If you want to build a practice that your patients genuinely enjoy working with, your call center is a great place to focus. Here are 6 Best Practices in Healthcare Call Center to Increase Patient Satisfaction.
By applying the best call center practices, you will increase patient satisfaction, reduce costs and help grow your business. Unfortunately, as anyone who has had trouble making an appointment with a doctor or getting test results, many call centers have difficulty communicating effectively.
In this article, we take a closer look at the communication challenges that healthcare professionals often face and how your call center can overcome them.
Communication Challenges Facing the Healthcare Industry
80% of serious medical errors resulted from misunderstandings between caregivers during patient transfers.
Here are some common communication challenges in the healthcare industry that lead to these huge problems:
Poor Communication Skills with the Patient
Ineffective policies and procedures can prevent call center agents from communicating properly with the patient.
Perhaps your call center is not using translators effectively and your calls are not quickly resolved due to language difficulties.
Your agents may be criticized for showing a lack of empathy as they are unaware of the common problems patients experience with access to food or housing.
Poor Medical Data Handling
Some of the most common communication failures occur when a patient is transferred from one caregiver to another who is not adequately informed about the patient’s condition. This may be because the patient’s medical data is not being updated or shared with the right people.
6 Best Practices in Healthcare Call Center
So how can an effective call center in healthcare increase patient satisfaction while avoiding costly medical problems?
Apply the following best practices:
1. Increase Empathy in Communicating with the Patient
An effective call center relies on agents who know how to establish good relationships with patients and show empathy. Train your agents to:
- Listen carefully to the patient’s concerns
- Maintain eye contact during face-to-face meetings or video chats
- Understand the patient’s priorities
- Let patients ask questions
Call center agents also need to have comprehensive knowledge of the medical facility and staff to answer questions and direct inquiries to the right people. Knowledge of call center software and the ability to communicate principles is critical to establishing good relationships with patients.
2. Update Outdated Communication Systems
Aligning call center best practices in the healthcare sector means leveraging an excellent healthcare customer relationship management ( CRM ) platform to support your call center.
CRM software helps healthcare professionals arrange appointments, handle documents, share prescription information, and perform other patient-related activities .
3. Offer Patients Multiple Options for Communication
Nowadays, people communicate through a wide variety of media, including email, telephone, video chat, live chat, and social media.
By offering patients the ability to communicate with your call center through multiple channels , you increase convenience and improve the patient experience. Options such as video chat also offer easier ways to demonstrate medical procedures that may be more difficult to communicate in a regular phone call.
4. Integrate the CRM System with the Practice Management Software
By integrating your call center CRM system with your reception’s practice management software, you can automate tasks including scheduling appointments, rescheduling and sending appointment reminders. This allows your staff to offer better personal support, reduce misunderstandings and increase the likelihood of patients attending appointments.
5. Monitor the Quality of Connections
To ensure compliance with call center standards, monitor call quality. Record all incoming and outgoing calls and ensure that patient inquiries are directed to the right departments.
And don’t forget to ask your agents for feedback! After hundreds of calls are answered, your agents have a unique insight into which phrases work best for connecting with callers and what terms they understand best. All of this can benefit call center training and improve patient-agent interactions.
6. Gather and Listen to Patients’ Opinions
Offer patient surveys to get to know their point of view on your call center. Find out what kind of services, such as automatic scheduling, they need the most. By listening to feedback, your call center can evolve in a way that will benefit staff and patients.
Building an Effective Call Center in the Healthcare Sector
The modern healthcare industry requires multiple caregivers to work in tandem while treating the same patient. This requires medical personnel to have constant access to up-to-date information. Improving call center policies and adopting an effective CRM platform in healthcare help improve communication in the workplace and create a healthier work environment.