Many healthcare call centers routinely use outdated technology. Binders with paper call schedules, non PC-based PBX consoles, fax machines, data access terminals, and sticky notes are used by operators to access the information they need to handle calls. These makeshift solutions lead to inefficiency and mistakes.
Interoperability Works Both Ways: Hospital call center systems store information as administrators and operators input data or create schedules. This information may be valuable to other departments or used to augment an external document.
As an example, when an operator takes a message from a patient for a clinician, that message can be automatically sent to the EHR system and be posted to that patient’s individual electronic health record. By using interoperability, information from numerous databases can be combined in one area to form a master record for a particular patient.
Not All Systems Allow Interoperability: Legacy systems and technologies were not designed with data exchange in mind. There are several ways to connect IT systems to the healthcare organization’s larger digital ecosystem, but these can be costly and potentially unreliable.
Health Level Seven (HL7) is a set of standards used to transfer clinical and administrative data between software applications. Many present-day IT developers design products with HL7 in mind, helping organizations move toward interoperability throughout the enterprise. The healthcare call center can use HL7 to populate patient, clinician, and employee directories for operators. Also HL7 can be used as a way to post information from the call center system to a patient’s EHR.
Reducing Costs: Interoperability will make your call center operators more efficient, eliminate mistakes, and reduce costs by automating processes that are currently handled manually. As healthcare providers look to reduce expenses, interoperability in the call center is a natural solution.
Matt Everly is the marketing director for Amtelco’s 1Call healthcare division. Matt has worked at Amtelco for over twenty years and has held numerous positions, including southeast regional sales manager, executive suite market development, and marketing manager.