Connecting with patients has become especially critical in 2020. The global health crisis has made access to healthcare more important than ever. And finding ways to communicate with patients without potentially exposing them to a contagious virus has placed more emphasis on telehealth and other virtual healthcare options.
Patients also have different expectations of how their healthcare providers communicate with them. The healthcare industry can better use a combination of calls, emails, and text messages to meet patients where they are and ensure that they get the care they need.
If your practice or organization is experiencing higher than normal call volumes—or if you’ve realized you could improve your patient communication—you might want to look into healthcare contact center software.
What is Healthcare Call Center Software?
Many industries use contact center software, largely to support customers or get in touch with sales prospects. This type of software, however, differs from business-focused solutions.
Communicating with patients typically involves higher stakes than supporting your average customer. And while data security is critical for contact centers in any industry, keeping medical records secure and confidential requires following stricter guidelines.
To provide high-quality patient care and ensure data confidentiality and protection, healthcare contact center software requires several critical features.
Essential Healthcare Call Center Features
To comply with the various regulations and restrictions of patient communications and record-keeping, you should look for a few important features in your healthcare call center solution.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ensures the confidentiality and protection of health information. In regards to your contact center software, it also establishes security standards for the protection of patients’ electronically stored information.
This could refer to both call records and notes, as well as any information shared between your contact center solution and your electronic medical electronic health record (EHR) or emergency medical services (EMS) software.
Omnichannel communication capabilities enable you to communicate with patients via phone, email, text, etc. You can use a system’s multi-channel reach to respond to inbound and outbound communications. The ability to reach patients in real-time through various channels helps your organization provide high-quality healthcare to more people, no matter how they get in touch with you.
Integration with Medical Record Systems
The ability to see important patient information, such as their medical history, helps you provide more comprehensive care. With a more holistic view of a patient’s records at your fingertips, you can give them informed advice and treatment.
As long as you have a secure internet connection, cloud-based calling capabilities allow you to stay in touch with your patients. They’ll be able to reach you whether you’re in the office or working from home.
Call Routing and Decision-making AI
Using artificial intelligence (AI) to route calls with automatic call distribution (ACD) or forecast call volume helps you connect patients with the specialist that can best help them at any given time. AI-powered tools can also help automate routine tasks such as billing and appointment scheduling. By automating various processes using AI-generated data, you can spend less time organizing workflows and routing calls and more time assisting patients.
|HIPAA- compliant||Omnichannel presence||EHR/EMS integration||Cloud-based||AI-powered capabilities|
Best Healthcare Call Center Solutions
The systems below offered at least four of the five healthcare-specific features discussed above and received at least 25 user reviews averaging over 4 stars (out of five) from various review sites.
Talkdesk‘s call center solution caters to many industries, including healthcare. Its HIPAA-compliant software helps you securely connect with patients via live calls, interactive voice recordings, SMS, and other messaging apps. Using a desktop, phone, or tablet, call center agents and medical professionals can provide virtual care.
- Talkdesk puts all relevant contact center information in one place
Talkdesk can also connect with your CRM, EHR, and billing systems to give you a holistic view of a patient’s medical history, financial status, and need for follow-up care. Using its AI-powered reports, managers can forecast call volume, identify trends, and route calls appropriately. To meet security requirements and data storage needs, you can choose to deploy Talkdesk in public, private, or hybrid cloud configurations.
Talkdesk starts at $65 per seat per month. To find out exactly how much Talkdesk will cost your team, you can request a quote from the vendor.
- Who should look into Talkdesk? Talkdesk offers multiple packages of its system based on company size and features needed. Smaller organizations could benefit from Talkdesk’s basic call routing features, while larger ones might benefit more from the system’s abilities to connect all their patient care platforms and dive into data with AI.
2. Bright Pattern
Bright Pattern‘s system uses AI to optimize call routing, quality assurance, and task automation. You can connect patients with the right agent via SMS, voice, and video to provide service over multiple channels. AI-generated reports and workflows can also automate appointment scheduling and billing, giving you and your agents more time to assist patients and improve your overall customer experience.
