient Service
Providing superior care and the services that patients want through the channels of their choice results in more personalized engagement and a positive experience. Continue to Part 2 of this blog series to discuss the enabling technologies that can help healthcare contact centers deliver greater patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Solutions for Healthcare Call Centers
Noble’s powerful technology solutions for the Healthcare industry give you the tools to enhance agent productivity, save resources, improve appointment scheduling, increase payments on patient accounts and improve the patient experience with more proactive service.
Ebook: Enterprise Contact Center Strategies for Healthcare Organizations
Hospital administrators in today’s healthcare environment are laser-focused on a top priority: Improving the patient experience. Good communication is essential to the patient experience and positive outcomes. Creating a vibrant, integrated contact center technology framework that can ultimately lead to an improved patient experience. To capitalize on customer interactions, health systems need to have a unified voice and deliver consistent, positive patient experiences each and every time.
Case Study: BC Services
Noble Gamification has brought positive improvements to agent retention and customer experience for BC Services. Agent attrition has been slashed from 45% to 12%. The healthcare collections group has also seen increases in all KPIs it manages through Noble Gamification, including dialer adherence and talk time percentage. Even some KPI targets that the the company thought were unattainable have been exceeded by 10%.