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How a HIPAA Compliant Call Center Delivers Healthcare Solutions

Medical professionals have numerous specialized telecom requirements and a customized HIPAA compliant call center is the perfect solution.

Image of a team of medical professionals that use HIPAA compliant call center solutions

Is it really possible to get all your healthcare telecom needs taken care of by teaming up with just one medical telecommunications outsourcer? You better believe it! The ideal partner offers fully customized healthcare telecom solutions to enhance the patient and provider experience. So what are some of the features necessary for a successful healthcare telecom program? And what are some of the considerations that need to be addressed along the way in order to ensure an effective implementation? Those questions and more are exactly what this article was designed to answer.

First, it is important to understand exactly what kind of goals you are aiming to achieve by partnering with a HIPAA compliant call center. Assess the challenges you currently face as well as the ones that may potentially crop up. Think about your staff, your vendors, your patients, your clients, and those you wish to enhance your service for. The more you know and can share about your objectives and medical customers, the easier it will be to find an ideal healthcare telecom outsourcing partner and build a successful program.

Who are those in the medical field that benefit from a unified telecom front bursting with features and possibilities? Well, that is a list that could certainly get extensive, but some of the most common beneficiaries are hospitals, clinics, physicians, surgeons, hospice care givers, dentists, insurance providers, medical academic institutions, and many more. Each different healthcare vertical has unique communication requirements that a good HIPAA compliant call center can address.

HIPAA and HITECH Compliance

Speaking of HIPAA, no medical call center that isn’t compliant with HIPAA and HITECH should be trusted. Compliance with these standards is the absolute baseline for selecting a healthcare outsourcing partner. When shopping around, question their policies and procedures. Dig in and make them prove their compliance with these regulations to ensure that you and your patients are kept safe. Also, be wary of any call center that claims they are HIPAA certified. Why? Because there is no such thing as HIPAA certification for a company. Individuals can certainly take courses to learn more about requirements for compliance, but a scenario of being HIPAA certified just doesn’t exist.

However, a good HIPAA compliant call center doesn’t stop at just teaching their agents what it takes to abide by the law, but they educate the entire staff, top to bottom to ensure that the entire company is in compliance. They should be big on continued compliance education and do routine checks to ensure everything is on the up and up.

Beyond a well-trained staff, it’s important to know that your call center partner only uses HIPAA compliant communication methods, secure record keeping, and ensures each part of their business is in accordance with the law. One weak link in their armor puts your organization at risk. Additionally, pay attention to if a medical contact center just complies with HIPAA and HITECH because it is the law, or if they also do it because they believe it is the right thing to do and truly care.

Services and Features of an Ideal HIPAA Compliant Call Center

Here is a breakdown of just some of the different services and programs a great healthcare call center should be able to provide and customize to perfectly suit your unique medical telecom requirements:

Medical Answering Service

This is the bread and butter of most telecom healthcare solutions. A good HIPAA compliant medical answering service handles every call accurately, securely, and professionally. US based agents should be trained to handle routine, emergency, and mission-critical calls in a fashion that is customized just the way you want it. Call screening, precision message taking, multilingual capabilities, and online access to your account should all be available through a HIPAA compliant call center.

Text and Email Solutions (Confidential Messaging)

Using a collaborative platform, a call center can offer HIPAA compliant text, email, and messaging for a confidential way to communicate and collaborate. Text message dispatch options should be available so that the right staff gets the right message and can be in the right place when needed. Email management services can be developed to support individuals, groups, and teams of medical personnel in various locations so that everyone is not only on the same page, but can also focus on their core duties.

Web-based On-Call Personnel Schedule Management

A huge part of the healthcare industry involves managing personnel, scheduling and staffing, and having available team members being on-call. A great HIPAA compliant call center has the tools necessary to successfully manage your staff with an online system that you can update at your convenience. Customize your approach to scheduling with a web-based on-call scheduler to improve convenience and coverage.

Class, Event, and Webinar Registration

Whether it is for training sessions, fundraisers, or continued education, there are many reasons for healthcare professionals to hold events. And the first step towards a successful event is getting people to show up. Leave the registration details to your medical call center as they should be able to schedule and register the proper attendees from your invite list. All you have to do is tell your medical telecom outsourcer about your classes, events or webinars, and they will see to it that all the right people are informed and registered.

Web Chat and Website Support

Websites that offer live chat bring a whole new dimension of customer support. Allowing your clients to interact with you in real time on your website is not only a competitive advantage for any healthcare organization, but it also enhances patient care as they can get their questions answered quickly via the HIPAA compliant contact center. Additional helpful features include any order processing that might be required, email response, and technical support. A good medical call center offers fully customized website support solutions to provide a completely user-centric online presence.

