Healthcare BPO: The role of outsourcing in the Health & Medical Industry
What do you mean by Healthcare BPO?
Healthcare business process outsourcing, or simply Healthcare BPO means outsourced business activity or process that provides support (admin or otherwise) to medical institutions, staff, and organizations. Commonly outsourced activities include coding, billing services, transcription, etc.
Research by Salesforce showed that no less than 47% of consumers say that healthcare and life sciences are more focused on industry needs than patient needs.
It’s safe to say that healthcare companies, ranging from insurers to pharmaceutical companies, are not seen as the most customer-centric. With an increasing demand for healthcare services, it’s only essential for businesses to ensure better patient and customer experiences.
An aging population, coupled with the current state of healthcare emergencies warrants a check into the operational capabilities of healthcare brands.
An important change would be to bring about exceptional CX and employ digital-first touchpoints. An important component of that will be to move out of the negative emotions province of worry, and fear that comes with sickness and start to introduce seamless patient-doctor and customer interactions – moving from sick care to proactive healthcare experiences.
Predicting problems and solving them before they bother the patient-customer has become the new norm. Customer experience in healthcare has come a long way.
On the other hand, reading from its low popularity, there is still a lot of room for improvement. And this is where healthcare business process outsourcing comes into play.
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Types of Healthcare BPO Services
The healthcare BPO sector handles a variety of activities covering data entry to medical claims processing services. Some key healthcare provider services that you can outsource to a healthcare business process outsourcing partner are:
Medical Coding And Billing
Hospitals and healthcare professionals process tons of medical records every day. Unlike other industries where coding and billing is a reasonably straightforward activities, medical coding and billing can be complicated.
With medical staff more suited to cater to the needs of patients, these That’s why you need specially trained staff to deal with these records. Without the right knowledge and expertise, you will face significant delays and errors in processing your patient bills and records.
To prevent any coding and billing hiccups, healthcare outsourcing comes into the picture.
As professionals, healthcare business process outsourcing teams are well-equipped with the necessary resources to do the job accurately and efficiently. This lets you focus on tasks that matter to your organization, like medical research, patient treatment, and care.
Processing patient claims is a critical healthcare activity. Patients need to have proper medical claims for their insurance companies. But when there are hundreds of claims to be processed every day, it’s pertinent to maintain accuracy on every single one.
To ensure that patient claims are in check, it’s smart to outsource claims processing to a third-party service provider.
With appropriate resources and manpower to do the job, specialized teams are allocated to process large volumes of medical claims. Also, as this is all that they’ll be focusing on, you won’t have to worry about distractions clouding the accuracy of the claims.
Data Processing Services
In addition to treating their patients, healthcare providers have to process and update large volumes of medical data every day.
Managing and processing data is a tedious job as it is, but healthcare organizations have large volumes of data to take care of, for example:
- Tests and lab reports
- Prescriptions and drug inventory
- Patient insurance details
- Other hospital records
Outsourcing data entry activities will help you free up time and resources for your other core healthcare activities.
While data entry is usually the safest activity to outsource as it’s relatively simple, remember to only outsource it to a proven healthcare BPO. You can use healthcare forms to make it easier to collect data securely.
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Outsourcing for the healthcare industry: The need & importance
For years, outsourcing was not considered to be possible within the healthcare sector, but the right BPO partner can invariably alter day-to-day business operations for the better. Not only that, outsourcing certain back office, and patient experience aspects of the job, also allow for better business growth along with exceptional medical care.
A study from PwC shows that only 49% of consumers say that the healthcare customer experience is satisfactory.
Leveraging outsourcing for the healthcare industry benefits both – the patients and staff – in ways more than one. Here are some benefits to consider:
Focus on patients
When you outsource time-consuming tasks to a third-party service provider, you have more time to focus on offering your patients the quality care they deserve. Reduce your load when it comes to handling redundant tasks and managing administrative duties and your team can enhance the patient experience.
This isn’t the most important reason to outsource, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Save money and lower your operational expenses by outsourcing rather than paying to hire and train in-house staff. The money you save through outsourcing can then be used to enhance your healthcare business.
Grow your offerings
When you outsource certain roles, you get to focus your time and energy on providing quality care and expanding your services. With outsourcing, you will likely have more time and financial resources to implement new specialties or services in your practice.
Avoid costly mistakes
The healthcare sector is sensitive. You have access to patient records, medical information, and all-around sensitive data. Additionally, health insurance portability and accountability rules and regulations can be challenging to navigate. The right BPO partner will ensure your organization meets all guidelines, is up to date on new rules and regulations, and can even help you avoid costly billing issues.
Access to industry experts
When you partner with the right BPO company you are adding value to your existing team and organization. Outsourcing can give you access to professionals who are professionally trained to handle various types of data and can save you time and money on hiring and training support for your on-site staff.
