Sep. 28, 2016

Healthcare managers juggle people, tasks and patients, and often find that there just isn’t enough time to get it all done. Sometimes the day-to-day tasks are pushed aside for more pressing projects.

But there is a way for managers to shift some of those daily tasks off of their plates. By outsourcing some patient communications, like upcoming appointment reminder calls, answering incoming calls, or checking and responding to voicemails, managers are able to refocus energy back into the practice while simultaneously increasing revenue and patient satisfaction.

Choosing a patient communications partner is no easy feat but there are some qualities that are important when outsourcing with a patient communications partner:

1. Fit & Flexibility

Before engaging with a patient communications partner, physician practices should determine whether or not they need help managing their communications. To determine if your organization is in need of a patient communications partner, consider the following:

– Current call volumes
– Missed calls
– Staffing efficiency
– Patient no-shows
– Overall associated costs

Quite often, practices don’t realize how much they are actually spending or how much revenue is left on the table.  Believe it or not, outsourcing patient communications typically increases patient satisfaction and is a much more feasible option.

Once it’s decided that patient communications help is needed, find a partner willing to work with your practice processes and with integrity.  A company that can operate as an extension of a practice’s brand will make the experience much easier.

In any search for a communication partner, ensure that you are looking for a company that is flexible and offers customizable communications that fit your practice and workflow. This is truly the key to making a partnership work.

2. Experience & Expertise

A lot of organization’s have a tendency to choose a patient communications partner based on the most attractive price. Although cost is one of the factors you will want to consider, experience and expertise are key qualities that should not be overlooked.

For example, if you’re looking for someone to answer your practice’s calls, setting the proper call scripts is crucial.  You will want to make sure that the agents involved are experts who have worked on similar projects in the past.  This experience ensures that the job is getting done right at the onset.

Also closely inspect each potential partner’s portfolio of clients and testimonials to determine their knowledge and expertise in your specialty.  Look for partners who have longevity in the industry and who are investing in their patient communication resources and quality assurance processes, which will ultimately benefit you and your practice.

3. Commitment to Quality & Support

When you’re entering a new agreement with a patient communications partner, one of the most critical factors to consider is the onboarding process and the quality of support you will receive. A quality partner should be transparent about what input they need from you, their set-up process, the future support they will provide and their overall commitment to a positive experience for both your practice and your patients.

Remember you are enlisting a patient communications partner so you can refocus your energy on your practice and the patients who are physically in the office. A partner that insists the same quality and support that you expect and give to your patients will be essential to continuing a positive patient/provider relationship.

Interested in how Stericycle Communication Solutions can help with your patient communication needs? Click here or call us at 866.783.9820.