The July 2023 Issue

MedCall Plus: medical support center

New Skills for Today’s Agents

Hire Staff with the Abilities That Today’s Consumers Need and Expect

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

There was a time when hiring managers looked for three key skills in their call center applicants: a pleasant and understandable telephone voice, good spelling, and neat penmanship. Yes, legible writing was key because everything was handwritten.

Then computers arrived and the penmanship requirement was replaced with typing skills. Today these three capabilities remain important, but we need to add more to our list. 

Internet Awareness: We may assume that everyone today knows how to use the internet, navigate websites, and appropriately deal with problems that occur online. Yet we shouldn’t assume this is the case. Instead, test applicants to verify this skill. 

I recently talked to a rep who admitted to being confused in navigating her company’s own website. As you can imagine, she wasn’t able to help me.

Social Media Experience: In the same way, today’s call center agents need to be comfortable using social media. And most applicants are. But don’t assume this is always the case. Therefore, it’s important to test them to make sure they have a working knowledge of the social media platforms your organization uses. 

Even if their role won’t directly involve communicating with patients and customers on social media, your staff should know how to navigate your social media pages. This way they’ll be ready to assist your clientele if needed—and assume that at some point it will be needed.

Texting and Email Ability: Next, your agents need to know how to compose professional and comprehensible messages for text and email. Using slang and emojis may be fine in casual settings, but it has no place in the healthcare industry. The same applies with spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Test applicants to ensure their written communication is an asset to your organization and not a detriment to it. Failure to do so will result in misunderstandings and reflect badly on you as a healthcare provider or support service.

Video Ready: As we discussed in the benefits and disadvantages of video calling, we need to hire staff with video in mind. Even if you don’t currently use video in your operation, it’s likely that you will soon. Your employees need to be comfortable in front of a camera. 

They must communicate effectively through their body language, in addition to the words they use and their tone. Though their words and tone are all they need when it comes to voice and written communication, video adds the nonverbal component, which is critical for effective communication to take place.

Hire staff that’s video ready—and willing.

Conclusion: In addition to hiring employees with a pleasant and understandable telephone voice, spelling proficiency, and typing accuracy, make sure they possess internet awareness, social media experience, texting and email ability, and are video ready.

This will provide you with a staff poised to help today’s patients and contacts.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is the publisher and editor of Medical Call Center News and AnswerStat. Read more in his latest book, Healthcare Call Center Essentials, as well as Sticky Sales and Marketing

Outsourcing Medical Call Centers to Improve Patient Experience

By Michael C. McMillan

The healthcare industry continually evolves, and improving patient experience has become a top priority for value-based care clinics. Research indicates that patient satisfaction is significant in reimbursements, particularly for value-based care providers. One current trend gaining traction in the market is outsourcing medical call centers to improve patient experience and, in turn, optimize reimbursements.

Outsourcing medical call centers has significantly enhanced patient experience by ensuring timely access to care, accurate information, and consistent support. Medical call centers handle various tasks such as appointment scheduling, prescription refill requests, and answering patient queries related to their care or treatment. These services are crucial to delivering a positive patient experience and, when executed correctly, can contribute to higher reimbursement rates for value-based care clinics.

The benefits of outsourcing medical call centers extend beyond improving patient experience. With an outsourced call center, clinics can better allocate their resources, allowing staff to focus on providing high-quality care rather than managing administrative tasks. Moreover, outsourcing can lead to significant cost savings, as clinics no longer need to invest in expensive infrastructure or hire and train staff to manage the call center.

With the increasing popularity of telemedicine, the demand for efficient and professional call center services has risen. Medical call centers that can handle telehealth appointments and manage virtual visits effectively are now in high demand, as they contribute to enhanced patient experience and overall satisfaction. An outsourced call center with telemedicine capabilities can help clinics manage patient expectations, provide quick access to care, and facilitate seamless communication between patients and their care teams.

Outsourced medical call centers also utilize advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to streamline processes and improve efficiency. These technologies can predict call volumes, identify trends, and route calls to appropriate staff members. Through these innovations, medical call centers can effectively manage patient inquiries, reduce wait times, and contribute to a more positive patient experience.

We can expect the market for outsourcing medical call centers to grow rapidly in the coming years as more value-based care clinics recognize the benefits of leveraging these services. In addition to improving patient experience, outsourcing can lead to higher reimbursements as clinics meet or exceed patient satisfaction metrics tied to value-based care payments.

As the healthcare landscape evolves, outsourcing medical call centers are emerging as a viable solution for value-based care clinics to improve patient experience and optimize reimbursements. By tapping outsourced call centers’ expertise and technological capabilities, clinics can enhance patient satisfaction, streamline operations, and boost their bottom line.

Michael McMillan, an influential thought leader and keynote speaker, specializes in customer experience (CX) and patient experience (PX) innovation. With expertise in healthcare, technology, and call center outsourcing, Michael has a unique understanding of exceptional customer and patient experiences. His TEDx speech on empathy and human connection demonstrates his passion for meaningful connections, making him a trailblazer at the intersection of technology, healthcare, and customer experience.

Featured Sponsor: TriageLogic


TriageLogic is a leading provider of quality, affordable triage solutions, including comprehensive after-hours call center services and innovative online systems for use in both institutional and private practice settings.

In 2005, board certified pediatrician Ravi K. Raheja, MD and Charu Raheja, PhD, saw a need for accurate, reliable, cost-effective triage services in both hospital and private practice settings. After extensive research and investment in the development of proprietary triage software technology, they founded TriageLogic.

TriageLogic is not just an IT company that sells healthcare software. TriageLogic is a healthcare company that creates leading-edge telephone medicine technology based on practical experience and a thorough understanding of the field. Whether a busy private practice in need of a phone triage system or a hospital seeking complete after-hours call center solutions, TriageLogic has a product to meet your needs.


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A Thought for Today

“Reason often makes mistakes, but conscience never does.” -Josh Billings