Looking at history, we see that the medical sector is somewhat immune to business vulnerabilities because there is always a demand for treatment and diagnosis despite whatever is occurring in the economic climate. But, with the recent explosion in demand, the medical industry is starting to feel pinched.
No matter how talented your healthcare employees are, they are still humans who get exhausted after a long day. Stress and insufficient rest will inevitably influence their performance, leading to decreased productivity. If unaddressed, employee exhaustion can significantly hurt your business. That’s why many practices are starting to see the value of outsourced medical services.
Outsourcing to a healthcare BPO company enables hospitals to increase productivity, improve patient experience, and save on cost.
This article details 5 tips that you can use to ensure a successful outsourcing initiative.
1. Ensure Data Security and Privacy
For many organizations, perhaps especially those in the healthcare sector, the privacy and security of client information are paramount. The healthcare BPO company you choose must enforce strict security protocols to limit access to private information. This can include installing alarms or having tiered access to client information.
As the hiring company, it’s your responsibility to examine any healthcare BPO company’s IT and logistic infrastructure to make sure they adhere to the best protocols and policies for data security and confidentiality. Additionally, your external staff team should sign a non-disclosure agreement and go through thorough background checks.
Another important factor to consider is whether the healthcare BPO company is compliant with the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA). Businesses and organizations that manage private health information (PHI) must comply with HIPAA and add the aforementioned guideline to their operations to ensure information integrity and privacy.
2. Look for a Healthcare BPO Company with Fast and Non-Disruptive Integration
One of the most significant hurdles in healthcare outsourcing is a smooth integration from the source company to its partnering organization. Medical practices often choose a healthcare BPO company that does not match their employee practices or workflows. When selecting a company, ask pointed questions to determine how well your firm and the outsourced company fit together.
The onboarding process can sometimes be complicated or doesn’t work at all. So we suggest that you look for a healthcare BPO company that is familiar with your workflow and processes. This will speed up the deployment process, improve support, and increase the chance of success.
Culture is one more important factor you shouldn’t ignore. The healthcare BPO company you work with needs to understand your organizational culture. If the firm fully understands and relates to your company culture, the program and service will be more tailored to fit you.
3. Go For a Healthcare BPO Company That Values Patient Experience
As a healthcare provider, one of your priorities should be to improve the patient/customer experience. Since we live in a world where patients and customers have more control over their health care decisions and payors make reimbursements depending on HCAHPS and other survey tools, it’s only fitting to focus more on the quality and consistency of your patient care.
Many hospitals invested in patient satisfaction initiatives years ago, but most practices are only establishing and measuring the success of their effort now. The success of your initiative is paramount to keeping the financial state of your hospital healthy.
Choose a healthcare BPO company with experience working in hospitals or medical facilities similar to yours. They will be more likely to understand and value your effort to improve the patient experience.
Intuitively, they can internalize the strategies and metrics you have in place and accomplish them the same way your internal employees do. Even better, they can help alleviate some stress from your in-house employees so you and your team can concentrate on providing high-quality service at the patient’s bedside.
4. Consider Value vs. Cost
The fourth factor you need to consider is service pricing. If the healthcare BPO company charges hefty fees, it defeats the entire purpose of outsourcing. One of the primary goals behind outsourcing is to save on cost. So, you need to look for an esteemed healthcare BPO company that offers cost-effective, scalable, and high-quality services.
Take note that we wrote cost-effective, not cheap. You are not even one step ahead if you entrust your medical billing and other functions to a low-cost firm and get poor results. Instead, you’re two steps back. When we say cost-effective, we mean excellent or high-caliber services worth every penny.
Further reading: How Health Partners Benefit from Healthcare BPO Services
5. Check Your Own Workflows for Potential Room for Improvement
Looking deeper into your own established workflows might open doors for considerable savings and economic rewards. It is not unusual to have deeply embedded elements of business operations workflows not scrutinized when a company seeks to improve operational savings.
For instance, managing movable medical equipment (MME), which includes inventory planning, procurement, shipment, tracking, maintenance, cleaning, and warranty, is handled by the nursing, supply chain, and clinical engineering department.
Nurses overseeing this function must reduce the time they spend with patients. This incurs a high cost for the hospital, given the average clinician salary. Conversely, the supply chain and clinical engineering department end up with a fragmented process that takes too much time and leads to wasted expenses.
A deep analysis of your MME processes will unfold opportunities to lead to significant savings and more sustainable operational activity.
Over the years, medical practices have gotten better at increasing outsourced savings from low-hanging fruits such as billing, IT services, and EVS. Hospital costs still need to be reduced by 24% to break even. However, this 24% is more significant than many hospitals can achieve.
Risk aversion among medical practitioners and leaders is increasing despite the vast opportunities available. Since its beginning, the number of healthcare BPO companies has significantly increased, and, with more vendors, hospitals spend more time on vendor management activities.
The challenge is then placed on hospitals to reduce their vendor partners to a select few that entirely relate to their organizational objectives and can offer top-of-the-line service.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, here are five tips to ensure a successful healthcare outsourcing journey.
- Ensure data security and privacy.
- Look for a healthcare BPO company with fast and non-disruptive integration.
- Go for a healthcare BPO company that values patient experience.
- Consider value vs. cost.
- Check your workflows.
Choosing the right BPO firm can be a challenging task all on its own. But with the right strategy, healthcare BPO outsourcing can help you save on resources while still giving your patients the service they deserve.