The healthcare contact center serves as a healthcare organization’s front door and its voice to patients. This vital communication hub has the power to elevate a hospital’s reputation, improve patient satisfaction and increase the bottom line by creating a consistent patient experience.
Evaluating your contact center—and what to do next
Clearly, health systems that optimize the contact center can reap significant gains, but how can you tell if yours is operating at its full potential? Below, we explore the six signs that your contact center may need an upgrade and an assessment to help you evaluate where to focus your efforts.
- No single point of access for patients. Multiple phone numbers for a health system increases cost and communication inefficiencies.
- Misrouted calls. When patients are transferred multiple times, both the patient experience and access center service suffer while operating expenses rise.
- Poorly leveraged self-service. Lack of personalized, intelligent and integrated inbound and outbound self-service options drives unnecessary call volume to the patient access center.
- Limited use of data. If data collected by the IVR system isn’t passed to the agent, patients experience frustration at having to repeat information, which also increases call times.
- Lack of relevant reporting. Without relevant transactional data and success metrics, it’s difficult to devise, budget and implement improvement strategies.
- Inadequate operational redundancy. Lack of business continuity exposes health systems to significant business risk in the event of an outage or disaster.
A modernized contact center optimizes the patient experience, scales with increasing call volume and allows front desk staff to engage more proactively with patients. The process to improvement can seem daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin. This brief assessment can help guide your efforts and give you a better idea of just where you need to grow.
Assessing your contact center Ask your patient access and technology teams to answer these questions to evaluate how efficiently your contact center is performing. “No” answers indicate areas to focus on with both new technology and better processes:
- Are patients commonly confused about which number to call?
- Do patients experience long wait times and multiple transfers?
- Is call routing across the organization limited or unavailable?
- Is information about the caller’s identity, health status or reason for calling provided?
- Is there a centralized scheduling solution for patient appointments for all departments?
- Can patients self-serve to confirm/cancel appointments and pay their bills?
- Does an integrated voice-response (IVR) system handle patient requests for information such as prescription status?
- Can your system detect mobile phone calls and then offer reminders, appointment details and/or directions via text?
- Are patients’ communication channel preferences collected and used for future contact?
- Can hospital staff access data in real-time to efficiently help the patient while on the phone?
Modernizing the healthcare contact center can positively impact patient experience, staff utilization, and the bottom line. Learn how West meets data integration needs while maintaining an unmatched commitment to information security.
Read the White Paper Improving Patient Experience by Modernizing the Healthcare Contact Center