Hospitals are one of the most complex and important industries for society. They are the backbone of the healthcare system. The hospital industry is one of the largest employers in the United States, and it’s one of the most competitive. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), there are about 6,093 hospitals in the United States. While competition is good for consumers as it helps contain costs, encourage innovation, and improve quality, it can hurt your practice. Standing out from your competitors and being at the top of the industry is important. A hospital call center can help.
With so many patients, employees, and systems to handle, it can be challenging for hospital staff to manage competing priorities. Managing high call volumes efficiently can be problematic, especially if you have to attend to many patients. Every call to a hospital is important and must be handled securely and with the utmost empathy. When your patients call your office, they want to talk to an expert who can help them in their quest for care. They may become frustrated and seek healthcare services elsewhere if their calls are unanswered.
A hospital call center can help you manage calls and free up time for your staff to focus on other important duties. If you are considering pursuing that route, you have come to the right place. We discuss how a hospital call center can effectively manage incoming calls, improve patient experience, and reduce costs.
The Challenges of Call Management in Hospitals
Effective call management is essential in any business, even more so in hospitals. Coordinating the many facets of healthcare requires clear communication at every step. Poor call management in hospitals may have extremely serious consequences and can negatively affect patients’ outcomes.
The healthcare industry demands coverage around the clock every day of the year. Communication between patients and healthcare providers and colleagues is a constant challenge. Patients call your hospital for various reasons. Whether it is a medical emergency or they just need directions, every call deserves a human response from a knowledgeable representative who truly cares about patients’ well-being.
However, in many hospitals, inefficient processes, and overworked staff often lead to long hold times, incorrect call routing, and inadequate answers. About 92% of people in the United States have health insurance, and hospital call center agents frequently work around the clock to provide 24/7 service to patients in need. A typical healthcare provider has about 53 patient calls per day. Balancing between delivering better healthcare services and services can be a challenge.
Poor call management in a hospital setting can lead to miscommunication and have a negative impact on patient experience. In addition, it can lead to frustrated patients.
Key Features and Benefits of a Hospital Call Center
A hospital call center ensures healthcare providers have enough time to focus on their core tasks. With so many patients, departments, and other variables to handle, a call center can make a huge difference for any hospital. Qualified call center agents manage all calls and provide 24/7 customer service. Medical emergencies can come at any time, so 24/7 customer service is essential.
Call center agents do not only answer calls. They can offer department-specific support, by directing patients to specific departments. This improves efficiency within the hospital. Agents can also provide support within some departments to assist with tasks such as answering referral questions, payment services, and gathering intake information.
Hospitals call centers provide emergency dispatch services. Their dispatching services can be tailored to fit pre-existing protocols and procedures for hospitals. Call center agents can contact hospital staff members via text, phone, pager, or email to alert them of situations that require prompt attention.
Another benefit of a hospital call center is multilingual support for patients. As the United States continues to diversify, it is essential that hospital call centers offer bilingual services. Call centers employ staff fluent in Spanish and English to support the growing Hispanic population. So, with a hospital call center, there is no such thing as a language barrier.
For any hospital or healthcare provider, meeting HIPAA privacy expectations is a priority, both ethically and legally. A HIPAA-compliant hospital call center understands the requirements of keeping your patients data safe and secure. An efficient call center can help you improve patient experience and satisfaction. Call center agents will take time to understand patient issues and regularly follow up to know their response.
Cost Savings with a Hospital Call Center
Hiring an in-house staff to manage calls can be costly. You will need to train them and pay them a full-time salary and other benefits. Once you hire an in-house call center team, you will need to ensure they provide the same exceptional service your hospital is known for. This means you will need to put in a lot of time monitoring them. You will need office space as well as facilities like computers. A call center is a cost-effective solution for a hospital looking to enhance its services without significant investments in staff and infrastructure.
Increase Revenue & Capture Leads
A hospital call center can also help you increase revenue through improved patient retention and acquisition. By outsourcing your phone calls, you can minimize missed opportunities. A call center can ensure that every caller is greeted with professionalism and efficiency, providing your patients with the kind of service they deserve.
A well-trained hospital call center team can help generate leads by providing prospects with critical information about your services. Also, patients are more likely to look for healthcare services from a hospital that provides exceptional customer service.
Improving Hospital Workflows and Staff Efficiency
Running a successful hospital requires a lot of task juggling. Managing phone calls can be a major distraction from core activities. This is where a hospital call center comes in.
With a hospital call center, you can rest easy knowing that someone knowledgeable and qualified is always available to manage calls and provide 24/7 customer service. Call center agents canwill help you answer calls and provide other services, such as appointment scheduling, post-discharge follow-up, call routing, and other administrative tasks. This frees up time for the hospital staff to focus on providing the best healthcare services. Doctors will be able to focus on treatment. Front desk staff can focus on checking people in and providing amazing in-person care.