Majority of the patients prefer to connect and talk to a hospital representative over the phone in spite of the advancements and introduction of chatbots and AI engines. In the time of distress, it is natural to have human interaction and reassurance, which dissolves most of the anxiety and ambiguity.
In most of the modern hospitals there exists a telephone EPABX and intercom framework for structured internal communication. The external communication through inbound telephone calls needs a streamlined workflow, and systematic log mechanism to keep a track on the number of missed calls, type of calls, proper tracking for quality and training among the front office. In many cases these records come in handy incase of medico legal matters.
Majority of the small, mid size and large hospitals have an in-house front office team. However, all the hospital administrators or hospital owner-doctors indicate a high amount of attrition in front office staff leading to high costs in training and drop in communication chain against the set internal policy. In many cases, it is being observed that some hospitals and health service providers choose to delegate contact center work process, staffing and training to a third party service provider which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
With this background, it is recommended by a team of policy and hospital administration experts that modern 21st century hospitals should adapt the following :
- Transition from paper / emr/ traditional his systems to a contemporary hospital operating system.
- Introduce administrative policies preventing hospital staff from exchanging patient related data on private chat / messaging systems.
- Adapt a seamless unified digital platform which is a streamlined single window for all internal and external communications.
- Track inbound patient communication, missed calls, outbound calls using an advanced contact center system, get more professional.
- To solve the staff attrition problem, choose a system which does not require intense training. Any new staff with basic telephone and computer skills should be able to adapt to the new system.
- Smartphones are a new normal, millenials / gen x / gen y are going to be the major workforce in the coming decades. Instead of forcing them to adapt to a 4 decade old system, the hospitals need to transform their software to work across devices while maintaining the required security.
- The front office and billing department and the clinical services teams should be able to communicate seamlessly to ensure patient experience is enhanced. Modern day hospitals need to look at adapting a patient centric platform which has the ability to provide single window tool to manage the patient journey