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Beyond a Healthcare Call Center: A Look at Modern Clinical and Engagement Support


Payers, providers and other healthcare partners are all focused on finding better ways to engage with patients to enhance quality of care, improve outcomes and lower overall costs. But doing so in the current healthcare ecosystem means quickly adapting a new way of thinking (and doing), including the role of the modern healthcare call center.

The fact is, it’s unlikely that providers and payers have the internal staffing resources to support and manage the wide and ever-expanding range of ongoing outreach and patient services programs necessary today, as well as the growing need to connect stakeholders across the healthcare landscape. Trusting some of those responsibilities to a comprehensive healthcare engagement center—much more than a “healthcare call center”—is a good option. Plus, an external engagement partner can often ramp up interactions and new programs more quickly than an in-house team.

In the past, some in the healthcare world may have raised concerns about the ability of outsourced staff to match the quality and experience levels offered by their internal teams. Fortunately, the evolution of modern engagement partners has put those concerns to rest. Highly qualified and experienced teams of physicians, registered nurses, behavioral health and engagement specialists, and care coordinators are all available through today’s healthcare engagement centers—and they have the knowledge and training to support patients at any point in their healthcare journeys.

How today’s enhanced healthcare call center fills workforce gaps

Today’s healthcare consumers expect on-demand engagement similar to what they get from non-healthcare service providers and e-commerce sites. And most healthcare providers and payers are simply not structured to support 24/7 inbound and outbound customer relationship management (CRM).

The modern health and wellness engagement center fills that gap by providing professionals who serve as a dependable, continuous extension of an organization. High-performing medical call center teams are trained to provide services and answer questions in a manner that replicates the culture of each healthcare provider.

Holistic health, claims and demographic data is often used to support call center interactions, enabling highly targeted and personalized outreach. Engagement teams quickly establish a meaningful rapport with patients as easily as internal teams, and can even be more specifically trained and coached to motivate patients to make better healthcare decisions.

High-performing engagement center teams also have proven strategies they can apply in distinct areas of clinical care and support, including:

  • Healthcare benefits utilization and awareness
  • Physician and practice relationship nurturing
  • Health and well-being advice
  • At-home treatment
  • Medication support
  • Identifying and overcoming social determinants of health
  • Concierge-level member and patient services
  • Care coordination, support and shared decision-making
More than phone calls

The modern healthcare call center is much more than a medical answering service or appointment scheduler. Rather, it can be a complete clinical support center that leverages a strategic combination of both live agents and multiple communications channels to connect with and interact with patients, including:

  • Comprehensive virtual care/telehealth interfaces
  • Portal chats
  • Two-way texting
  • Artificial intelligence-driven mobile conversations

Channels can operate independently or in concert to support the requirements of the outreach. For example, a smoking cessation program may include a proactive phone call to engage the patient, educational videos, ongoing text support from a coach and automated emails/text messages with prescription refill reminders.

Today’s healthcare call center services can also be integrated with a variety of devoted engagement programs and serve as a learning lab when implementing pilot programs. The constant feedback cycle enables providers and payers to monitor results carefully, evaluate outcomes and make ongoing adjustments to programs—typically faster than could be done with internal resources.

Measurable benefits

By partnering with a modern engagement center for health and wellness outreach and consumer services, both providers and payers can expect to achieve a number of quantifiable benefits, including:

  • Improved care and outcomes measures
  • Reduced costs
  • Boosted efficiency
  • Increased satisfaction
  • Lowered risks
  • Elevated competitive advantage

Results are continuously driven by a combination of experienced staff and advanced, multi-dimensional CRM technology. That’s because the best healthcare engagement centers are built on the principle that personalized interactions backed by sound medical knowledge add up to exceptional patient engagement that develops trust and inspires positive action.

If you’d like to learn more about how to apply the benefits and skills of a contemporary clinical or health plan call center, please contact us for a conversation today.