How Communications Solutions Improve Healthcare Customer Service_header

Healthcare providers are vital to our society’s well-being, a role only highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the need for clinical services keeps growing, hospitals and clinics face ever-higher calls and inquiries while facing staffing and resource shortages.

With evolving patient expectations and rising demands on the healthcare system, medical organizations must maintain satisfactory levels of customer care to succeed. To better respond to the increasingly pressing challenges, they’re turning to sophisticated technology to improve patient engagement.

The global patient engagement solutions market reached $10.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $42.43 billion by 2031. This includes innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, telemedicine, and remote monitoring tools to enhance the patient experience.

The proper unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solution can be a lifeline when managing patient engagement and improving healthcare customer service. Doctors and other staff can efficiently share information with their patients and colleagues to provide the highest quality care and deliver superior customer service.

The Importance of Customer Service in Healthcare

To thrive, patients need to feel like they’re more than just numbers on a medical form. Bedside manner and customer service go hand in hand with managing patient outcomes.

When providers take the time to develop relationships with their patients through clear and personal communication, they experience:

  • Higher satisfaction rates
  • Greater engagement
  • Increased levels of trust

On the other hand, a patient who must wait an hour on hold to make an appointment, can’t access their records, or doesn’t hear about test results promptly will start to feel discouraged about their healthcare.

Disengaged patients are more likely to switch providers, skip appointments, or abandon their course of treatment entirely. A study conducted during COVID-19 found that even something as small as an automated text reminder helped 95.5% of patients feel more connected to their care team, even when they couldn’t see their providers in person.

Satisfied patients will be more involved in their care, resulting in better clinical outcomes. They’re more likely to return to the same office for future needs, remain informed about their health, and have a more positive relationship with their provider.

Top Challenges in Healthcare Customer Service

Providing top-quality customer service is a complicated problem for any industry, but it’s incredibly challenging for healthcare organizations. In many cases, patients seeking medical help already feel anxious about their condition, requiring more empathy and patience from customer service providers.

Clinical providers must balance managing increasing volumes of patients without compromising their quality of care. This is made more difficult by staffing shortages across the industry, leaving fewer employees to deal with higher workloads and leading to significant rates of burnout.

Many healthcare organizations need more resources when investing in advanced technology and training. Outdated communications systems and complex medical technology infrastructure hinder efficient interactions between staff and patients, causing delays and frustrations.

Addressing these issues requires optimizing resources effectively to enhance the patient-provider relationship. Medical establishments can modernize their UCC solutions to reduce the back-end workload on staff while emphasizing patient-centric approaches to communications.

5 Essential UCC Qualities for Better Patient Engagement

Delivering exceptional healthcare customer service goes beyond medical expertise. It hinges on effective communication that recognizes the unique needs of individual patients. UCC systems play a pivotal role in transforming the patient experience. A modern UCC solution delivers patient communications that are:

1. Personalized

Patients are individuals, not numbers. UCC systems can seamlessly integrate with record management software, allowing providers to deliver personalized and meaningful messages, not generic ones.

2. Timely

Being placed on hold to speak with a doctor or waiting for a call with test results can be agonizing. Contact centers with AI assistants can provide immediate help with basic requests, escalating more complicated cases to human agents.

3. Transparent

Navigating the complexities of the healthcare system can be daunting for patients. Treatment communications should be clear and transparent, with on-call help for follow-up questions or concerns.

4. Omnichannel

Today’s patients use various devices with their healthcare providers. Accessing their medical information should be convenient no matter which channel they prefer. The right UCC solution should feel seamless on any platform.

5. Secure

Patients must be able to trust their doctors with sensitive personal information. Whether deployed on-site or in a private or hybrid cloud, UCC systems need to comply with local regulations like PCI DSS, GDPR, and HIPAA to minimize concerns about privacy and security.

Dedicated healthcare UCC platforms empower organizations to enhance patient satisfaction, improve communication efficiency, and ultimately elevate the quality of care provided to those in need.

Choosing the Right UCC Product for Great Healthcare Customer Service

For many patients, a contact center or mobile solution serves as their primary mode of interaction with their provider, whether for scheduling appointments, asking basic questions, or following up on results. A modern UCC solution enables medical organizations to provide the highest quality customer service – and, ultimately, health outcomes – to their patients.

Modern healthcare contact center solutions create exceptional patient omnichannel experiences, including interaction routing, self-service, AI assistance, and automated notifications. They streamline complex healthcare communications, letting patients seamlessly navigate between text messaging, online chats, and voice calls.

Whether deployed on-premises or in a hybrid or private cloud, these telephony systems are designed to streamline seamless call flow for internal communications between teams and external parties like suppliers and patients. Flexible healthcare cloud phone systems automatically route inbound calls to any phone within the organization to facilitate a time-effective exchange of information.

Choosing a private or hybrid cloud-based communications solution has several advantages over a traditional on-site or server-based system. Cloud platforms are continuously updated with new features, so users can access the latest software without replacing expensive hardware. Subscription-based models are scalable, so organizations can save money by expanding or reducing lines as they need.

However you choose to deploy, UCC technology provides the features and capabilities required to deliver the high level of customer service today’s patients demand and deserve.

How Mitel Helps Improve Healthcare Customer Service

Mitel’s dedicated UCC solutions improve customer service for even the most mobile and wide-ranging practices, from contact centers, telemedicine, healthcare cloud phone systems, and collaboration platforms.

A dedicated phone system with cloud-based integrations gives medical providers rapid access to critical information to quickly answer client concerns. Secure messaging, calling, and document sharing facilitate better collaboration between teams so they can focus on giving patients the best experience possible.

Mitel enables communication-enhanced healthcare with flexible, omnichannel options to respond to the evolving needs of the industry. Whether deployed on-site or in a hybrid or private cloud, Mitel’s UCC solutions provide a strong foundation for better patient communications with efficient, compliant technology, including:

  • AI-powered call center triage with escalation and intelligent routing
  • Virtual assistants for 24/7 patient support
  • Omnichannel communications on patients’ preferred platforms
  • Automated, customized alerts and reminders
  • API integrations with existing health IT systems
  • Seamless migration to on-site or hybrid cloud systems
  • Strict compliance with privacy and security regulations
  • Antimicrobial handsets for improved phone hygiene

As an industry leader in healthcare communications, Mitel offers UCC solutions tailored to the unique needs of medical organizations. To learn how to optimize your patient customer service, request a quote from our experts today.

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