Don’t Expand Your Hospital Call Center When You Can Outsource
July 29, 2016
When a hospital call center faces pressure to do more in the face of considerable constraints, one solution, often the best one, is to outsource some or all of their activities. Here are some situations when it is ideal for a healthcare facility or network to consider outsourcing.
Space Limitations: When the space allocated to the call center is filled beyond capacity, there are two common solutions. One is to overflow to a secondary location. But this means the center is no longer centralized, making the management of staff much harder. The second thought is to move the entire call center to a larger space. This is not a task for most managers to endure. It involves meticulous planning, careful timing, having duplicate equipment – or subjecting callers to down time, and a lot of overtime. Instead just outsource some of the work to a professional healthcare call center as the no hassle, fast, cost-effective solution.
Nurse Shortages: Most healthcare call centers, especially those that handle triage calls, have a contingent of nurses on staff. Given the present shortage of nurses in some areas and a larger projected shortfall in the future, some healthcare call centers are simply unable to find enough qualified staff. One simple solution is to outsource the calls to an operation that has conquered the staffing dilemma.
New Initiatives: Let’s say your call center is great at handling console calls, appointment setting and reminders, and physician referrals. Now someone decides you need to add nurse triage to the mix. Or perhaps your successful triage call center is being asked to pick up other tasks. Instead of breaking what is working well, just outsource these new functions to a healthcare call center that specializes in them.
Consolidation: What if your system just bought another healthcare provider, and now your call center is expected to magically absorb all the calls from the acquired entity? While this can be done, it is not an easy task or without risk. Instead outsource the new calls to an outsourcing call center that specializes in healthcare.
Strategic Shift: Assume that upper management develops a new vision with different paradigms. Now your call center, though providing necessary services, is viewed as a cost center that must be contained. Outsourcing is the fastest way to reduce costs, and it may be the only solution.
Core Competencies: Conventional thinking is that an organization keeps their core competencies in house and outsources the rest. Some healthcare organizations view their call center as a core competency, while others do not. Skilled call centers are ready to take over this work for you.
If the time to outsource your call center is upon you, do not fret. There are many professional healthcare call centers ready to handle this work for you.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center industry and who provides a healthcare call center matchmaking service. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-901-7706.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
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