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When Is A Medical Call Center Necessary?

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When Is A Medical Call Center Necessary?

To attain both business and patient care goals, today’s physician groups, hospitals, hospices, ACOs and home care organizations need to deliver compassionate care that offers value, quality when the patients demand it. This new patient demand we are witnessing in healthcare is putting a newly developed strain on caregivers (nurses and physicians) with far fewer resources available to address it. For this main reason providers are looking to nurse based medical call centers as the best answer to solve the resource constraint. But with this approach, licensed, nurse-based care must be an instrumental extension of enhancing patient satisfaction along with improving quality outcomes, and must be a critical component of the medical call center you choose.

Having your calls answered by a medical call center may seem inconvenient to your patients, but in reality there are circumstances under which contracting a medical call center could be advantageous to both your healthcare organization and patients. However in today’s world the old medical call center model is no longer viable.

New Medical Call Center Model

So what exactly do we mean when we say “New Medical Call Center“?   When we think of medical call center we are referring to the dozens of firms that provide basic call center functionality like taking messages and simple call forwarding to on call medical staff.  Some may go above and beyond simple tasks and schedule appointments.   This is the existing model that most medical call centers follow and is the model that can no longer be used by today’s healthcare providers if they are focused on quality care and patient satisfaction.

The new Medical Call Center Model is one that is focused on providing compassionate, quality care when patients need it, with licensed nurses.  This new model does away with non-clinical staff as a first line of defense for patient calls and replaces these message takers with live licensed nurses that are ready to care for and triage patients to help reduce unnecessary ER visits and provide care at the point of contact with licensed nurses.

Are Patient Call Volumes Escalating?

Patients have needs 24×7 and for healthcare providers that receive after-hours calls, going through messages left by the medical call center can sometimes take hours, causing more delays for the patient.

With the New Medical Call Center model  you can have 24-hour care ready for your patients, provided by licensed nurses, so when patients need care you can have a caregiver always able to speak with them. In the new Medical Call Center, operators (or receptionists) are replaced by Licensed Nurses and can direct them to the appropriate level of care, refill prescriptions, provide referrals, or triage the patient at the point of contact.

So as the patient populations continue to escalate and place strain on daytime staff, it will be critical for healthcare providers to look to companies like IntellaTriage to provide Licensed Triage care 24×7 to help take care of the growing number of patients when they need it.  New Medical Call Centers like IntellaTriage also possess the cloud-based, HIPAA secure technology that ensures there are no missed calls and that the patient is always satisfied at the end of their encounter.

Has Your Focus Shifted From Core Care?

Healthcare providers with large patient panels or patients under management often receive an overwhelming amount of calls on and off hours, which can tie up phone lines, clinical staff and office personnel and leave patients frustrated.  The New Medical Call Center can help ease the burden on staff  and improve your patient satisfaction.  When patients are directed to a licensed nurse in a medical call center, the nurse can determine the reason for the call, access the patient record in the EMR and triage the call appropriately all while diverting unnecessary ER visits and providing compassionate care.  If the call isn’t for an urgent matter, say a prescription refill request for instance, the nurse can actually fill the prescription, call in DME or refer patients to speciality providers.

When healthcare providers outsource to a medical call center or triage provider, it enables them to focus on their main business, caring for patients. While the legacy, or outdated medical call center providers can handle simple message taking and call forwarding, triage-based, or nursed-based medical call centers can actually provide care for your patients 24×7 to help reduce the burden on your physicians and nurses, thus allowing them time to spend with patients or resting on the off hours so that they are at peak performance when in the live care setting.

Are Staffing And Hiring Costs Hurting Your Profitability?

The first thing you will notice once you switch to a nurse driven medical call center is that your operating costs will reduce significantly. One of the largest cost savings is through removing the need to recruit nurses and physicians to work after hours and weekends. You will also see a reduction in costs to replace burned out nurses and physicians that simply quit due to long hours and little time to recoup.  Instead, when you use a nurse driven medical call center where every single call is answered by a licensed nurse, you can now provide your patients the care they deserve when they need it.

Do You Want To Maintain Your Independence?

With consolidation and mergers continuing at breakneck pace, physician groups, hospices, ACOs and home care groups are struggling to maintain their independence.  Although pulling resources from a larger health system can bring many benefits, providers would still like to maintain their independence from the system when in comes to directing care for their patients.  When using a healthcare system run call center, patients are going to be routed to the physicians and hospitals within the system.  This can be great if the patient prefers that hospital and their physicians, but that’s not always the case.  Physician groups, hospices and other providers affiliated with a larger system  want to give their patients the freedom to choose, and with an outside Licensed Nurse Based Medical Call Center, you can provide that unbiased care to your patients.

Do You Need To Improve Patient Satisfaction?

Finally,  one of the largest benefits of a nurse-based, medical call center is the improvement in the level of patient satisfaction. When using a medical call center,  healthcare providers are able to do more with fewer resources, and every single patient is taken care of when they need it, translating to higher patient satisfaction.  In the old medical call center model, non clinical personnel will take your patient calls and simply take messages or forward a message to the physician or nurse on call.  This model is no longer acceptable with today’s patient population.  Patients need better care across their healthcare journey.  What that translates to is having a clinical resource available to them 24×7 and not having to re-tell their story as they are transferred from a medical call center operator to an actual care giver.  In order for your medical call center to be effective and improve patient satisfaction, you need to select a provider that only uses licensed nurses to answer calls (not non-clinical message takers) and triage patients when they need it.

IntellaTriage has been providing licensed, nurse driven solutions to physician groups, hospices, home care, ACOs and health systems for over 8 years.  If you are interested in changing from the old medical call center model to the new nurse driven model, contact us today to start a conversation.

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