A well-run healthcare contact center can help ensure that each of your patients is set on a positive path. This is critical because patients today have options – they can always find another provider. That’s why each interaction needs to be perfect.
A patient should consistently have the highest quality experience, no matter whether they speak to somebody in your office or to somebody in a contact center. Here are four best practices your organization can implement to ensure your contact center is working with patients to make each experience they have a positive one.
1. Choose a Healthcare Contact Center Platform that Integrates Real-time with Electronic Health Records (EHR)
This is number one for a reason. Realtime integration to your organization’s EHR is key to a successful contact center experience, for both the patient and the agent.
Choosing a contact center platform that integrates with your EHR will allow you to avoid paying third-party systems to do what the contact center platform is already designed to do. For example, healthcare organizations may pick a third-party solution to provide secure SMS or self-service billing. Both are great features for an organization but limited help when they are siloed solutions.
An integration between the contact center and your EHR is the first step in achieving centralized scheduling, self-service scheduling, and billing and informed communication on all channels residing within the same platform. Informed communication is significant. The EHR is where all your patient information lives. If you want to serve your patients by knowing their history and their needs, it starts with making the EHR information available to both your automated system and your agents.
2. Authenticate the Patient Once
Patient authentication is different in each organization. However, authentication always consists of a series of questions. Typically, healthcare organizations ask the questions after the call is answered then manually search for the patient information within the EHR system. If the call is transferred to triage, the triage recipient repeats the authentication questions causing the patient to have to repeat all the answers they just gave. Studies show this is one of the biggest complaints when it comes to patient satisfaction.
By authenticating the patient in the self-service portion of the interaction you can reduce the cost associated with average handle times and self-service containment rates. By allowing the following features – full self-service for scheduling and billing, automatic EHR screen pop for the agent, and transfer to triage with EHR screen pop and notes from the scheduler – you can eliminate extra authentication, save your patients some frustration and reduce your call handle times significantly.
3. Use Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the contact center in all industries. Having an AI solution that is intuitive will provide the best patient self-service experience. When calling into a healthcare contact center there are a vast number of options to choose from. We can’t present all of those options without AI. For example, a patient may call in to schedule an appointment and will be looking for a specific clinician and/or a certain time. Today, AI can provide a conversational experience for the patient. Instead of presenting a list of options, we can ask question like, what time works best for you? The AI would then be able to determine the best option based on the patient’s preferred time.
4. Understand the Patient Journey to Improve Patient Access
Choose a healthcare contact center solution that has built-in journey mapping. The patient journey within healthcare does span outside the contact center. However, understanding how your patients interact with your contact center can provide a great value. For example, when a patient interacts with the agent the agent can see past appointments and understand no show rates to help the patient choose future appointments that will work well.
A patient’s first impression of a provider often comes from a phone call. By choosing the right contact center platform, implementing some self-serve options and following common best practices, you can assure that your patients are on the receiving end of a quality interaction every time they contact you. Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefits of reduced call handle times, reduced cost per call and lower call deflection rates.
Learn more about EDCi’s EHRConnect tool and see how it can transform your contact center.