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Health Care Messages On Hold Improving Patient Satisfaction

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Health Care Providers Improve Patient Satisfaction with Professional Phone Prompts and Messages On Hold

At health care offices, the phone seems to ring more often these days. Patients, like all of us, are never more than a few inches from their phone. They can simply say, “OK Google, call my doctor.” The incoming call presents both a challenge and an opportunity to health care providers.

Last year The Journal of Medical Practice Management studied 35,000 Google reviews of hospitals, health systems and medical groups. Of the negative reviews, patients most complained about COMMUNICATION (53%) and LONG WAIT TIMES (35%).

Most often, the telephone is the method patients use to make appointments and seek answers at health care offices. The issues patients might face when calling a practice include:

  • Confusing and complicated call routing options
  • Long hold times to get help or answers
  • Frustrating automation technology
  • Voices that sound corporate rather than compassionate
  • Cultural and language barriers

Could it be that simple health care messages on hold, bits of information heard by patients while they wait, could have a positive impact on patient satisfaction?

Download Case Study Report On Music and Messages On Hold in Healthcare Today

This case study report reveals that the most common negative patient complaint is on the subject of communication. Most often, the telephone is the method patients use to make appointments and seek answers at health care and medical offices. Easy On Hold offers effective solutions in specific areas.

Health Care Messages On Hold Case Study: Bronson Advanced Cardiac Care

Administrator Kurt Kuppler has witnessed the increasing demand on his staff at Bronson Advanced Cardiac Care, an office of eleven physicians in Southwest Michigan. As call levels increased, so did “on hold time”. Changes in technology, the insurance market and a focus on a unified patient-centered approach to service had prompted Kuppler to review every customer touchpoint. Improving communications (marketing, as Kuppler calls it) needed attention. He implemented the Easy On Hold® phone-on-hold messaging system.

Kuppler says, “As a medical practice administrator, I have discovered there is an opportunity with the Easy On Hold solution to improve and expand on our marketing effort. It’s actually a very key component of our marketing.”

Health Care Messages On Hold Helping Patients and The Practice

Health Care AdministratorPatients calling Bronson Advanced Cardiac Care now hear tips on how to best make an appointment. They’re educated on topics such as what to bring to an office visit, where to park and how to find the correct entrance.

Kuppler describes the use of the Easy On Hold® system as, “very effective in increasing
patient understanding of how to use our office, as well as helping us manage demand
of our resources.”

Phone Prompts/IVR/Greetings Case Study: NYU LANGONE HEALTH CENTER

There is more to the patient caller experience, however, than simply waiting on hold. In our next case study, we examine the caller intake process at the world renowned NYU Medical Center in New York City, also known as “NYU Langone”.

Most patients must call to make an appointment prior to experiencing the quality care at the acclaimed NYU Medical Center in New York City. Administrative staff worked with the NYU tech team and the Easy On Hold® production team to develop approximately 1.000 telephone greetings that help streamline patient care.

In developing the voice prompt strategy, the group looked into how calls were being answered at various offices. Age, language, culture and education level are discussed. Easy On Hold continues to provide quick-turn voiced announcements for NYU Langone in English, Spanish, Korean and Russian.

What is the process for creating health care messages on hold?

For creating effective health care messages on hold and medical center IVR/phone prompts, the Easy On Hold process has been very efficient: Discover, Define, Design.

Discover Opportunities And Issues

  • How are calls answered?
  • What do callers hear during transfers and while on hold?
  • How long are your hold times?
  • How are patient calls handled after hours and during peak hours?
  • Does your marketing team operate on a 12-month calendar?

Define The Caller

  • Patients taking a more active role in their health care
  • Patients concerned about their rights and responsibilities
  • Calls are of a very personal and confidential nature
  • Possibility of anxiety, uneasiness, hesitancy
  • Concerns over safety, insurance, financial matters

Design A Better Caller Experience

  • Voice recordings convey compassionate tone across all platforms
  • Increased awareness of services and access (such as walk-in clinics)
  • Tips for prevention/empowering patients with knowledge
  • New patient guidance/welcoming phrases
  • Increased use of web-based services/reduce call volumes as appropriate

Desired Outcomes

The telephone can be a health care provider’s most cost-effective marketing and communications tool, or it can be a source of patient frustration. By engaging Easy On Hold®, an experienced professional phone voice and marketing service, any size health care provider office can take a leap toward accomplishing strategic patient satisfaction goals.

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Founder of Easy On Hold and Brandi Music. Thinker, writer, speaker, tinkerer, husband, father, musician.

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