|Ankit Jain, Tuesday, September 4, 2018, 08:00 Hrs [IST]|
|Healthcare sector is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors across the globe. With the recent adaptation of technology in healthcare, the provision of its services has undergone a huge transformation. From operational work to medical diagnosis, the face of healthcare service is being reimagined.
Besides such upgradation, another notable aspect is how healthcare has emerged as a beneficiary of cloud technology as well. In recent times, healthcare institutions have significantly realised and resolved their everyday communication challenges.
This was much needed as healthcare is among those few sectors which can’t afford to miss their customer calls. There is always a responsibility to ensure availability round-the-clock. Patients have to be kept in the loop at all times to ensure a tension-free experience. Unfortunately, conventional phone systems are unable to fulfil this and involve a lot of manual effort and time.
Here is when cloud telephony has emerged as the required remedy. And notably, the increasing use of cloud technology in healthcare has also manifested how beneficial it is. It has potentially simplified and automated call management for healthcare and taking their mode of communication one notch up.
Healthcare centres run several campaigns for blood donation, regular check-ups, and more. At times, the number of people coming forward is below the expectations. The reason is quite simple, not many people are made aware of the campaign. This is obvious as it takes a substantial amount of time and money to make a larger number of people aware of it. Also, managing the database of the volunteers is another hard-won task.
This is where arises the need for automation and here is when cloud telephony helps. With an outbound IVR, calls are generated automatically to the phone numbers stored in the database. Individuals are notified about the campaign with the recorded message. Besides this, the IVR also notes their response, basis their input in the telephonic menu.
This not only conveys the message professionally but also to a larger target audience at minimal cost and effort. As a result, more people come forward to take part in the initiatives.
In recent times, the cases for fraudulent activities with the patients have been on rise. May it be charging immensely high fees or irresponsibly giving wrong advice. This has not only brought bad reputation to some of the institutions but also to the healthcare service in all. What was lacking is an effective monitoring of the doctors and the staff in charge. Besides keeping a check on the way patients are treated in hospitals, it is also required to monitor their on-call conversation.
This may seem to be a challenging task, but cloud telephony has made it much easier with Call recording. Cloud-based phone systems ensure timely recording of customer calls and also automatic storage on cloud. This has facilitated the higher authorities to monitor their executive’s performance effectively. Key improvements could then be leveraged timely and will save any possible unethical happenings/actions.
Healthcare institutions have multiple functional departments like diagnostics, emergency, cardiology and so on. Calls have to be manually transferred from one department to another. This occupies a lot of time for both the caller and the agent. And, this is one of the biggest drawbacks of healthcare communication. Patients have to be assured a hassle-free calling experience, which is unlikely to be fulfilled with manual transferring of calls.
IVR solutions have effectively provided the desired remedy. Different departments are assigned their respective extensions on the IVR menu. Callers can themselves connect with the concerned department basis their input in the keyword menu. This has helped in saving manual effort and time of the agents and also provided faster on-call resolution for the callers.
Undoubtedly, cloud telephony has brought convenience and automation in healthcare communication, which were indeed required for a smoother calling experience.
Another realised challenge in healthcare communication is notifying the customers about their appointments. Even though there are multiple apps available to book their appointments, on-call confirmation is still the preferred choice by most of the people. The patients have to be manually updated about their booking confirmation and even about any change in the timings.
It becomes a challenge to call/SMS each one of them. There are always chances that some of them might get missed. Patients then have to visit repetitively, bringing a bad name to the institution. What is needed here is automation and simplification to update the patients. Cloud telephony has done the needful.
With outbound IVR or automatic SMS reminders, patients can be updated with much ease and professionalism. This eliminates the chances of miscommunication or the patients being unaware of the rescheduling of the appointment. This is even used to remind patients to submit their samples or collect their reports on time.
This professionalism from the institutions ensures no unnecessary trouble for the patients and even establishes a good reputation.
There are certain requisites when it comes to ensuring best possible customer service. Calls are a significant mode of customer communication and so an upgraded calling experience is a must. May it be for business or a healthcare centre, results of better calling experience are the same, i.e. customer loyalty and further recommendations.
Talking about those requisites of an upgraded calling experience, one of them is to not miss any customer call and if any, ensure a timely follow up. Following up on missed numbers is indeed a challenge if it’s all done manually. Maintaining the database, following up without a delay, all this doesn’t ensure effective results.
Cloud telephony, however, has made the task much easier. Callers’ database is automatically and timely updated, giving a complete view of missed, outgoing and received calls. Agents can easily look up for the missed numbers and assure a timely follow-up.
This ensures that no customer queries are left unattended and also conveys professionalism of the centre, thus upgrading their customer experience.
To summarise, cloud telephony has indeed generated substantial results to upgrade communication in healthcare centres. Another important thing here is that owing to its low cost and flexibility, cloud technology is widely used by centres of small and medium size as well.
Many individual doctors and small clinics are using it to empower their healthcare communication and provide the best possible customer service. This not only brings professionalism but also good regards for their institution, one that truly cares for its patients.
(The author is CEO of MyOperator)