What to Look For in a Medical Call Center

For any doctor, hospital, urgent care center, pharmacy, or other health care organization considering the services of a medical call center, there are some factors to review. For one thing, this should be a live answering service so as patients call in they are connecting with a real person opposed to something automated. Typically, when a person phones into a medical call center, they are unnerved. Facing some type and degree of medical crisis, this individual wants someone who will listen and provide the right guidance. Therefore, it is vital that every patient call is answered within three to five rings and by a caring specialist.
Of course, training of the representative would also be a huge consideration. Sometimes, a call center will have phones manned by nurses whereas others are supported by trained professionals who have no or little medical background. However, even in this instance, these individuals go through intense training and use scripts so they know the appropriate questions to ask, which then allows them to provide the right answers.
Having a reliable representative is also imperative when using a medical call center. The people who are taking patient calls should have set protocols that are carefully followed. Not only does this provide the caller with a more professional experience, it also reduces risk of mistakes. The call taker in a medical call center should have a heart for people and take a responsible and friendly approach in the way people are treated. After all, call center staff are representatives of the doctor or hospital so they should always respond with respect.
Additionally, because of the very nature of a call center, doctors, hospitals, and other professionals considering this service might want to ask about conversations being recorded. This way, if a patient were advised to go to the emergency room after telling the call taker the problem but then refuses to go and dies, the doctor and the call center have proof for liability purposes.
The staff in a medical call center should also be HIPAA certified. This mandated course teaches people in the health care industry about security and privacy rules and regulations so as patients share personal and health information, they can feel confident that it will not be shared. Finally, any medical call center being looked into should be designed for the type of support needed. Although call centers such as this focus on medical issues, one center might focus on OB/GYN when the hiring doctor that needs the service is a heart transplant surgeon.