What is a Patient Engagement Center?
A patient engagement center is an optimized call center that integrates with demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral, historical marketing campaign data, and clinical data to provide a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the caller. A patient engagement center taps into opportunities to deliver personalized communication and promote proactive population health.
Benefits of a Patient Engagement Center
Common Patient Engagement Center Questions
- What are the Functions of a Call Center in Healthcare?
A healthcare call center is a centralized department or facility responsible for fielding inquiries, often across multiple channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media. Also referred to as contact centers, healthcare call centers typically handle inquiries from patients, prospective patients, and physicians. Common functions include appointment scheduling, referrals (either direct to the patient or to physicians on behalf of the patient), enrollment in seminars and events, prescription refill requests, post-discharge follow-up, and reminded care. Healthcare call centers may also handle marketing campaign responses and perform outbound calls to consumers who, for example, engaged with an email marketing campaign. Some health systems designate a separate call center for marketing functions.
- How Does a Call Center Differ from an Engagement Center?
The goal of traditional healthcare call centers is to keep response times low and calls per hour high, which often means fast, impersonal interactions. Due to the decentralized nature of the technology on which a traditional call center runs, agents may not have the information to consider the holistic patient profile during a single call (for example, reminding them of an upcoming appointment with a different physician than the one whom their call was initially about). While traditional call centers fulfill the purpose of answering caller questions and setting up appointments, they often fail to positively impact callers’ perception of the health system and its providers, or to broaden callers’ awareness of other relevant, beneficial services.
In contrast, patient engagement centers move to a more consumer-centric model that’s similar to the experiences consumers have in other industries such as retailers, hospitality, and airlines. Engagement centers aim to capitalize on engagement opportunities to better serve the caller in order to promote health system growth and patient retention. As healthcare shifts towards value-based care and shared risk models, call centers serve an important role in proactive outreach and reminded care.
An engagement center is enabled with data from centralized platform, such as an HCRM, that informs agents of a caller’s prior interactions with the health system, important reminders across all departments, and keeps record of past conversation details. Equipped with this data, call center agents streamline their calls by fulfilling multiple tasks in a single conversation – for instance, scheduling an annual appointment, checking up on the post-surgical recovery process, and registering a family member for an upcoming wellness event. Thus, patient engagement centers provide callers with personalized service that complements other touchpoints, including digital marketing efforts.
- What Technology is Required to Create a Patient Engagement Center?
A patient engagement center relies on access to a centralized set of patient data, including demographics, psychographics, social, behavioral, clinical, financial details. In order to fulfill this need, your call center technology must be integrated with each individual system that houses this data – or a single platform that can integrate all relevant data into one system, such as the Evariant Patients for Life Platform™.
A patient engagement center utilizes data from the healthcare CRM (HCRM) alongside real-time integration with clinical data from the EMR, which is incredibly important in maintaining call quality and a high level of personalization. This data informs contact center workflows, guiding agents’ conversations with callers and allowing them to better understand each patient’s needs and thoroughly fulfill requests in a single call. Engagement centers also serve as a data source for the HCRM: Patient information gleaned through engagement center interactions are added to the database, helping to inform future marketing communications. The engagement center and the HCRM must work in tandem to drive improved health outcomes for patients.
- What is the Potential ROI of a Patient Engagement Center?
Patient engagement centers show tremendous return on investment (ROI) in a relatively short period of time. To demonstrate this, let’s look at an example from an Evariant client:
A large health system implemented the Evariant Engagement Center solution to strategically increase referrals in high-priority service lines. According to conservative estimates, the projected bottom-line revenue for this health system’s physician referrals upon implementation – generated by one cardiology campaign alone – would amount to approximately $10 million. In this case study, the “patient revenue per agent and by all agents” is based on 25 agents staffed within the engagement center.
Over the course of this one campaign, the health system estimated that the patient engagement center would generate:
- 2,363 cardiology referrals per year (actual)
- 77% cardiology referral follow-through rate (benchmark)
- $5,500 cardiology service line revenue per case (average)
- $400,208 in revenue generated per agent (calculated)
- $10,005,188 in revenue generated by all call center agents (calculated)
In addition, this health system expected to increase call center agent productivity. The enormous growth this health system found using a patient engagement center demonstrates the economic value of the patient engagement center as opposed to a traditional healthcare call center.