Customer satisfaction matters just as much to hospitals and healthcare facilities as it does to other types of businesses, and medical call centers are a highly efficient way to meet this goal. In fact, a report by the Florida Institute of Technology indicated that “Call centers generate a ROI of at least three to one and are an essential driver of hospital revenue, profitability, and patient loyalty.”
The same report said that 70% of patients who make phone inquiries are likely to continue using the facility over three years, compared to just 49% of those who never reach out.
Of course, in most cases it is not enough to have a few receptionists or representatives who simply take inquiries on a first-come, first-served basis. Medical call centers must meet two goals upon launch.
Goal #1: Real, human assistance must be available 24/7/365.
Often, patients contact a healthcare facility to determine whether or not they require emergency care. Many of these patients are in a state of deep distress and fear. Loyalty is lost when these patients are confronted with an answering machine instead of a compassionate, knowledgeable, HIPPA-trained human who can help them.
Remember, people cannot leave information about their health problems on an answering machine without compromising their privacy, so this goal must be non-negotiable for medical call centers.
Goal #2: There must be a mechanism that routes inquiries efficiently and accurately.
Patients reach out for a variety of different reasons, and the time it takes to resolve any given inquiry varies. A conversation about billing questions could take 45 minutes, whereas an appointment setup could take 10 minutes or less. Using a mere first-come, first-serve system is a recipe for disaster. Instead, it’s important to turn to an advanced system that can route inquiries intelligently and efficiently.
Optional Goal: Patient Outreach
A practice’s call center has a unique opportunity: the ability to use its capabilities to perform outreach. Reminders are powerful: follow-up appointment reminders, preventative care reminders, and patient referral reminders can show patients that a facility cares about their well-being, not just their money. In addition, it can lead to better patient health outcomes overall.
Outsourcing is a great way to increase ROI.
Building a proper in-house system is a massive undertaking. It requires an enormous outlay in technology and a vast increase in overhead in terms of labor. This means incurring the expenses of recruitment, as well as the responsibilities of training while continuing to attempt to provide great healthcare to patients.
Westpark Communications specializes in setting up full-scale, 24/7/365, HIPPA-compliant medical call centers. This allows hospitals and healthcare facilities to reap the benefits of an effective system without forcing them to set up a brand-new department. Westpark even offers bilingual support staff to help healthcare providers appeal to a wider variety of patients.
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