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Infinity 1Call System Optimization, Engineering, and Strategic Planning

Many people in the healthcare call center industry consider the Infinity system from 1Call (a division of Amtelco) as the leading contact center platform, the go-to system for those serious about providing healthcare customer service excellence to patients and their caregivers.

The Infinity system is a powerful platform that supports agents with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, provides patient-centric benefits, and offers revenue-generating features to help healthcare call centers move from a cost center to a profit center.

The system provides sophisticated tools to deliver medical answering service functions to serve individual practices and clinics. However, Infinity is much more than just an answering service system. It’s also ideal for healthcare networks and large hospitals to handle their complex communication needs, interface with other information and communication systems, and provide an effective point of entry for patients and perspective patients.

The system packs a lot of power, so much so that most users fail to tap its full potential, happy for the parts they do use and content to not pursue things any further. Healthcare contact centers that want to get the most out of this powerful system, often bring in outside help to aid them in unlocking its full potential and implementing it for maximum results.

With Operational Power Comes Behind-the-Scenes Complexity

During her long career in the healthcare industry, mostly revolving around call center operations, Christine Carlson dreamed of one day operating a call center that used the 1Call Infinity system. When the hospital network she worked for acquired a large independent hospital, she got her wish. The hospital’s call center had an Infinity system, and it now fell under her oversight as director of call center operations.

As soon as the deal finalized, Christine made a visit to check out her newly-acquired call center. What she saw impressed her. The powerful processes that the call center agents could accomplish with relative ease astounded her. They could do things faster, better, and more accurately than any of the other call centers in the hospital’s network. Immediately, Christine begin strategizing how she could roll out this powerful platform to her other call center operations.

However, as she explored the configuration aspect of the system, she quickly realized that the call center had only begun to tap into its vast potential. But every time she asked the programming staff why they weren’t using some feature that looked promising, they’d shrug and then look away. And every time she asked them how to configure something new, they’d say, “I don’t know. Let me call their service department.”

Strategic Planning

Christine realized this was getting her nowhere. She was sitting on an untapped goldmine but had no tools to extract its value. In desperation, she conducted an online search for “1Call Infinity system optimization.” To her surprise, the first search engine results hit pay dirt. It brought her to the healthcare division of Call Center Sales Pro.

It wasn’t long before she was speaking with their main consultant, who talked through a possible consultancy proposal with Christine. It would start with an on-site visit to assess the current usage of the Infinity system, look at present needs, and strategize future integrations and initiatives. From there they would map out a plan to maximize the use of this call center. Once they completed these items, or had them sufficiently in process, they would make a long-term plan to roll out the technology to the other call centers in the network. Christine liked this approach, and she already knew which of her other operations could best use this promising technology. She made a mental priority list based on the greatest need and highest benefit.

The Site Visit

A few weeks later, Christine returned to the call center, this time to be there during the consultant’s on-site visit. The consultant’s enthusiasm for the system and the potential it provided to make a positive change to the hospital’s internal and external communications, thrilled Christine. The consultant affirmed the staff’s proficiency and praised the hospital’s IT team for the system’s installation and maintenance.

Aligning with what Christine suspected, the consultant confirmed the system was vastly underutilized, running at only about one third of its potential. However, unlike Christine, the consultant knew exactly what to do and how to do it.

The Action Plan

Together they prioritized three items for immediate attention.

The first was to implement the features of the on-call scheduling module, which the hospital had bought, but never used. This would slash error rates in contacting the wrong people, by the wrong method, or at the wrong time. It would also provide an online portal for doctors and their staff to use to enter and update their on-call information at any time, 24/7.

Next, was to develop an interface to the hospital’s switchboard that would allow the call center agents to access the patient census in real time. This would eliminate the need for periodic, manual database transfers and paper records, both of which had proven ineffective. It would also eliminate the alternate approach for agents to switch to and re-login to a separate system every time they wanted to check on a patient’s status, something they avoided doing because it was too cumbersome.

Third, was an HL-7 interface to allow the call center agents to program and manage code calls. This was another time-saving initiative that would streamline patient response and decrease nurse frustration, eliminating the need for them to carry an extra mobile device just for code calls.

Together these three initiatives would help the call center be more efficient and more effective. It would also surely win accolades from many of the hospital staff for helping make their work life a bit easier.

Christine and her consultant also made a list of possible secondary projects to implement over the next year, as well as major initiatives to consider in future years.

Tech Support and Engineering Services

Though the consultant had high praise for the work the hospital’s IT department was doing to support the call center’s system infrastructure, it was work that they were uncomfortable performing. The technical aspects of the call center projects had often confused or frustrated the IT staff. Though they strived to do their best, they often felt like they fell short, and they worried that the call center distracted them from other things they should be doing for the hospital.

Fortunately, the call center consultant had a tech support team that could handle the specific technical needs of the call center. It could also provide engineering services such as interfacing with EMR systems, as well as HL-7. They could also oversee PCI protocols and implement secure messaging.

The hospital’s IT department was relieved to hear this and soon entered into an outsourcing agreement with the consultant’s engineering team. The engineering team would also work on a disaster recovery plan for the call center.

Infinity System Agent Training

When it came time to roll out the system to another call center, the consultant sent two on-site trainers: one to cover programming and the other to work with the agents. Aside from teaching them how to operate the new system, the trainer also instilled some additional customer service and call-handling skills in the call center’s agents.

This agent training aspect went so successfully that they decided to continue it for all new hires and provide ongoing support for existing staff. They could accomplish some of this training remotely, while other aspects would occur on-site.

Next Steps

This was just the beginning. One of Christine’s call centers provided medical answering services to doctors and clinics throughout the state and across the country. They had outgrown their call-handling platform. The Infinity system would serve them, their clients, and their clients’ callers well.

Properly billing the answering service’s clients was another issue to tackle. Though the consultants could set up a billing system for Christine’s staff to use, an alternate option was to outsource the entire process to the consultant’s billing team. This was the cost-effective solution, which allowed her to phase out her answering service billing position and have a net savings.

The consultants could also help with HIPAA compliance training and certification to ensure the call center didn’t run afoul with HIPAA regulations. Though Christine was confident in her staff’s proper handling of protected health information (PHI), she didn’t want to risk the chance of costly fines or a public relations nightmare. She needed to make sure her HIPAA training was done right, done on time, and had proper documentation.

Last, there were several additional modules to the Infinity system that the hospital hadn’t bought. The consultants would recommend which ones to pursue, how to use them, and most importantly how to cost justify them. This would keep Christine and her consultants busy for a long time.

The Results

Throughout all this, the call center consultants worked as a strategic partner with Christine and her team. The results of their efforts allowed patients to better manage their healthcare, increased per patient revenue, and maximized the lifetime value of each patient. Because of this Christine was able to strategically reposition her call centers from being a cost center, where she had to fight for every dollar of her budget, to a profit center, where additional funds were readily available anytime she could demonstrate a favorable ROI.

Contact Call Center Sales Pro today at 800-901-7706 to learn more about their comprehensive 1Call Infinity consulting services. You’ll be glad you did.