Call Accounting Featured Article

Call Centers Can Improve Patient Experiences

October 19, 2018

Medicine isn’t what it used to be.

On the upside, medical research has led to innovative solutions and successful treatments for a wide range of diseases and other health challenges. On the downside, health care affordability, prescription drug addiction, and lack of transparency regarding the cost of medicine and medical care are major problems.

Even getting a receptionist – much less a doctor – on the phone is typically a real challenge for patients. Instead, patients are typically greeted with recorded messages instructing them to call a different number if it’s an emergency, and to hold, leave a message, or use the website if it’s not.

That doesn’t make for the best customer experience. And it can leave patients feeling uncared for, which may prompt them to grow frustrated, complain, move their business to other health care providers, or even share their feelings with others via word of mouth and/or social media.

Medical practices may be able to improve their “bedside manner” by using call center personnel and technology. That way, patients can get the information, support, and TLC they seek. They may not always be able to reach their doctor, but if the phones are being answered by skilled and helpful professionals, practices can provide their patients with a higher level or care and compassion.

Call center solutions with reporting capabilities can help categorize callers, as well as track call abandonment rates, hold times, length of calls, topics, and volumes. That will allow the practice and/or its call center to understand how it compares to industry benchmarks and acceptable performance. (Talkdesk says 3.4 seconds is the average amount of time callers spend in the queue before connecting to an agent. But the norm for that in health care, pharma, and biotech is 2.25 seconds.)