Its HIPAA-compliant solution ensures that patient data is stored, transmitted, and processed safely. And its role-based security configurations help you determine who can access different types of patient information. And its quality assurance tools provide you with the data you need to create and implement best practices in your contact center solution.
Bright Pattern does not provide pricing information. Its pricing does include a one-time setup fee, which also comes with 45 hours of training for your management and staff. To find out how much its system will cost your team, you can request a quote from the vendor.
- Who should look into Bright Pattern? Bright Pattern seems to specifically target health insurance companies as their ideal healthcare customer. However, their HIPAA compliance certifications and their emphasis on optimizing the patient experience through AI could also make it a good fit for larger healthcare organizations.
3. NICE inContact
NICE inContact‘s cloud-based healthcare solution integrates with your CRM, EHR, and billing systems to give your agents the information they need to provide the best quality care to your patients. Using its omnichannel capabilities, you can connect with patients via email, chat, and social media, in addition to traditional phone calls.
Its interactive voice response (IVR) tools allow patients to access self-service centers for answers to frequently asked questions, appointment scheduling, and billing inquiries. These tools ensure that your agents only spend time talking to patients with more complex questions or issues. And its AI Roadmap Builder can help you determine how and where AI can help improve patient experience within your call center.
NICE inContact does not provide pricing information. To find out how much its system will cost your team, you can contact their sales department.
- Who should look into NICE inContact? NICE inContact offers solutions for both healthcare providers and insurance contact centers. Generally, its AI capabilities and other more advanced features make this system seem like a better fit for larger organizations.
Five9‘s healthcare contact center system helps you to engage your patients on a more personal level. Its cloud-based solution helps your agents connect with patients from the office or remotely via HIPAA-compliant video, voice, SMS, chat, messaging apps, and email. And its AI-powered routing capabilities ensure that your patients connect with the right agent no matter how they contact you.
- See patient information in one place with Five9
Its virtual assistant tool (think Siri-powered IVR capabilities) helps patients find answers to questions on their own or connect with an agent who can assist them. When your agents and self-service tools don’t have the answers to a patient’s questions, you can use Five9’s Unified Communications tool to connect patients to experts within your organization by transferring the call or scheduling a chat.
Five9 pricing is not provided on their website. However, they do state that their pricing is based on a combination of the number of seats, you need, how often you use the system, and the features you need to access. To find out how much its system will cost your team, you can request a quote from the vendor.
- Who should look into Five9? Based on the features you need, Five9 seems like it could cater to organizations of all sizes. Smaller organizations could benefit from basic features such as omnichannel communication, while larger organizations could use AI capabilities to streamline workflows and do a deeper dive into call quality data.
FluentStream largely works with smaller or more specialized healthcare providers, rather than large hospital call centers. Its cloud-based HIPAA-compliant phone services allow medical professionals to securely connect with patients from anywhere. You can even choose to route inbound calls to your office phone to your personal cell to respond to patients at your convenience.
In addition to phone calls, you can also connect with patients via SMS and video. And its online faxing tool helps you to receive, medical records, insurance notes, and billing information immediately.
FluentStream’s “Essential” package starts at $20 per user per month. However, for access to more advanced features, such as integration and SMS capabilities, you might have to upgrade to their “Advanced” ($30 per user per month) or “Complete” ($45 per user per month) package. For more information, you can request a quote from the vendor.
- Who should look into FluentStream? If you’re a general practitioner or run a healthcare organization that’s smaller than a hospital, FluentStream’s pay-per-seat and per feature model that allows you to route calls might be your best fit.
Find the Right Healthcare Call Center Software
In a time of great medical uncertainty, we’re all looking to healthcare professionals for up-to-date information. Even if your organization isn’t on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus, your patients are still relying on you to provide high-quality medical care.
By continuing to communicate with patients—from major test results to being due for a routine check-up—you can provide clarity and peace of mind. And you can use healthcare contact center software to stay organized and communicate effectively.
Find the solution that works for you and explore more healthcare call center software options by visiting our call center software directory.