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Shiny flashy objectsWe’ve said it before: enterprise strategy should drive technology choices for your contact center to ensure that you are making the right choice for you and your patients.

That being said, we understand the desire to want the newest, shiniest technology advancements; they are pretty cool. We have seen firsthand in the field how, when used properly, technology truly can make a difference for patients and help the enterprise with its bottom line. We have outlined some of the different types of technology available and how they could be useful to you:

Call Monitoring and Recording – Useful for quality monitoring, this can be helpful for agent coaching and training, as well as tracking compliance and performance. When recording 100% of calls, however, so much raw data is created that it can easily be cumbersome and/or ignored.

Speech Analytics – Speech analytics, then, is like a quality monitoring program on steroids. This technology scans and analyzes all that call recorded data to clarify the Voice of the Patient, create clear performance scorecards, and eventually map the patient journey. More information about speech analytics can be found here.

Workforce Management – Talk about ROI. This tool allows a contact center to optimally plan and schedule agents to accommodate the call and contact demand from patients and customers. The contact center can then provide service in a timely manner while avoiding over- and understaffing.

Knowledge Base – In a contact center, too often agents turn to the veterans to ask about processes and get answers to questions. A knowledge base shares that knowledge with all agents through a searchable, consistent, and maintained data-sharing environment that encompasses both tacit and explicit knowledge. A knowledge base ensures every customer is given the same information regardless of who picks up the phone. It works wonders for agent efficiency as well.

Outbound Dialer – A contact center can be more than a passive structure that intercepts calls and contacts coming into the system. Using information stored in EMRs, outbound dialers can begin to call patients with unscheduled referrals, prompt agents to call patients with upcoming surgeries, and even provide text messages to remind patients to take their medicine. This one has the potential to generate revenue.

CRM – Customer relationship management (CRM) is an excellent tool for encouraging greater collaboration between marketing, sales and customer services so that the customer experience is more seamless. CRM can automate care coordination, proactively communicate with chronically ill patients to help them manage their illness, or market personalized services to specific patient groups. The value is effective patient outreach, care coordination, and on-going case management.

Telemedicine – Still in the early stages of adoption, telemedicine will be the next big thing in healthcare. Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through video chat, web chat, phone calls, and other means of telecommunications technology. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services. This is the one to watch.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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