To help you along in your decision-making process, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the most important thing things to consider when you’re evaluating possible candidates.
1 – Compliance and Security
This is an absolute requirement for call centers serving the healthcare industry. The industry is always changing as are the rules that regulate it. Your call center must be on top of the rules involved and compliant with them, including:
Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA): Setting the minimum standards for privacy and security surrounding certain health information for any entity that provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare as well as their business associates providing support with access to patient information.
Health Information Technology For Economic And Clinical Health Act (HITECH): With the increasing use of electronic health records, HITECH was introduced in 2009 to further support and expand upon the HIPAA criteria.
You should also look for other compliance certifications, such as PCI DSS compliance for payment card standards, SSAE 16 certification for processes and procedures, Federal Information Security Management Act requirements and applicable NIST rules.
2 – Reputation and Professionalism
Your healthcare call center will be the face of your organization to many of your clients, so look for a company with an outstanding reputation. A good reputation is the result of having a highly skilled and trained staff understand the industry and your clients.
Ask potential call centers what kind of training their staff must undergo before they can take their first call. In addition to the standard training on the use of the technology involved and procedures relating to your calls, look for things like senior sensitivity training and other soft skills training that will be particularly important to your client interaction experience.
3 – Infrastructure
Your call center needs to have the infrastructure necessary to handle the volume that may arise. Redundancies need to be in place to avoid any downtime.
With the changing ways that people wish to communicate, it’s a good idea to have a call center that offers multi-channel services beyond just the telephone. They can include email, web chat text messaging, as well as click to call and virtual queue callback options.
4 – Location
There are countless call centers providing service in the US that are located offshore. While some of these options may be attractively priced, cultural differences, accents that may be difficult to understand and under-qualified or poorly trained staff may negatively affect your reputation.
If your client base is located in the US, there is a definite advantage to choosing a call center with their operations based in America.
5 – Price
Of course, choosing a call center has to make good financial sense. To that end, cost is very important. But remember that other factors can have a significant long and short-term financial impact, such as the items listed above and call performance statistics like first call resolution rates.
Now that you know what some of the things to look for are in an outstanding healthcare call center, you should be in a better place to make a well-informed decision. And, as always, if you have any questions about how Ameridial can meet and surpass your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.