If there is an area where the healthcare industry could use some improvement, it is the area of the patient experience. In this fast-paced world, people seeking healthcare services often feel more like a number than actual humans. With healthcare clinics and hospitals full of patients requiring healthcare assistance, it is often impossible to offer special attention to each, and that takes a toll on the overall patient experience.
In order to improve the experience, many healthcare organizations have hired healthcare BPO service partners to handle patient and member interactions. These healthcare call center companies not only assist the healthcare facilities to boost member patient experience, member acquisition, and retention, but they also help the healthcare facility streamline its operations.
However, to do so, healthcare BPO services have to face the unique challenges and requirements of the healthcare industry including- complex guidelines for compliance, difficult workflow integration, and a high volume of calls from patients who are in pain or suffering from ailments. Providing them with an outstanding experience that has a positive effect on them is not an easy task, especially if you consider that 88% of patient scheduling is done over the phone.
To overcome these challenges, selecting the right BPO service provider is crucial. From the staff, infrastructure, and protocols, everything has to be in place and aligned with the goal of the healthcare industry. Below mentioned are a number of best industry practices that can help a healthcare call center to overcome the challenges and boost patient and member experience.
1. HIPAA-TRAINED AGENTS
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has been around for more than 20 years now. The provider of healthcare call center services that work in tandem with the healthcare facilities must be compliant with HIPAA guidelines, which regulate the way in which patient data is collected, used, and protected. In order to be compliant, agents working in a healthcare BPO services company must get the necessary training so they can follow security protocols when interacting with patients.
2. Follow HIPAA-security protocols
Electronic Health Records and Individual Health Records are very important and stored and transmitted between agencies, providers, and members as per HIPAA Regulations to prevent any kind of security breaches and protect personal health information. There are many security protocols like end-to-end encrypted interactions, protected files with automatic expiration dates, as well as clear emergency procedures that are instantly triggered when a security breach is detected. A healthcare call center must follow these security measures to protect the members of the healthcare industry and keep them safe from fraud and identity loss.
3. Make compassionate communication
When patients contact healthcare call centers to seek guidance and reassurance, usually most of them are in a distressed state of mind. In such situations, it is of utmost importance that the call center agents treat the patients with compassion. Empathy often plays a very significant role in boosting patient experience, especially when the patients are in an emotional state. Call center agents must stress on qualitative metrics like first contact resolution, abandonment rates, and degree of engagement. Doing this will ensure better patient satisfaction.
4. Provide Omnichannel Support
Patients today want to able to get the help they need through their preferred channels of communication like – phone, chat, email, text, etc. The healthcare industry must be ready to deliver. Thus, healthcare BPO services provider must be able to provide omnichannel support at every touchpoint throughout the patient journey, allowing them to switch channels seamlessly at any point of time.
5. Offer Multi-Lingual Support
As the healthcare industry serves a diverse demographic, a healthcare call center agent may have to interact with patients of different ethnicities and language preferences. The agents should be able to communicate with patients of various ethnic backgrounds and language preferences. Having call center agents who speak a variety of languages and are sensitive to cultural gaps can be considered among the best features.
6. Track patient interactions and analyze key metrics
When a patient leaves a healthcare facility after a conversation with your call center, it becomes difficult to dig out the cause as only 4% of patients share their complaints. To examine further, a call center must monitor call quality and ensure patients get redirected to the appropriate department. In addition, track the right KPIs to streamline workflow and patient-member experience.
7. Improve patient retention by understanding their expectations
Patient satisfaction is the key to maintaining sustainable growth through member registration and referrals. Thus, healthcare BPO services should understand their patient’s expectations proactively. It allows them to improve their services in order to increase retention rates. A call center can use patient feedback collected through surveys to ensure best reporting performance. A healthcare call center can expand its capabilities by automating specific duties like appointment scheduling and reminder, offering test results, and health benefit verification. It will not only make the entire process efficient also frees the agents to deal with critical issues that demand human skills and empathy.
With the right call center partner, healthcare providers can optimize patient experience, boost the quality of care, and increase operational efficiency. These best practices can help you integrate a call center platform with your communication system to deliver a seamless patient experience while protecting your patient information.
Having a vast experience in serving the healthcare sector, healthcare BPO services knows what it takes to deliver an exceptional CX.