Web-Enabled Applications for the Hospital Call Center During COVID-19
According to a 2018 benchmark report by Becker’s Hospital Review, U.S. hospitals with 500 or more beds have an average of 6,645 employees. When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, employees who could do their job remotely were sent home to work – including hospital call center operators.
Web-based tools help call center agents perform the same services from home, as they did at their work location. Operators can view expansive personnel directories see detailed, accurate information about staff members, contact information, preferred contact methods, on-call schedules, referral information, telephone scripts, and virtually any data needed, quickly and all in one place.
Any home computer can become a fully functional, professional operator work station using web-based applications. Managers and system administrators can determine the scope and depth of information that is required to efficiently handle calls, so that patient experience doesn’t change just because an agent is working from their home desktop or laptop. Management can also access real-time reports and historical call management data.
Using the Cloud to Save Money and Improve Communications
The cost of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety supplies, equipment, COVID-19 tests, and more; coupled with the cancellation of income-generating procedures, have resulted in an increased financial burden for hospitals. However, using the Cloud has proven to be a cost-saving factor for strained hospital budgets.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as, “...a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
Cloud technologies are all about separating the physical IT resources from the actual underlying infrastructure. This is virtualization technology at its finest. Instead of using multiple racks of storage hardware to store data, cloud services such as Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneDrive can be used.
Hospital call centers can save money this way by reducing the costs associated with maintaining their servers. Cloud deployment moves the call center platform to a cloud provider such as Amazon or Microsoft, which shifts the responsibility for server management to the cloud provider.
Using web-enabled applications to make data accessible through the Internet or a healthcare organization’s internal network has become crucial during the pandemic. These applications make excellent use of a hospital’s limited funds and enables hospital call center employees to safely work from home and provide excellent service to callers.