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Role of Advanced Contact Centers in Providing Patient Support Services During COVID-19

by | Dec 15, 2020 | Business Process Management

Image courtesy: Microsoft’s search engine bing summary on Covi-19 pandemic as on Dec 11, 2020

The extent of Covid-19 pandemic requires collaboration between governments, technology and people-oriented solutions.

While vaccines are around the corner we are far from eradicating the virus. Countries like Canada that took strict and timely measures are experiencing a controlled spread while others like US, India, UK, Mexico, Brazil are facing massive rise in cases.

Monitoring the spread of Covid-19 and containing requires smart infrastructure, contact tracing technology, and manpower safely deployed to perform tasks like patient follow-ups, case prioritization, support operations etc.

Collaboration is key to control the spread and vaccinate the world’s population.

This is where an advanced contact center solution can help governments respond effectively to this pandemic. We provide people-oriented solutions that can collaborate with contact tracing technology solutions, and work with government agencies to roll-out patient support services.

Contact Centers for Covid-19 Services

Patient management in the COVID-19 era is undoubtedly challenging, even for the most experienced administrators. The good news is that a single solution — an advanced contact center approach — can mitigate several key challenges:

  • Operational issues
  • Technology
  • Staffing and training
  • Workforce management

Operational Solutions

By outsourcing some patient management tasks to a multi-national contact center set up for operational redundancies, operations can continue uninterrupted, even if the country faces more lockdowns.

Typically trained for customer care support, contact center professionals are equipped with patience and empathy that can greatly assist in this emergency. A few of the many areas of operational support are –

  • Appointment scheduling.
  • Case prioritization based on set parameters of symptoms and medical history.
  • Outbound patient tracking with to support contact tracing solutions with follow-up calls, SMS, emails etc.
  • 24/7 Inbound patient support helplines to effectively respond to anxious people with administrative or general queries.
  • Vaccination outreach and scheduling
  • Citizen unemployment support services
  • Back-office support for documentation, process automation etc.

Technology Solutions

Advanced contact centers that can meet the challenges of the pandemic era stand head and shoulders above the rest. Solutions like networked, secure remote workers, workforce management applications and workforce monitoring applications that can provide high-quality support.

Secure Remote Worker

When selecting an advanced contact center, it is vital to carefully review the company’s work-from-home capabilities. Ideally, governmental and healthcare systems should seek a solution that allows for remote access to on-call employees who can respond to surging conditions as needed. This approach protects support staff from exposure while maintaining vital links between the community and healthcare resources. Remote working solutions at Contactpoint360 are HIPPA and PCI compliant. Experienced remote workers can often fill in gaps with little training, freeing up government and healthcare staff to focus on other priorities.

Omnichannel Approach

Effective COVID-19 patient management requires a comprehensive omnichannel approach that spans all communication channels. When the public needs information, it should be able to access it no matter how people choose to interact with the agency. Members of the public may seek information through:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Social networks
  • In-person interactions
  • Website contact forms
  • Online chat

Advanced contact centers integrate responses on these channels to ensure a consistent flow of information.

Quality Assurance and Agent Monitoring

Technology solutions should also include features like quality assurance (QA) and monitoring software. Advanced contact centers that stand out utilize QA tech that allows for recording and analyzing all patient calls so that management can ensure compliance with strict healthcare regulations. This tech can also help management teams:

  • Monitor agent interactions with patients
  • Optimize processes by identifying challenges
  • Test solutions
  • Implement efficiency-increasing processes

Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation technology empowers organizations to identify opportunities to automate parts of their processes. For example, front-end processes can benefit from bots that gather preliminary information. Back-end processes, like reporting, are enhanced through automated information extraction.

Smart automation frees up staff’s time, which can be put to better use in triage situations where human judgment is required to identify and solve unique patient challenges.

Advanced contact centers can also use automation to segment patient records into multiple process streams. For example, patient records can be segmented into groups focused on:

  • Patients that need follow-up contact
  • Information dissemination to targeted segments
  • Customized triage scripts

Staffing and Training Solutions

When it comes to COVID-19 response, not just any call center will suffice. Callers will be experiencing a range of emotions, including anxiety, stress, doubt, and fear.

It is vital to have access to a well-trained, mature workforce with the emotional intelligence to handle sensitive topics. Agents must tactfully handle calls, provide reassurance, judge situations, and triage callers accordingly.

To deal with patients and manage tasks like appointment setting and contact tracing, agents must possess well-honed empathy.

Multilingual speakers who can cater to diverse populations throughout Ontario, including immigrants from across the world, are another valuable asset an advanced contact center can provide.

Workforce Management Solutions

Government agencies are currently hiring in-house employees to make calls, manage appointments, and conduct contact tracing. However, these solutions are not cost-effective and come with technological and resource-management challenges.

To best manage large-scale workforce challenges, organizations should seek partnerships with technologically advanced contact centers. Robust processes and technologies are required to manage hybrid workforces with on-site and remote agents.

The ContactPoint 360 Advanced Contact Center Approach

ContactPoint 360 offers the experience and know-how to manage COVID-19 patient management response. We’ve been running advanced contact centers for more than a decade, partnering with organizations that benefit from our team of in-house healthcare experts.

We also offer a uniquely focused set of features centered on helping provincial governments across Canada. We are well-equipped to empower government agencies to run testing programs, follow-up initiatives, and wide-scale contact tracing processes.

Together, we can work to fight the pandemic and lessen adverse outcomes for governments and residents alike.

Reach out to our in-house healthcare leads to craft an effective solution.

Jessica Johnson
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