Healthcare Business Process Outsourcing & An increasing need for support in Healthcare
Traditionally, the path to a physician was straight to their door. Now, consumers often self-diagnose, search online for local providers, or check out provider websites and ratings. Although some patients immediately reach for the phone to call the appointment line, many start this journey online through the provider’s appointment engine, through the patient’s online medical portal, or even via a mobile app.
According to a recent Gartner study, healthcare service organizations will need to raise their performance standards for today’s varied points of patient engagement (mobile, text, email, etc.).
But for an industry that hasn’t exactly been on the cutting edge of customer support trends, it is difficult for healthcare providers to bridge this gap.
The key is to take our cues from patient behavior. Many healthcare providers went with an intelligent and empowered strategy, providing significant amounts of information on websites to educate the consumer and push toward self-service options. But this has only been partially successful. For consumers that simply don’t understand how the healthcare systems work this glut of information only makes it more confusing to quickly focus on the right providers and services.
Instead, consumers, even tech-savvy ones, are now bypassing overloaded online resources and turning directly to customer service for quick advice and scheduling. The challenge is healthcare providers that were educating and empowering didn’t take into account how they would manage large volumes of customer service requests that fell outside of the self-service pit.
By evaluating these consumer behaviors, there are three basic customer service features that consumers prefer. By working to implement this approach and complement and spread existing customer service strategies. Healthcare providers can work toward a better balance of self-service and assisted service.
One consistent experience across all customer service channels
Dealing with healthcare concerns is bad enough. But when every customer support channel offers a different experience, it makes consumers question the professionalism and service of the brand, increases frustration, and damages loyalty.
Despite more consumers starting with online channels today, many patients end up moving to a different channel to complete their interaction. Often, the experience of channel hopping leads to more complexity and disappointment.
In fact, according to a research study by Accenture Global Customer Pulse, 72% of customers get frustrated with the inconsistent service they receive across different contact channels within the same company.
The top two frustrations noted are having to repeat information and not being able to get a human on the phone. These inconsistencies are generally caused by a strategy that allows different channels to be owned and managed by different groups within the business. This approach leads to gaps in the communication process that are directly felt by consumers and are costing healthcare providers more than they realize.
By using an omnichannel customer service strategy, healthcare providers can combine multiple channels to decrease repeated information and improve communication consistency.
Proactive notifications and engagement with patients
Another way to ensure that patients feel empowered by the customer support team is to give them information in the way they want it, even before they need it.
Touchpoints are an ideal way for healthcare providers to connect with consumers on their channels of choice – email, SMS, web, text, or voice. Notifications can be used to confirm scheduled appointments, file deadlines, provide status updates on requests or simply to offer up information that a consumer would be interested in, all before a patient requests it.
Before each notification, healthcare providers need to anticipate the response to the notification.
Will patients be left with additional questions? Will they want to reschedule that appointment? Maybe they’ll want to connect with a live agent?
By anticipating this next step in the communication process, healthcare providers can insert helpful content and links into messages to more information, to connect with an agent, to reschedule appointments, etc. This provides patients with easy access to additional resources and positively improves consumer perception of the brand as a whole.
Provide meaningful interactions
Beyond just moving consumers from one channel to another, healthcare providers must understand the entire patient journey, including each touchpoint a patient has with a provider. This can help define the journey that best supports the consumer’s needs, as well as creates a roadmap for the technology needed to support the experience.
Technology such as virtual queuing can create the foundation for a seamless journey.
A data feed is used to gather customer information from each touchpoint. Once gathered, the information is organized into a customer interaction repository, creating a singular access point for all relevant data. Being able to track and view the consumer journey is key in anticipating the next request. This enables healthcare providers to send notifications that the patient will find beneficial, as well as links to additional resources they may be interested in.
For agents, having this information at their fingertips empowers them with contextual information before a live interaction with a patient occurs. With this information, agents can dive directly into the issue and resolving it quickly. It also reduces the number of calls that come into the contact center without reducing the service quality.
Healthcare BPO: Conclusion
Great customer experience gives healthcare providers the chance to deliver a positive, lasting impression. But a disappointing one allows consumers to share that experience and damage a brand’s reputation. By understanding the customer’s journey, anticipating the communication process, and leveraging new technologies, providers can give customers peace of mind and create memorable experiences that drive customer loyalty, customer and agent satisfaction, and a positive view of the brand.
Healthcare BPO can help you save time and money while giving your patients the care they deserve. However, this isn’t something you can do overnight. Carefully identify the activities you want to outsource and evaluate your healthcare Business Process Outsourcing partner before getting started.
If you’re ready to take your healthcare organization to the next level while increasing patient satisfaction and lowering costs, consider outsourcing. Once you do, you’ll have no trouble finding a setup that works for your business!