There is a lot of talk about cloud computing today. Business operations are moving to the cloud to enhance their services through cloud technology. Consequently, cloud telephony services – a branch of cloud technology – are becoming increasingly popular in many industries today. This change is also influencing the healthcare industry.
Innovation and enhanced security have been enabled by cloud computing in the healthcare sector. A BCC research report estimates that global expenditures on cloud computing will amount to approximately $35 billion by 2022.
Cloud computing offers a variety of benefits to healthcare organizations. As an example, hospitals and clinics can reduce operations costs with cloud computing. The platform also supports data-driven technologies used in healthcare, such as patient portals, electronic medical records, mobile apps, and IoT devices.
Nowadays, as the number of people seeking health care grows on a daily basis, traditional hospital calling systems are not cutting it for clinics and nursing homes because communication is still a real struggle for these institutions.
In this industry, communication is important for many critical scenarios, including providing medical assistance offline and handling emergency calls. A cloud communications solution in healthcare can help with these tasks.
First of all, let’s look at some of the existing communication problems in the health care sectors:
Communication challenges in the health care sector:
1. Tracking customer conversation
The healthcare industry is populated with a lot of patients who call in with questions, but most call centers have no way of tracking their conversations with executives.
2. Monitoring customer experience
Healthcare setups are unable to track customer experience because conversion tracking is not available. As a result of many forged records, the hospital has a bad reputation.
3. Tracking performance metrics
There isn’t a standard way to track agents’ performance in most medical call centers.
4. Managing outbound campaigns
Many health care centers run blood donation programs or schedule regular checkups, but dealing with a large database of patients can be difficult.
1. Scheduling appointments
The availability of multiple apps does not change the fact that most patients have difficulty finding an appointment time that works for them.
2. Keep track of appointments
Patients are often not informed of canceled or postponed appointments or are notified too late. This causes distress and ill will towards doctors, regardless of the situation.
3. Notifying recipients
In many health care centers, patients are manually called for their next scheduled appointment or to remind to have a regular checkup. There is a possibility that these alerts don’t reach the patient in the time since it is a manual process.
For service providers
1. Managing distributed centers
As the network of centers spans multiple cities, managing customer communication becomes more challenging. Monitoring the performance of each center is equally challenging.
2. Implementing CRM
A CRM integration is not available in most diagnostic centers and pharmacies, or they have one with limited functionality. When this happens, patient data and communication history are lost.
How is Cloud Telephony Helping Bridge the Gap Between Patients & Healthcare Professionals?
1. Easy patient support
A healthcare communication solution is of prime importance. Healthcare institutions should be easily available for communication, and patients should be able to connect with them without any hassles.
By integrating cloud communication into healthcare, you can maintain a single customer support number and automate IVR guidance for your clients. Using the smart routing system, calls are then routed to the appropriate agent based on the query. In addition, calls can be transferred to the requested doctor or healthcare department from within the system.
2. Rescheduling Appointments
Scheduling appointments with doctors automatically is vital for patients. Appointments are also valued by doctors. Patients usually schedule an appointment with their doctors on a day that is convenient for them.
Nevertheless, doctors often have to reschedule their meetings, and in such a case, patients expect to be notified in advance. It may result in the erosion of trust between patients and doctors if this doesn’t happen.
Automated processes are achieved through cloud telephony; as a result, patients are notified promptly when their appointments are rescheduled.
3. Call Handling & Routing
In the healthcare industry, especially hospitals, there are a number of departments and specialties. If a customer dials the hospital number, the call is routed to the appropriately designated department based on the information entered on the dialing keypad.
Additionally, patients can resolve their specific medical queries such as ordering prescriptions, receiving lab reports, and checking the availability of doctors via an integrated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
1. IVR Appointment Booking
There is no need for patients to wait in lines. With sophisticated features in cloud telephony like IVR and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), patients can schedule appointments over the phone in an easy and quick manner.
A virtual receptionist schedules an appointment with the doctor according to the doctor’s availability after considering the time and date available.
2. Automated feedback systems
The relationship between a healthcare center and its patients is extremely important. If patients feel a sense of belonging, they will be less likely to explore other doctors or healthcare deals. This is where you can get first-hand patient feedback.
Cloud communication makes it easy for patients to give feedback after every appointment with their physicians. Your dashboard can be configured to collect feedback from your patients via auto-dialed calls and SMS, and you can categorize the data.
3. Providing Easy Access to Test Results
A patient like to know about the results of their lab tests as soon as possible. The hospitals and clinics that utilize cloud telephony are making sure that they do so. Cloud-based telephony enables medical facilities to make lab results available to patients via the phone.
Also, the cloud telephony system automatically uploads medical reports and test results to the cloud. So, patients don’t have to visit the facility to obtain their reports. As soon as they are uploaded, they can only be viewed by a patient or a guardian of a patient.
4. Automated service reminders
There are many patients who need to be reminded of their next appointment, particularly new parents and the elderly. Using automated calls and SMS reminders can save time and avoid the hassle of doing so manually. This avoids the need to manually contact each one. Cloud telephony makes it simple to implement call center software for healthcare.
Your healthcare center will not only reduce no-showups but will also establish itself as an institution that cares for patients.
5. Healthcare Surveys
Telephonic surveys can be used to collect feedback instead of visiting patients to ask them about hospital services. Hospitals can use IVR calls to organize surveys by calling patients’ phone numbers and prompting their responses with numeric inputs. In the event of complaints, hospital administration can be contacted for a detailed analysis.
Large hospitals and healthcare facilities aren’t the only ones that can utilize cloud telephony solutions. As a matter of fact, small and medium-sized clinics, labs, and specialists can also benefit from these services for improved communication in healthcare.
6. Automated outbound reminder campaigns
There is a high probability that a patient will forget to submit his samples, collect his reports, or even keep the appointment he booked a week earlier. By sending a quick reminder, you can minimize the patient’s risk of failing to show up or show up late.
With cloud-based communication for hospitals and clinics, a patient’s appointment can be alerted 30 minutes before the appointment time by an automated call. As a result, they have enough time to prepare for the same or let you know if they need to cancel.
In the same way, a quick reminder can be sent to the patient regarding sample submission and report collection.
The cloud-based platforms have boosted the use of Telemedicine and Telehealth applications among both patients and physicians because they have numerous advantages and fewer shortcomings. Several experts predict a seven-fold growth in telemedicine and telehealth over the next ten years. Therefore, it is now imperative to switch from the current hospital telephone system to a virtual cloud phone system in order to improve efficiency.
The stress that comes with saving lives and curing patients makes it worthwhile to let cloud telephony relieve some of that while you concentrate on providing exceptional care and services. Cloud telephony simplifies and streamlines communication in the healthcare sector by offering a sustainable solution.