Written by Dion Jay Tality
Like many industries, the healthcare sector must prioritize its primary stakeholders. And patients are the reason healthcare organization exist. Thus, healthcare organizations must focus on providing medical care and enhanced patient experience.
Unfortunately, the experience patients’ have is sometimes neglected. While focusing on medical care, hospitals and clinics ignore patients’ overall experience. Business process outsourcing (BPO) can help solve this problem.
Healthcare BPO lets you entrust non-clinical tasks to a third-party service provider. Your contracted vendor makes patient management effortless, allowing you to focus on the essentials.
Read on to learn how healthcare call center outsourcing improves the patient experience.
How Healthcare Call Center Outsourcing Improves Your Patient’s Experience
About 92% of healthcare providers aim to achieve better patient experience through digital transformation. They plan to take a consumer-centric approach while scaling operations and using advanced technologies.
For these providers, relying on the healthcare BPO industry is ideal for enhancing patient experience. Healthcare call center outsourcing involves hiring a third-party vendor to set up a call center for your healthcare operation. Vendors might offer services such as:
- Healthcare customer service
- Medical billing and collections
- Insurance benefit verification
- Insurance claim inquiries
- Appointment setting
Explore the ways healthcare BPO improves the patient experience.
1. Offers Omnichannel Solutions
Today, 60% of service teams use more than three communication channels. The leading platforms are phone calls (83%), email (77%), live chat (42%), and social media (31%).
Omnichannel solutions apply to the healthcare sector as well. With the help of BPO firms, healthcare providers should offer multiple channels to enhance patient experience, particularly:
- Phone Calls. Voice calls remain the most preferred communication channel. Your outsourced call center agents can assist patients with medical inquiries, clinical requests, and non-clinical concerns.
- Email. This is suitable for appointment setting. It is also ideal for patient requests such as medical records and invoices. BPO agents use an email response management system for patient communication.
- Chat. After the first two channels, chat is the third most popular channel. Transform your healthcare call center operations by providing your patients with live chat support.
Other communication channels include social media, short message service (SMS), and self-service support. Consider offering self-service options such as:
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Chatbots powered with artificial intelligence (AI)
- Frequently asked question (FAQ) pages
- Knowledge bases
Why? Most call centers have evolved into contact centers due to consumer demand. Patients will appreciate it more if you offer them multiple options for support.
2. Provides Personalized Communication
Patients are consumers in the sector. Healthcare organizations are thus responsible for providing what they want and need. You earn their trust and confidence and boost your revenues by doing so.
Outsourcing is a viable solution for keeping patients happy and satisfied. BPO call center agents provide patients with personalized communication.
An outsourced call center handles the following healthcare functions:
- Telehealth. Doctors provide virtual medical consultations, diagnoses, and digitally-assisted treatments using communication technologies. Telehealth use tripled from January to July 2020 due to the pandemic, and about 71% of Americans are willing to use the feature post-pandemic. Meet market expectations and employ an outsourced call center for your telehealth services.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). RPM uses digital tools such as wearables to remotely track a patient’s health conditions. Like telehealth, it has become prominent amid the pandemic. Its global market will continue to grow in the next few years. So now is the perfect time to outsource your RPM to a reputable call center.
3. Employs a Skilled and Trained Workforce
Businesses across different industries are looking to hire the best employees. Outsourcing allows them to tap into skilled talent from across the world.
The same is true for the healthcare sector. Healthcare providers access health experts and medical professionals through their BPO partners. In turn, BPO providers vet professionals with medical backgrounds and train them to handle particular healthcare functions.
A solid workforce helps improve your patient experience. Healthcare call center outsourcing enables you to employ roles, including:
- Healthcare Customer Service Representatives. Customer service agents help patients with medical questions, clinical requests, and non-clinical concerns. They assist patients via phone calls, email, or live chat.
- Billing and Collections Representatives. They receive calls regarding billing and payment inquiries. They also place calls to collect patient payments.
- Insurance Benefit and Claims Specialists. Benefit specialists verify health plans and confirm medical coverage. On the other hand, claims specialists answer billing questions and process insurance payments.
- Medical Appointment Setters. They receive messages from patients looking to set medical appointments. They then cross-reference the requests with the schedules of relevant physicians. They also reach out to patients for reminders.
- Referral Support Specialists. These professionals ensure the smooth transfer of patients in need of specialty services. They process referrals and schedule appointments with the right doctors.
- Call Center Pharmacists. They receive patients’ order requests for medications. They also process drug refills via phone calls, email, or chat.
- Telehealth Professionals. Primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists provide virtual medical consultations, diagnoses, and assisted treatments. Nurses and nursing practitioners also offer medical services online using communication technologies.
4. Uses the Latest Technology
The global healthcare technology management (HTM) market might hit $53.4 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 11%. HTM oversees the procurement and safe utilization of all healthcare technologies
Technology is an integral component of today’s healthcare system. Unfortunately, some organizations struggle to enhance patient experience due to limited technology. If you face the same problem, outsourcing is the answer.
