Dashboards boost patient services in call centers

June 1, 2008

Contact centers must prove their value to the organization and the patient. Kaiser Permanente has seen success with its dashboard approach.

Healthcare contact centers must prove their value to the organization serviced and the patient experience. Traditional services such as nurse triage and advice, physician referral and information lines are no longer enough in a suite of services considered by purchasers such as health plans, employers and healthcare delivery systems.

Integration into the whole care of the patient and expansion upstream and downstream into the delivery system are requests from purchasers and the industry trend for healthcare contact centers. Additionally, reporting that encompassed the impact of these services on the continuum of care is essential to retain and build funds related to these services.

The top 10 new products in remote management include: health coaching; enhanced care management; multi-channel outreach and inreach (text, email, webchat); patient advocacy services; home monitoring devices and nurse contact center; web, video and phone visits; web and phone self-service; and outcome studies.

At its best, technology offers: intelligent customer relation tools; multi-channel capabilities; voice recognition; internal data warehouse; and web integration.

How many of us receive a text reminder of our bill from our cell phone carrier? Why not adopt this technology in healthcare? In essence, these are marketing tools designed to change behaviors. We can take these algorithms and technology and use for purposes of changing behavior and improving lives.

We can build on systems that were created in other industries to improve shareholder value and instead improve lives. The key is finding the mechanism to explain to healthcare purchasers the ROI of the costs of such technology.

Gain funding and acceptance

Purchasers are requesting the new programs already cited. Yet, it is not apparent as to who is willing or can invest in the start-up costs necessary to deploy new technology and hire the staff it takes to support the programs and ensure the quality.

It is not often that R&D departments within contact centers are a wholly funded department. ROI data to show the value of buying new technologies is not solid.

It will take key organization leadership to understand the value of the patient experience that can be to provide funding and support for these new programs. It also may take a sharing in the cost of development by the contact centers, their owners, suppliers and purchasers. Leadership within all stakeholders will need to take leaps of faith by accepting beta studies, funding new software and technology platforms and allowing for creativity and mistakes within contact centers.