Three Benefits of a Hospital Call Center Partnership


All healthcare systems, even those with limited in-house capabilities, can and should deliver comprehensive call center services for their patients. By partnering with an experienced medical call center, organizations can deliver 24-hour patient access to care advice, improve ED diversion statistics, lower readmission rates, and keep expenses under control while ensuring that their patients receive needed advice from experienced triage nurses.

Cost Containment

One of the most practical reasons healthcare systems are outsourcing call center services is cost containment. While volume is high, in-house nurse triage is financially sustainable because the cost per call is lower in comparison to staffing costs. However, as call volume decreases, the cost per call increases in an in-house nurse triage system. Outsourcing telephone nurse triage call center services during traditionally low call volume hours, such as 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. to deliver effective operational cost management.

Emergency Backup Coverage

Emergency backup coverage is vital in the 24/7 world of healthcare. An outsourced call center can seamlessly handle call overflow during times of high volume or unplanned staff shortages and can provide triage over the phone to ensure that patients’ symptoms are sufficiently adequate to go to the emergency department (ED). AccessNurse triage nurses utilize BS as our core guidelines when triaging patients as well as directives provided for the patients’ primary care or other specialty physicians when those physicians are registered with us.

Future Growth Strategy

When creating internal service programs such as a readmission reduction program or expanded hours, costs rise due to increased staffing, training, equipment and space. However, those costs can be reduced significantly by outsourcing services that can be managed and performed remotely. A professional call center that has the needed infrastructure in place can significantly reduce the operating costs associated with new and, sometimes, existing programs.

Outsourced call center partnerships can be integral to a healthcare system’s future growth strategy. While an organization’s long-term goal may be to have a full-service, in-house call center, utilizing a hybrid model to test service lines in the early stages can produce valuable data and insight. This is especially true when the outsourced call center provides programs that the healthcare system wants to provide but is not yet equipped to handle in-house. Many professional call centers provide contracted services and programs to fill service gaps as a healthcare organization builds its own in-house system.

More and more hospitals throughout the country are adopting and applying a hybrid call center model—a combination of in-house and outsourced call center services. This methodology benefits the hospitals in three primary areas: cost containment, emergency back-up, and an interim solution for future growth.

Conclusion

In the 24/7 world of healthcare, emergency backup coverage is vital, especially during times of high volume or unplanned staff shortages. An outsourced call center seamlessly handles call overflow and provides phone triage to ensure patients’ symptoms are significant enough to indicate a visit to the emergency department (ED).

AccessNurse triage nurses utilize sophisticated software that follows the symptom-driven guidelines written by healthcare leaders Barton Schmitt, MD, Pediatrics, and David Thompson, MD, Adults and Adolescents, as well as patients’ primary care or other specialty physicians when those physicians are registered with AccessNurse.