Healthcare BPO vendors have many of the latest technologies. Below are digital tools and communication technologies you should adopt for your healthcare call center:
- Automation. This assists agents by reducing manual work. As such, it will improve service efficiency for patient satisfaction.
- AI. This makes good use of health data analytics by providing your healthcare call center with valuable forecasts and reports.
- Cloud Technology. The cloud provides BPO agents with secure and remote access to protected health information (PHI). That way, they can assist patients without compromising health data.
- Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). CCaaS is a cloud-based software that offers patients multiple channels to personalize their experience.
- Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). This is the best communication technology for call centers. It enables phones to work with computers and allows your BPO agents to assist patients seamlessly.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This software helps manage patient interactions. With CRM in place, expect a boost in patient experience.
5. Follows a Patient-focused SLA
Healthcare providers establish clear organizational objectives, including key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure healthcare delivery and patient satisfaction. But at times they fail to reach the patient satisfaction levels they are seeking. This is where healthcare BPO services can help.
When outsourcing, creating a service-level agreement (SLA) is crucial. An SLA is a contract between you and your BPO partner that details your business objectives, key metrics, and the healthcare functions you outsource. Setting clear boundaries with your BPO provider benefits your patients in the long run.
An SLA can define the relationship between you and your contracted service provider because it details the vendor’s responsibilities and your obligations as a client. When hiring an outsourcing firm, make sure to establish a patient-centric SLA.
You can do so by highlighting patient experience and customer satisfaction as the primary objectives of your partnership. This way, you can be sure your provider upholds and promotes a patient-focused work ethic.
6. Measures and Meets KPIs
KPIs improve your healthcare call center outsourcing. They help your contracted vendor understand your organization’s challenges and areas for improvement. Your provider can enhance their service delivery to you and your patients by meeting metrics such as:
- Service Efficiency. This metric refers to how fast agents assist patients. BPO companies use big data analytics (BDA) to forecast workforce availability requirements.
- Quality Service. BPO partners usually record and monitor agent performance. They want agents to follow standard workflow geared toward improving the patient experience. They also ensure full compliance to avoid patient complaints and legal implications.
- Customer Satisfaction. CSAT is the most important KPI in call centers. It measures how satisfied or dissatisfied customers are with the services they receive. In healthcare outsourcing, the goal is to improve the experience of all patients.
7. Streamlines Non-clinical Functions
Healthcare BPO companies offer both non-medical and medical BPO services. Healthcare providers outsource non-clinical operations, including administrative functions. This way, health professionals can focus on patient care and deliver excellent experiences.
Patients who receive quality healthcare have the best experience. But quality service can also mean patients promptly receive medical bills and reports. So you still have to optimize your non-medical functions through outsourcing.
Healthcare call center outsourcing can streamline your non-clinical tasks by:
- Simplifying the appointment-setting process
- Reaching out to patients for appointment reminders
- Optimizing the entire healthcare billing process
- Promptly processing patients’ payments via phone calls
- Streamlining the insurance verification process
- Placing calls to follow up with patients
8. Focuses on Core Medical Functions
Organizations of all types entrust non-core functions to third-party vendors to prioritize their consumers. They have peace of mind, knowing other tasks are taken care of.
The same logic applies to the healthcare industry. Healthcare call center outsourcing lets you entrust non-clinical functions to a BPO partner. So you can rest easy knowing your contracted vendor handles your healthcare customer service, medical billing, and appointment setting.
Doctors and nurses are less distracted by non-clinical tasks and take better care of patients because they have the time to focus on their patients’ medical needs.
9. Promotes a Patient-centric Operation
Patients are the most important stakeholders in your healthcare operation. Without them, your clinic or hospital cannot endure. That is why your focus should be on enhancing their experience.
Healthcare call center outsourcing helps you in more ways than one. Most BPO service providers focus on patients by making them their top priorities. They aim to improve the patient’s overall experience in your organization.
The right BPO partner helps foster a patient-centric operation by improving patient communication and streamlining patient management. This is one of the advantages of healthcare BPO. Ultimately, the right BPO partner helps ensure that your patients are satisfied with their experiences with your organization.
10. Ensures HIPAA Compliance
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) applies to all healthcare institutions in the United States.
HIPAA protects PHI from being disclosed or used without the patient’s consent. Regulatory compliance avoids complaints and ensures an improved experience. Ensure you are working with a HIPAA-compliant BPO provider to safeguard health data across your organization.
Your BPO service provider secures your network through healthcare call center outsourcing. It also trains its agents to follow healthcare protocols strictly. Prioritizing health data protection leads to patients’ trust in your clinic or hospital.
The Bottom Line
Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations treat patients, save lives, and promote good health. But as a healthcare business, you must also view your patients as consumers. Provide them with a great experience so that you earn their trust and confidence. Such efforts will translate into a boost in your revenue.
That said, consider healthcare BPO for your contact center. Tap into a third-party vendor to handle everything from customer service to billing and collections. You can also hire a healthcare BPO partner for direct patient care, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring.
Don’t miss the opportunity to improve your patient experience through healthcare call center outsourcing. You will reap many practical benefits for your healthcare organization.