As most all people in healthcare know, HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a patient satisfaction survey. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require it for all US-based hospitals. The survey addresses adult inpatients (except for psychiatric patients).
The results accomplish three things:
1) HCAHPS responses provide an effective voice of the patient (the customer),
2) HCAHPS findings are posted online as a public resource to report on the overall quality of care, and
3) HCAHPS ties reimbursement rates to hospital performance outcomes.
No wonder hospitals want to do whatever possible to increase their HCAHPS survey scores. Their patients, their reputation, and their financial wellbeing are all concerned about the results.
Call centers can play a leading role in HCAHPS survey results by extending the hours of accessibility, providing follow-up assurance, and dealing with manageable concerns before they become a huge problem. In fact, medical call centers are one of the most cost-effective ways to serve patients better and therefore improve HCAHPS scores.
While in-house call centers do a great job at this, outsource healthcare call centers with their greater scale, laser-sharp focus, and time-proven protocols can supplement or even outperform their in-house counterparts. On every front, healthcare call center outsourcing can provide more.
More Coverage: It’s challenging for a hospital to manage and staff a call center 24/7, yet for outsource call centers, around-the-clock coverage is normal. It’s what they do, and hospital patients benefit from the 24/7 coverage that outsource healthcare call centers provide.
More Options: The number of service options that medical call centers can provide is overwhelming. This include switchboard (console) service, physician answering service, appointment scheduling, reminder calls and notifications, physician referral, nurse telephone triage, disease management, pre-admissions calling, post-treatment follow up, and so on. Many in house call centers simply cannot provide this full range of communication options that an outsource call center can. To the healthcare outsource call center, these service options are their normal, everyday provisions.
More Actionable Data: Outsource medical call centers are data collection experts. They know what data points to gather, and their specialized systems amass large databases of information, which they can share with their client partners in customized reports. These records are invaluable in enhancing a facility’s overall communication efforts and thereby improving HCAHPS survey scores.
More Patient Satisfaction: Call centers can improve care by moving more patients into a facility faster, enhance satisfaction by providing touch points at each step, and delivering essential follow-up contact afterwards. This is a specialty of outsource healthcare call centers.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier contact center consultancy that offers an outsource healthcare call center matchmaking service for hospitals, healthcare clinics, and medical offices. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706 to learn more.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.