With more patients and not enough staff, it may be time to switch to a call center. However, preparing your office for the transition to an outsourced call center takes some work. You’ll need to create or modify the center’s basic script, train your staff on how to coordinate with the center representatives, and determine your call center software needs, as well. But, if you put in the effort on your end, your outsourced call center can successfully manage your practice and your patients.
Develop the Right Script
All call centers – no matter what industry they work for – work off of scripts. It is likely that your center has a basic script for handling patient calls, but you shouldn’t give them the go-ahead to use it until you’ve examined it in detail and made any necessary modifications for your specific needs. You don’t want your patients to feel they are reaching a third party – so customization is critical.
- You should be aware of what kinds of calls your practice regularly receives. Besides emergency calls, your patients may call with requests for appointments, prescriptions, or medical advice. They may ask to speak with a physician or leave a message.
- Ask yourself: How do you handle your calls now, and how would you like to handle them in the future? Your current call management system may have enough time or staff to handle certain types of calls; your call center does not have these limitations.
- Once you’ve developed a process for handling the various types of calls that your practice receives, develop a script and instructions for your call center representatives to follow. Streamlining your procedures in this way saves time for your call agents, your patients, and your staff.
Get Your Staff On Board
One of the many benefits of outsourcing calls to your office is the changes it will entail for your front desk personnel. No longer tied to answering every call, your front desk and check-in staff can concentrate on helping your patients, rather than treating them as a distraction from their phone call.
- In order to service your patients effectively, a clear chain of communication is needed. Make sure everyone on your staff – including office staff, nurses, and doctors – are aware of the changes in procedures that will occur when you transition to the call center. They need to know how calls are being handled, how messages are being delivered, and what is expected from them.
- Remember to update your call center with any changes to your office or procedures. If your office closes for a holiday, if a doctor leaves the practice, or if walk-in services are cancelled, your call center needs to know in order to pass that information on to your patients.
Look Into Additional Services
When you decided to utilize a call center, you may have based that decision solely on the cost/benefit analysis of having an independent answering service. However, your call center can provide a number of services beyond basic call answering. Although you may not have initially intended to use these extra features, take a second look and see which ones can add value to your call center relationship.
- Call centers can provide your patients with after-hours support and triage, medical hotlines, and multi-lingual care.
- When your scheduling system is integrated with your call center, representatives can handle your appointment scheduling and outbound appointment reminders and can access and modify patient data.
Your medical practice will benefit from the ways your outsourced call center (medical process for call center) saves time, money, and hassle – but only if you prepare in advance for these changes. Creating effective call procedures, training and informing staff, and taking advantage of additional call center services and software programs will make your transition to a call center successful.
Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for lead generation resource, ResourceNation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as business sales. Follow Resource Nation on Facebook and Twitter, too!
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