How to Manage Call Flow in Healthcare

Casey Fitzgerald

Your doctor’s office, hospital or clinic relies on obtaining and retaining patients. But how can you do so if you’re not providing the best possible patient support?

Like in any business, it’s critical for healthcare professionals to take special care of their patients — even after they’ve left your office. This includes providing top-notch phone support.

One way to go about this is to create a customer service call flow — much like you’ll find in the retail industry. There’s a lot you can learn from these industries.

Let’s take a look at how you can better manage your call flow.

Identify Patient Touchpoints

Now, there are various touchpoints patients may make in order to get information, schedule appointments and communicate with your practice.

For instance, they may use your website to schedule or cancel appointments, then social media to speak with a rep about certain concerns they may have. Other touchpoints include in the office, telephone, email, and letters.

Outline the Process

The next step is to determine the types of interaction for each of the touchpoints. What does it take to handle and resolve the patients’ requests? For instance, if a patient contacts your practice to schedule an appointment, then there are key steps.

Here’s how it may look:

  1. Answering the call within a specified timeframe.
  2. Accessing the patients’ medical records and service history.
  3. Checking the availability of medical staff.
  4. Recording details of the appointment request.
  5. Advising the customer of the appointment date.
  6. Recording the report from medical staff.
  7. Closing the case.

Think of the Sequence of Calls

Over time, it becomes easier to identify the different ways a phone call may go. This will make creating a customer service call flow chart easier.

In the above scenario, the call can go in different directions. For instance, you may run into an issue where the patient is requesting an appointment for a service you’re not sure they’re eligible for. In this case, you’ll need to have a plan to reach out to staff to verify this.

The idea is to determine alternative actions you may have to take when answering patient calls.

Prepare for Potential Problems

Wouldn’t it be great if every call went smoothly? Well, this isn’t the case so it’s crucial to prepare for difficult patients. In these instances, it may be the patient asking for information the clerk may not have and therefore can’t give an immediate answer.

You’ll need to add a step in the flowchart, such as the clerk accessing a knowledge base. Or calling the patient back after consulting with staff.

Putting Your Customer Service Call Flow to Use

After you create your call flow steps, it’s time to review it and share with your staff. Anyone that answers the phones or has key knowledge patients may inquire about should be given this chart.

This way, everyone is in the loop and on the same page when the time comes to take the proper steps.

When you need additional support for your patients, you can always turn to professional services. At SecurenetMD, we offer IT solutions to those in the medical industry. This includes 24×7 help desk support, VoIP phone solutions, disaster recovery planning and more.

Contact us today to see how we can improve your call flow management.

Leave a Comment

Do You Need a Disaster Recovery and Continuity Plan?How Network Monitoring Services Can Benefit Your Practice