Value-based care is encouraging healthcare providers to provide better care by incentivizing with pay for better outcomes and cost effectiveness verses a purely transactional model.Improving the patient experience is an extremely important component to get individuals to engage with the proper resources that will ultimately keep them healthy and decrease health care cost. Yet, many healthcare providers struggle to focus on the patient experience and customer service because of competing priorities. Value-based care; clinical, quality and safety initiatives; mergers and acquisitions; integrating employed physicians; software conversions and migrations; and supply management often monopolize their attention.
Outsourcing is no secret, especially when it comes to call centers. There’s a reason why healthcare providers choose to outsource their telephone triage and call center operations. It goes beyond just focusing on core competencies. Running a call center requires specialized expertise – even more so when the calls entail patient questions about their health issues.
Top 10 Reasons Practices Outsource Their Patient Call Center
- Improve Patient Access
A seamless patient access experience is especially important in large healthcare systems. Without an efficient centralized call center, patients must make multiple calls or be routed from one department to another with inconsistent service and procedures.
- Increase Patient Satisfaction Scores
In healthcare, 96% of patient complaints are related to customer service. If your scores are trending down, having a good call center can improve satisfaction rates.
- Improve Call Recording and Data Collection Procedures
The key to a successful call center is to reduce variation by scripting and enforcing scheduling or other “telephone” task protocols. Often, healthcare leaders don’t have the time or technical resources to evaluate the patient protocols, their customer service quality, thereby exacerbating patient dissatisfaction which leads to administrative and/or provider complaints. Nurse call centers can help by using standardized protocols and by allowing custom orders that can help doctors add their own custom instructions based on their own patient population needs.
- Provide more Skilled Nursing Staff
Quality improvement and reinforcement training is key to low turnover and high satisfaction for patients. Outsourced call centers attract and retain nurses and healthcare professionals who are experienced in call center work processes, have rigorous training on the process, implementing and maintain levels of quality assurance and, technology use and training.
- Save Costs, Provide More Flexibility and Scalability
Inhouse nursing staff are at the mercy of periods of low volumes, when nurses are idle. Outsourced call center can plan for call volume peaks and valleys, scheduling staff so that they work more efficiently, reducing the cost per call. Outsourced call centers have the size and staff to ramp up quickly for seasonal activity, like flu season or other medical outbreaks. This allows the provider to focus on their patient while the call center manager focuses on the nursing staff needed to serve your practice or hospital.
- Reduce Patient Leakage
Few providers have time to prioritize patient leakage using current staff. Loyalty is less important to patients than convenience and getting medical advice when they need it most. To protect and grow revenue, healthcare providers must proactively call patients to encourage preventive health or return visits.
- Increase Healthcare Call Center Benchmarks
If 5% or more of patients hang up before they’re helped, hold times are longer than 60 seconds and/or call routing accuracy is under 99%, your call center may be understaffed or lacking training.
- Reduce Staff Turnover
Medical staff often wear too many hats, leaving customer service and, in particular, call center service, to suffer. In most cases, it’s not intentional. Many healthcare providers fill triage jobs with entry-level people who have front desk or scheduling experience rather than professional customer and patient triage expertise. As a result, people leave or they’re terminated because they don’t have the skills or empathy to handle patients appropriately.
- Gain more Referrals from Healthcare Providers
Many healthcare organizations don’t have the resources to handle these calls any differently from patients calling on their own, resulting in processes like voicemail requests and faxing of referrals. If a referring provider can’t get through to make an appointment for their own patients, it puts revenue and future physician referrals at risk.
- Improve Access to the Latest Technology
Healthcare organizations with in-house call centers don’t always monitor calls or track call metrics from a patient access or experience perspective. They also don’t always have access to the latest technology. Many don’t realize they have a problem until revenue shortfalls and patient satisfaction scores show otherwise. Outsourcers are able to spread the cost of the technology resources needed across multiple clients, making access to these technology resources affordable.
It is crucial to have access to a triage nurse to ensure that patients can connect with your office, even when you are closed. Telephone nurse triage allows a practice’s telemedicine program to work seamlessly. Practices who delegate telephone triage to partners like TriageLogic streamline the entire process and saving valuable time. Whether you have a busy private practice in need of a phone triage system, or a hospital seeking complete after-hours call center solutions, TriageLogic has a product to meet your needs.
TriageLogic maintains one of the most sophisticated nurse triage services in the country. We provide 24/7 access to an experienced registered nurse to assist patients and ensure appropriate level of care. Please contact our dedicated care team to learn more about the options available with TriageLogic.