More and more healthcare practices are employing a healthcare call center, but why? What’s so valuable about outsourcing your patients’ calls to a call center? A healthcare call center is in many ways the backbone of your brand’s patient care. They manage patient phone calls whether they have questions about your brand, want to schedule an appointment, or more. If your brand has yet to employ a call center in 2023 then you could be missing out on key benefits that can increase patient leads.
NewGen is a premier healthcare marketing firm dedicated to helping healthcare brands reach their marketing goals. We understand that healthcare marketing in our day and age can be a convoluted process. Our team understands the ins and outs of healthcare marketing including SEO, CRMs, healthcare trends, and content creation. In addition, our dedicated team is more than capable of handling all your call center needs.
What is a Healthcare Call Center
A healthcare call center is an outsourced team that assists healthcare organizations with inbound calls. When you employ a call center they will typically become well-versed in what your brand provides. Their ability to answer brand-related questions will have a certain standard to meet and a good call center will do all this. They will handle appointment scheduling and rescheduling, patient queries, appointment follow-ups, insurance verification, and more to boost patient relationships. These representatives prioritize information on issues like patients with prescription requests for example. The goal of a call center is to reduce patients’ grievances and boost productivity in medical centers.
Patient call centers often lead to a more personalized and empathetic connection with patients, making them different from a typical customer service center. In addition to being beneficial to patients, they can also help your healthcare brand long term. The reason why so many healthcare brands are employing a call center is that it takes a load off of administrative staff. This in turn creates more time for other more impactful brand activities.
Why Use a Call Center
The most prominent reason to use a call center is to generate new leads, but how is this done? Through a variety of advantages that a call center provides which all result in more leads being generated. Through patient satisfaction and patient engagement, new leads will come naturally as a result of having an exemplary call center. Consider the following benefits of a call center.
1. Improved Patient Satisfaction
High-quality patient service is a much more complex process than simply providing an open communication line. Increased patient satisfaction is a product of a personal touch in conjunction with quality feedback. Patients want to feel validated and comforted no matter what they may be calling about. A healthcare call center’s management team provides its agents with personalized customer service skills, a practice-specific knowledge base, and the right technology to ensure top-level service.
2. Streamlined Insurance Verification
A good portion of patients will call a healthcare brand with questions regarding the type of insurance accepted, insurance payments, or what their insurance can cover. A healthcare call center will have access to insurance portals which will help them verify these and other insurance questions in a concise, yet personable way all in real time.
It can be frustrating for a patient if they call with questions about a specific instance and do not get a straightforward response. Call center representatives can answer patients’ insurance questions comprehensively, boosting their confidence and trust.
3. Reduced Patients’ No-show Rate
When a patient doesn’t show up to their appointment, a healthcare brand can lose money indirectly/directly as a result of it. Having a call center helps reduce the number of patients who don’t show up to their appointments.
A conversation between a patient and a representative can result in the need for an appointment to be booked, however, without a proper follow-up, patients may show up on the wrong date, forget about their appointment entirely, and miss the doctor’s availability. This not only leads to decreased revenue for medical centers but also to underutilized staff, equipment, and space.
Healthcare call centers keep records of all patient interactions and appointments to ensure that each patient is reminded and confirmed of their upcoming appointments. To reduce patient no-show rates and improve overall operations, your care agents can send manual or automated reminders, such as appointment notifications.
4. Increased Brand Awareness and Referrals
By addressing each patient’s concerns with the utmost care, call centers minimize customer complaints. By sharing their positive experiences with the public, patients promote your healthcare center’s brand.
Dissatisfied or negative healthcare patients are more likely to voice their complaints in social circles and online. Therefore, you should provide your patients with accessible, personalized care from the start. Ultimately, patients who are satisfied with your medical center’s services recommend you to others. As a result, your practice and patient base grow without you having to exert any direct effort.
5. Better Patient Care
Patients contact the hospital in emergencies, for clarification, to schedule or reschedule appointments, and beyond. Having a dedicated team of agents allows your healthcare center to provide a calm environment for distressed patients.
In call centers, representatives are trained to demonstrate empathy and care for patients, and their managers constantly monitor their performance. As a result of this level of expertise, we can provide sound, knowledgeable advice at the right time. In addition, healthcare call centers provide patients with prompt interventions when needed to improve their level of care.
6. Scalable and Flexible to Demand
Having an in-house phone operator will have to be present during low and high-volume seasons. However, a high call volume can overwhelm a healthcare brand’s staff due to the number of calls, questions, and patient needs. This will lead to needing more staff to cover the high number of calls.
When demand falls, a healthcare brand will have no choice but to lay off employees which impacts staff morale and overall brand image. The entire process becomes complicated in a short amount of time.
To help combat this, a call center can be implemented. A healthcare call center is flexible and scalable to patient demand and call volumes. It enhances your current support and can reduce the workforce size during slower seasons. Staying flexible and lean is an essential part of long-term business continuity, and can provide better peace of mind for both management and your in-house teams alike.
7. Optimized Scheduling
When booking appointments around a doctor’s schedule, it is important to do so in a strategic and efficient manner. However, doing this manually can be chaotic and your patients will feel this chaotic scheduling when they call your practice. A capable call center will be able to automate scheduling.
Healthcare call center representatives provide a record of all calls, inbound and outbound, as well as recorded appointments, follow-ups, and emergency interventions. These records keep everything organized streamlining the entire process.
8. Business Intelligence and Analytics
You can improve your patient scheduling operations with the analytical insight and business intelligence provided by some healthcare call centers.
Some call centers employ strategic scheduling which can include pinpointing patients more likely to miss their scheduled appointments to schedule other appointments during those times in the case of a patient no-show. Similar to how an airline may over-sell seats for flights, your historical data can drastically improve your long-term processes and operations.
9. Improved Patient Engagement
Healthcare shouldn’t be thought of as an “industry” nor patients as “customers”. But the reality is that there are a lot of the same principles shared between the two. These principles guide the success of a brand. With that being said, being able to engage your patients is vital to your overall growth.
Most, if not all, information a patient may need can be found online. Although this is true, many patients still seek out a live agent as their preferred means of seeking information. Having a call center that can provide this will help your patients engage with your brand.
10. Streamline Operations
Having a healthcare call center to handle patients’ questions and concerns increases the time other facilities have that can be used on other resources. Every call is important but most patient phone calls are nonurgent. Instead of taking up your brand’s time, a call center can manage these calls which frees up doctors’ schedules and allows them to focus more attention on patients with pressing medical needs. On top of that, having a team available to address non-urgent issues helps protect patient health by reducing unnecessary trips to medical facilities.
What NewGen Can Do
NewGen Marketing is a premier healthcare marketing agency dedicated to helping healthcare brands expand and achieve their marketing goals. We are a dedicated team, capable of handling any and all healthcare marketing needs. Ranging from web design to SEO to quality content, NewGen has you covered. We are able to provide you with a comprehensive marketing strategy that is realistic and attainable while also maintaining the vision you have for your brand.
Contact us today if you have any questions about NewGen or other general marketing questions. We are more than happy to help you with all your healthcare marketing needs.