Is it Time to Outsource Your Medical Call Center?
When a medical call center faces pressure to do more in the face of constraints, the best solution is often to outsource some or all of its activities. Although sizing up or working more hours may solve the challenges, there are some main reasons why it is best for healthcare facilities or network providers to consider outsourcing.
Outsource your Medical Call Center to Remedy Space Limitations.
There are two common solutions when the space in the call center is filled beyond capacity. One option is to overflow to a secondary location. However, this means the center is decentralized, making staff management much harder. Having two sites is especially difficult for a medical call center as calls are escalated to Registered Nurses when it’s a health issue—separating the medical staff results in less effective treatment and consultation.
The second option is to move the entire call center to a larger space. Moving to a new space involves meticulous planning and careful timing. To avoid call downtime, you will need duplicate equipment to accept calls in both locations temporarily. And not to mention the overtime. If the call center is in the hospital complex, there is not much spare room for additional space. If you have grown quickly, finding space in a complex that takes years of planning to update the layout isn’t easy. Instead, outsource some work to a professional healthcare call center as a no-hassle, fast, cost-effective solution.
Outsource to Help with Nurse Shortages
Most healthcare or hospital call centers, especially those that handle triage calls, have a contingent of nurses on staff. Given the present shortage of nurses in many areas and a more significant projected shortage in the future, most medical call centers cannot find enough qualified staff. Hospitals use traveling nurse agencies to help them with staff, so why can’t you do something similar but with a call center? A simple solution is outsourcing the calls to an operation that has conquered the staffing dilemma. It also helps your budget when you outsource your medical call center since you won’t have to pay the high salary/benefits that a full-time RN will cost you.
Outsource your Medical Call Center After an Acquisition
Hospitals and other medical practices are often part of acquisitions or mergers. While the public often goes unaware, the staff knows all the internal disruption it can bring. Consolidating two or more call centers after a merger can wreak havoc on an otherwise thriving medical call center. That’s why partnering with a call center with years of expertise and consulting can help you get through a demanding shift. The other healthcare facility you just merged with may have a large stream of patients that rely on a specialty you now need to support. Your call center is excellent at handling console calls, appointment settings and reminders, and physician referrals. Now someone decides you need to add nurse triage to the mix. Or perhaps your thriving triage call center is being asked to pick up other tasks.
New leadership can mean new initiatives and a common occurrence, especially in an acquisition, is a strategic shift. Assume that upper management develops a new vision with different paradigms. Now your call center, though providing necessary services, is viewed as a cost center that must be contained. Outsourcing is the fastest way to reduce costs and may be the only logical solution.
Strategic shifts can happen overnight and leave call center managers struggling to keep up with significant changes. Trying to meet new tasks or add additional services is not easy or without risk. Instead, outsource the new calls to an outsourcing call center specializing in healthcare.
Choosing to outsource some or all of your medical call centers can allow you to do more for less. If you integrate technology to transfer PHI and sync up EM, integration can make outsourcing easy and painless. Make sure you partner with a call center that meets all HIPAA compliance standards and understands the medical industry. You may be surprised how a good call center’s expertise can transform your patient experience.