When there’s a customer support issue – with our cell phones, cars, banking or online shopping – the answers are not always on a website or app. Sometimes we want or need to call. The experience can quickly get exasperating if we’re transferred multiple times, repeating account information, security questions or other information. Based on previous experiences, there are companies I don’t mind calling for an issue, and those I never want to speak to again.

Healthcare providers want to create an environment where patients have a great experience. It doesn’t matter if they are a new patient calling to get information on the practice, or an established patient calling to schedule an appointment, ask a question about a health-related issue or follow up on results.  Whatever the reason for the call, providers want their patients to avoid the pitfalls of frustrating phone calls.

No matter what company or organization I call, I expect (and appreciate) these experiences:

Single contact resolution: Phone agents have access to a knowledge base with easy instructions that enables them to address more issues. Or, they’ll collect the right information and convey it to a technician that can solve the problem. This saves the customer from repeating the entire story, and saves the technician’s time.

Continuity: All interactions are recorded and accessible. So the phone agent can understand what the customer has already told the store agent, saving time for everyone.

Healthcare practices can improve the call experience

Many healthcare issues need to be handled by a trained expert, either a nurse or a doctor. Practices can achieve single contact resolution and continuity, helping ensure patients have a great experience, whether they are calling on the phone or are there in person.

Cindy Feeley, director of patient relations and process improvement at Chesapeake Urology (Owings Mills, Maryland, U.S.A.), has experience implementing next-generation telephone triage. As a former executive over call centers for banks like Chevy Chase and Citibank, Cindy brings customer service expertise from finance to healthcare telephone triage.

Cindy empowers her phone staff for speed and accuracy using , a telephone triage and expert system. It’s the only software of its kind integrated into Allscripts Professional™ EHR and Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR platforms.

Health Desk is an Allscripts-certified solution that:

  • Guides front-desk staff through triage intake when patients first call
  • Helps route calls appropriately with full documentation, so patients don’t repeat themselves
  • Enables custom protocols and custom routing
  • Supports consistent workflow and patient service
  • Streamlines after-hours handling and documentation, removing the daily faxes
  • Includes clinical decision support
  • Reduces liability by automating triage documentation and sending data to the EHR

You can provide better telephone triage for your patients. Register for a webinar on June 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern time to hear Cindy’s story. Learn more about this innovative solution on the Allscripts Application Store.

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About the author

Tina is the Director of the Allscripts Developer Program at Allscripts. Tina is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Allscripts Developer Program, ensuring information, documentation and support is available for developers through online tools like the Allscripts’ Developer Portal (http://developer.allscripts.com), and marketing the applications and integration built by developers directly to our client base through the Allscripts Application Store (https://store.allscripts.com). Prior to her role in developer relations, she served as Associate General Counsel for Allscripts, with responsibilities for third-party contracting and partner management, client contracts, privacy and security issues and labor and employment matters.

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