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How Contact Centers Support Evolving Goals and Priorities in Healthcare

As healthcare providers become more patient-centric, there is an increasing need for solutions that enable these organizations to treat patients more like customers. Just as consumers have increased expectations for customer service, responsiveness and communication, patients have similar expectations for the quality and delivery of care, communication with health professionals, finding answers to health-related questions, and scheduling appointments.

No matter the size of your medical practice, contact centers play an important role in the evolution to a patient-centric model. While a traditional call center strictly involves phone communication between callers and agents, a contact center enables communication through multiple channels, such as phone, email, chat, text and video. All communication is integrated and managed through a single interface.

Contact centers are capable of reducing costs and improving efficiency in a number of ways. By knocking down silos between the front and back office, contact centers can streamline administration and management. They also provide business intelligence that can be used to maximize operational efficiency. Cost reductions and efficiency gains can also be realized by improving the quality and speed of communication. Patient interaction histories are available to authorized agents and healthcare professionals, allowing them to address issues without requiring patients to repeat themselves.

Healthcare providers are judged in large part on their level of patient satisfaction, which ties directly to the bottom line. This is particularly true when it comes to Medicare reimbursement for inpatient hospital stays — hospitals stand to gain or lose up to 2 percent of their Medicare payments depending upon how they are assessed in a patient survey. But in today’s competitive healthcare market, patient satisfaction can impact the bottom line of any provider. Satisfied patients are loyal patients who continue spending their healthcare dollars with the provider.

A key consideration when implementing or enhancing contact center services is compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Because more healthcare organizations are using third-party cloud services, it’s important to realize that any service provider that processes, stores or transmits electronic protected health information (ePHI) is subject to HIPAA regulations. All communication channels used by the contact center must also be HIPAA-compliant, not just to avoid penalties, but to allow sensitive patient information and imaging to be quickly shared among patients, physicians and nurses while on the go.

ShoreTel Connect is a HIPAA-compliant unified communications solution that makes it easy for care teams to access advanced contact center tools. Whether you choose a CLOUD, ONSITE or HYBRID deployment, your ePHI is protected with a HIPAA-compliant security framework within a Tier-4, HIPAA-compliant data center.

Eastern DataComm helps healthcare organizations implement and use the right communication tools to control costs and enhance patient satisfaction. Doctors, nurses and staff can focus on patient care instead of trying to access the right data, waiting for programs to load or making outbound calls.

Let us show you how our expertise and ShoreTel Connect can help you take full advantage of contact center services in your practice.