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Telehealth has become a staple resource for healthcare providers around the world.  Simply put, telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information through telecommunications channels.  For example, this can be a patient calling the healthcare provider for prevention tips during flu season or nurses calling patients after surgery for follow-up and health monitoring.  What does this translate to?  Essentially, it’s a call center made up of nurses and other medical experts!  In order to make your telehealth services successful, you want to make sure that you are properly handling all of your incoming and outgoing calls.  Check out these 4 ways that you can better manage your telehealth services:

  1. Educate Your Patients – A lot of your patients might not be aware that you even offer telehealth services!  You built this great resource for them, but if they don’t know that it exists, then they won’t use it.  Make sure that you have physicians tell patients about these services and the benefits to using them whenever they come into the hospital.  By educating your patients about telehealth, you can make your healthcare call center even more valuable to your patients.
  2. Increase Out-of-Hospital Communications – Healthcare providers don’t want to have patients coming back multiple times for preventable or chronic diseases, and patients don’t want to have to come back to see the doctor repeatedly for the same issue.  One way that you can keep patients happy, healthy and out of the hospital is by communicating more with them when they are at home.  Whether they have just been discharged or are struggling with an ongoing health issue, early communication from home can be a great way to get important information about their health.  If a patient is able to call in first about an issue they are having, and the nurse tells them to come into the hospital immediately, they can get treatment a lot sooner.  This not only helps people get better treatment, but it also reduces costs rather than if the patient had waited until the situation was much worse.
  3. Don’t Under Staff Your Call Center – Now that your patients know about your telehealth services, make sure that the service is effective for them!  If patients can call in but they have to wait on hold for 20 minutes, they might not be interested in calling your medical experts over the phone.  Use historical reports to discover trends in calling patterns to see when your call center experiences peak calling times and better determine staffing needs at different times.  However, sometimes you can’t always predict your needs, so you may find live monitoring helpful in managing high call volumes in the moment that they happen.  When you notice calls backing up in the queue, use live agent state views to see what everyone is doing at that moment.  If you notice that someone is making outbound follow-up or appointment reminder calls, you may ask them to put those calls on hold until the incoming call volume slows down.
  4. Automate Your Follow-Up Calls – You want to make sure that you follow-up with your patients during their post-treatment, and you need to have a medical expert making these calls, but you can’t always keep track of so many patients!  Instead, schedule follow-up calls and speed up the outbound calling process by using an automated dialer.  This type of tool lets you import call lists into each agent’s dialer, and once the agent enables the tool, their phone automatically starts dialing out for them!

For additional time-saving and personalization, integrate your call center management solution with your CRM for agent screenpops.  This means that every time an agent makes an outbound call to a number in your CRM, selected fields (as chosen by the supervisor, as to keep the patient information as confidential and safe as possible) will appear on the agent’s screen.  This helps them better understand the patient’s needs before the call even begins!  Automation with dialing tools and software integration can seriously help make follow-ups more efficient and effective.