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5 Medical Call Center Services You Never Thought to Outsource

smiling call center agent

It’s no secret that healthcare call centers do more than serve as an after-hours or overflow service for busy providers and office staff. The best healthcare call centers have non-clinical and clinical agents who can answer patient questions quickly and easily, schedule appointments, make referrals, and communicate with patients in their preferred language. However, few healthcare organizations pursue the full range of call center services, failing to capture their highest value and elevate the personalized human touch that can make for an excellent patient experience.


by collaborating with employers in your area during open enrollment you can help answer their emplotyees questions and find physicians and schedule screenings and deepen partnerships during annual enrollment

What is the role of a call center in healthcare?

Healthcare call centers play a pivotal role in improving healthcare experiences by educating and engaging patients and members, resolving customer issues, and providing exceptional multi-channel customer support. Call centers are the first touchpoint in the healthcare journey for many patients. Healthcare call center outsourcing with a trusted partner can help healthcare organizations improve efficiency, increase revenue, and solve key customer and workforce challenges.

At Carenet Health, we partner with our healthcare clients to provide call center services that address specific needs and make a real impact. Our team is trained to provide support for appointment scheduling and rescheduling, prescription refills, health risk assessment, pre-appointment instructions, patient portal and telehealth troubleshooting, open enrollment, and more. Whether they’re using a call center for the first time, looking to augment their own call center to handle high call volumes, or undergoing a big transition such as moving to a new EHR, our partners trust Carenet to improve the patient experience and staff efficiencies.

Here are five underutilized healthcare call center services and best practices for healthcare call center outsourcing that you can leverage today to improve patient engagement, drive workforce efficiency, and grow revenue.

according to the association of american medical colleges aamc the united states is facing a shortage of 54100 to 139000 physicians by 2033

1. Primary Care Physician Recapture

Every day, patients visit your urgent care centers and emergency departments. One in four indicate they don’t have a primary care physician (PCP). Yet, few health systems reach out to patients to make a PCP referral in a timely manner. According to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects, the United States will face a shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians by 2033. With physicians retiring early or changing practices, patients are often unsure where to turn. Connecting patients with a PCP encourages healthy behaviors, improves patient satisfaction, and increases retention and utilization of health system resources.

BEST PRACTICE: Use healthcare call center services to follow up within a week (or less). Place an outbound call within 24 to 72 hours of a patient’s visit to make a physician referral or to schedule an appointment.

2. Answer Patient Questions via an Open Enrollment Hotline

Partner with large employers in your area to help answer their employees’ questions, find physicians to meet their needs, schedule screenings, and deepen relationships during their annual benefits enrollment. Employers will appreciate the support, and employees will appreciate individualized attention.

BEST PRACTICE: Offer a live, 24/7, multilingual hotline where well-qualified, caring agents can answer questions and provide a personalized experience.

explore healthcare call center outsourcing options to conduct outbound campaigns to thank patients for their time and make sure they get to the right provider

3. Answer Patient Questions following an Online Health Risk Assessment

Patient self-service and seeking answers online have become commonplace in the healthcare industry. But when patients take online tests, quizzes, or health risk assessments to see if they’re at risk for stroke, diabetes, or other conditions, what happens next? Some patients are hesitant to reach out, and your treatment teams rarely have extra time to follow up since they prioritize in-person care. Healthcare call centers have specialized clinical teams that are qualified to call patients, ask and answer questions, and recommend next steps. Opt for healthcare call center outsourcing to conduct outbound campaigns to thank patients for their time and make sure they get to the right provider. Some patients may simply need a referral to a health coach, while others may be at higher risk or have more acute needs that require a more immediate response.

BEST PRACTICE: Risk-stratify patients and prioritize outreach accordingly.

As you increase your patient portal capabilities it is vital to offer multilingual support to walk patients through portal set-up, help nem navigae the system and demonstrate how it is of value to them as a communication tool

4. Patient Portal and Telehealth Assistance

Patient usage and familiarity with your health system’s portal have always been important, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, their significance has skyrocketed. Patient portals are the gateway to scheduling, billing, test results, and telehealth services. Some systems now require patients to be portal users to take advantage of hybrid care. If your organization introduces a new EHR, expect call volume to increase as offices are often flooded with calls when changing portals. Health systems want patients to work through their patient portal but don’t always have sufficient support or resources to answer questions and troubleshoot issues. It’s like offering a software service without a customer service team. As you increase your emphasis on your patient portal, you must also increase your support. Offer a multilingual hotline to walk patients through portal set-up, help them navigate through the system, and demonstrate its value as a patient communication tool. For one of our clients in 2020, our healthcare call center services team supported over 130,000 callers, which consisted of both patients and employees. 14% of the callers needed assistance with registration/activation of their portal, 22% of callers were experiencing login issues, and 13% were locked out of their portal accounts. Moreover, 16% of these calls were for patients preparing for telehealth visits. For telehealth calls, our agents helped callers load the appropriate app onto their phones and walked them through the app process—ultimately preparing them for a successful virtual visit.

BEST PRACTICE: Follow up calls with an informational email and “how-to” video link for future reference.

5. Healthcare Call Center Services Can Support Health & Wellness Campaigns

When healthcare facilities closed and elective procedures were suspended during the early COVID-19 pandemic, many patients canceled preventative appointments like mammograms, heart screenings, and more. To help patients get back in the routine of preventative screenings and care, healthcare organizations need to reach out to their patients, share healthcare campaign information, sign patients up for classes or screenings, and promote additional services that help improve patients’ overall health and well-being. Use a series of texts, emails, and phone calls to make sure patients know that you offer both telehealth and in-person appointments for services they may have missed. Healthcare call centers can help schedule patients either right into the EHR or by working directly with your office staff. Clients who have conducted outbound scheduling campaigns see as high as a 20% conversion rate of patients called to appointments booked.

BEST PRACTICE: Have an outbound call strategy, not just direct mail or ads, that targets at-risk patients and those who delayed preventative care appointments because of COVID-19.

Healthcare Call Centers Provide Broad Patient Support

Healthcare call center outsourcing can improve patient satisfaction and patient engagement while simultaneously helping to increase patient access and revenue. Visit our webpage to learn more about how our Healthcare Call Center solutions can help with online patient scheduling, referral management, patient outreach, post-discharge follow-up, and health and wellness campaigns.