Web Call-back

An easy way to impress your clients and offer superior healthcare customer service is by using a web call-back program. Visitors to your website can easily request a phone call to get more information by clicking a link on your site, filling out their contact info, and a couple short minutes later an agent familiar with your account is ringing their phone to get them all taken care of. This HIPAA compliant call center service is a simple way to support patients and build better relationships.

Online Appointment Scheduling

Any good call center in the healthcare field will have an online scheduling tool available. Just drop a bit of code on your website and patients can schedule their own appointments quickly and easily. Online scheduling software makes dealing with cancellations and rescheduling hassle-free in a fast, reliable, and secure manner that both medical professionals and patients appreciate. Make sure your medical call center has a feature like this available for you to take advantage of.

Automated and Live Agent Appointment Reminder Call Service

A handy feature that will save healthcare professionals all kinds of time and money is a service that makes all your reminder calls for you. You can either opt to automate the process by customizing and recording a message that dials out to your clients, or by setting a script that live agents can use to remind patients of their appointments. And the person listening to your message always has the option to connect to your office. Ensure appointment follow through with the reminder call style of your choice from your HIPAA compliant call center.

Patient Satisfaction and Survey Tools

When it comes down to it, the medical industry is in the customer service business. How will you know what you are doing right and what you can improve on unless you ask those who have received treatment from you? A great healthcare telecom partner has the ability to work with you to develop a helpful patient satisfaction survey and then administer it to collect valuable information for your practice, clinic, or hospital. The right tools to collect customer feedback results in improved patient service and an enhanced reputation on your end.

Medical Paging Services

Pagers are still a big part of the medical community. Therefore, why shouldn’t a professional healthcare call center offer pager services? Whether you prefer to buy or lease, reliability is crucial at both the local and nationwide level. Take your pick of alphanumeric or text, and 2-way or 3-way options for a quick and easy pager experience that eliminates hassle and makes your life easier by condensing telecom providers and keeping everything fluid with one advanced HIPAA compliant call center.

Facility Management Support

Your entire medical facility can benefit from a great healthcare call center. From your parking garage to your elevators, highly trained professionals are standing by to take calls. For example, if a visitor gets stuck in the garage late at night or one of your staff members gets trapped in an elevator, an answering service is prepared to take those calls and get help where it needs to be in a hurry.

Disaster Recovery Initiatives

Is your medical facility and faculty prepared for when disaster strikes? From power outages to natural disasters, it is crucial to be able to keep operations up and running no matter how bad things get. A reliable medical call center should be an integral part of your contingency plans. Eliminate continuity concerns by trusting a HIPAA compliant call center network that can keep you in contact, re-route service lines, and even help you develop what-if scenarios and test your continuity plans. A good disaster recovery plan is so important, because that is often the time when medical professionals are needed the most.

Hospice Care Support

Hospice professionals need to be able to rely on live answering support to help them care for their patients. Prompt, accurate, and courteous hospice answering services are a crucial piece of the puzzle on a 24/7 basis. Whether you offer routine home care, continuous home care, inpatient respite care, general inpatient care, or any other type of hospice service, having available phone support for calls that come in at any hour is crucial to providing the highest quality care.

HIPAA Compliant Call Centers Can Create Your Ideal Communication Solution

It is clear that there are many ways a healthcare focused call center can aid medical professionals. From supporting websites with live chat and appointment scheduling capabilities to providing a complete message management and on-call schedule solutions, the possibilities are many and the potential impact is impressive.

While all these features of a HIPAA compliant call center are useful tools on their own, imagine all the pieces fitting together seamlessly to create the perfect medical communications solution. If you have any questions about these healthcare solutions or perhaps the availability of others, do not hesitate to ask us. A great outsourcing partner like Sound Telecom is excited to discuss your options and build a customized plan to accommodate your requirements and solve the unique communication challenges that professionals in the medical industry face.

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About Andrew Tillery

Born and raised in Oregon, Andrew has now put down roots in Seattle, because he refuses to call anywhere but the Pacific Northwest home. After graduating from Portland State University with a double major in Marketing and Advertising, he spent some time learning Spanish and experiencing all that South America has to offer. It was while he was south of the equator that he uncovered an interest in writing that he strives to develop whenever the opportunity is presented. When Andrew isn't taking care of business at the office, he is throwing fuel on his fiery passions for sports and the outdoors.