Today, the word ‘cloud’ is doing the rounds. Through cloud technology, businesses are enhancing their services by shifting their operations on cloud. As a result, cloud telephony service – branch of cloud technology, is also getting widely used by many industries nowadays. And the healthcare industry has also been a recent player in this change.
In India, healthcare industry is constantly growing to provide reliable and advanced solutions to rising medical problems. But communication still stands as a constant struggle for this industry. Providing medical assistance offline and handling emergencies over call are few of the critical scenarios where communication becomes important for this industry. This has shifted communication from a add-on facility to an important necessity.
Communication Challenges Faced by the Healthcare Industry
- Unable to track and monitor conversations happening over call.
- Waiting for doctors in long-queues due to miscommunication
- Difficult to book appointments by waiting in long queues.
- Increasing number of missed calls from patients and the inability to track these calls.
- Inability to answer all the calls received at the reception
- Inefficiency in communicating the diagnostic reports and laboratory results.
- Unable to timely notify patients of the last minute cancellation or appointment reschedules.
- Poor marketing to spread awareness about upcoming blood donation and vaccination camps.
- Tedious procedures for patients to get their medicines.
- Inability to follow up with patients
Solving the Challenges with Cloud Telephony
· Call Recording & Tracking
Through the call recording feature, hospitals can record calls and handle any fraudulent or hoax patient calls. Also, the hospitals can track all the missed patient calls ensuring no loss of life due to inefficient call handling by receptionists.
· Call Handling & Routing
Healthcare industry, especially hospitals, have multiple departments based on their specialization. When a customer calls on the hospital number, the call is routed to the respective departments based on the customer inputs on the dialing keypad. Also, patients can resolve their specific queries such as pharmacy, laboratory reports and doctor availability through an integrated Interactive Voice Response system.
· IVR Appointment Booking
Patients need not wait in queues anymore. Cloud telephony services have enabled an easy, and simple booking wherein patients can book their appointments over the call. The virtual receptionist books specific time and date for the appointment with the doctor after taking into consideration the doctor’s availability.
· SMS Reminders
Through the bulk SMS, healthcare professionals can send reminders to the patients about an upcoming appointment or just remind them about a regular check-up. The hospital can also send reminders about vaccination programs and blood donation camps to create awareness amongst people. Also, the hospitals can send emergency text alerts to large number of patients at once in case of urgency such as search for a blood donor.
Hospital diagnostic laboratories can remind the patients about the status of the reports. Some common report results, such as blood sugar and blood pressure can be sent via SMS to the patients to update them on their health status. Fitness centres can send notifications about the membership plans, subscription status, and available offers in order to encourage more customers.
· Regular Follow-up Texts
Hospitals can track the out-patient details and send them text messages to constantly check their health improvement. Also, medicine dosage and follow-up appointment reminders can be sent to patients to regularly follow-up with them. These regular follow-ups by hospitals provide a positive experience to the patients to ensure the improvement in their health.
· Healthcare Surveys
In place of visiting patients to survey the hospital services, they can conduct telephonic surveys to collect feedbacks. To organize surveys, hospitals can send IVR calls on patient’s phone number and prompt the responses through numeric inputs. And in case of complaints, the calls can be redirected to hospital administration for detailed analysis.
The availability of the cloud telephony solutions isn’t simply constrained to hospitals. Truth be told, little and medium size clinics, labs and individual specialists can also utilize the services to enhance their healthcare communication.