Outsourced Customer Service Boosts Patient Satisfaction

How outsourced customer service boosts patient satisfaction in optometry practices

Imagine an office of focused staff working diligently and providing friendly patient care. The hectic pace of administrative tasks like managing patient recall, medical billing, and appointment scheduling isn’t part of this scene. It’s not that these tasks have disappeared—they’re simply happening elsewhere, out of sight and out of mind. The reality is that the repetitive admin work so familiar to clinic operations does not have to take place within the office walls.

In many clinics, it’s all too common to see patient care staff members burdened with ‘busy’ work. This, unfortunately, often results in an underinvestment in the tasks that genuinely matter—those that keep the schedule full and revenue flowing. Unnecessary administrative tasks shouldn’t impede your patient care staff from giving their undivided attention to the patients.

Outsourcing enters the picture, freeing your team to concentrate on patient care. Not only does your staff get to work more effectively, but your patients feel that. They feel the shift in focus, which we’ve seen many times, has an unmistakable positive impact on patient satisfaction.

But we’re clinic owners, and we’ve been trained to know when something sounds too good to be true. And, for good reason! Getting outsourcing wrong can be quite painful and costly. If you leverage specialized expertise, you have a much better chance of realizing the benefits that outsourcing brings.

Understanding the Landscape of Outsourcing in the Healthcare Industry

Outsourcing within the healthcare industry is a growing trend. According to a Market Research Future (MRFR) report, the Healthcare Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market will reach $488.2 Billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 10.20%. In other words, this notable growth reflects the significant shift toward outsourcing services among healthcare providers, including eye care clinics.

Optometry and ophthalmology clinics can outsource a wide variety of tasks. These include medical coding, patient recall management, appointment scheduling, and billing services. The rationale behind outsourcing these specific tasks is that they are time-consuming, often routine, and can distract from the vital work of patient care.

The Interplay Between Outsourcing, Patient Satisfaction, and Revenue

You may ask yourself, what is the connection between outsourcing, patient satisfaction, and a clinic’s financial health? At it’s simplest, outsourcing critical yet time-consuming tasks allows a clinic to focus its efforts on its core competency – providing excellent patient care.

Consider the example of a busy optometry clinic needing help managing patient recall effectively. Reminding patients when it’s time for their routine eye check-ups is essential. Still, it requires significant staff time to be done effectively. By outsourcing this administrative task to a specialized provider, the clinic can ensure consistent recall reminders to patients, potentially driving repeat visits and revenue while freeing up internal staff to focus on the patients currently in the clinic. Patient satisfaction improves as they receive timely reminders for their health checks and experience less rushed in-person service when they visit.

Let’s take another example, medical billing. Medical billing is a complex process with a high potential for errors that can result in claim denials from insurance companies. Eye care clinics that have outsourced this responsibility to expert medical billing companies have found a decrease in claim denials due to increased accuracy and hence, an increase in their revenue. Patients also experience an enhanced service as their payment processes become more seamless and less stressful, improving patient experience and satisfaction.

Another good example is appointment scheduling – a simple task that can quickly become a logistical nightmare in a busy clinic. Outsourcing this function to a provider with expertise in scheduling software can ensure a smooth, efficient scheduling process. Patients experience less wait time on the phone when booking an appointment and in the waiting room, leading to a more satisfying healthcare experience. 

The Exciting Advantages of Outsourcing

Having seen the potential impact of outsourcing on patient satisfaction and revenue, you might already be considering how it could benefit your clinic. So, let’s look ahead and examine some of the potential advantages that come with integrating outsourcing into your healthcare practice.

Firstly, consider the potential for cost savings. Employing a full-time, in-house staff to handle administrative tasks, medical coding, and billing can be costly, especially when you factor in employee benefits and training. Outsourcing these tasks to a dedicated provider often results in significant savings, freeing up resources for investing in other areas, such as technology or staff training to enhance patient care.

Next, there’s the question of improved efficiency. Imagine your clinic where your staff is no longer juggling between patient care and administrative tasks but focusing solely on the patients. A service provider specializing in eye care outsourcing handles tasks swiftly and accurately. This new scenario could reduce wait times, streamline the patient experience, and increase patient retention.

Finally, outsourcing also presents an opportunity to upgrade your clinic’s technology without the accompanying high costs. Many healthcare BPOs use the latest software and technology for appointment scheduling, medical billing, and managing patient data, ensuring accuracy and speed. The potential to tap into this technological edge is a compelling advantage of outsourcing.

There are multiple ways to approach outsourcing. You might outsource only one or two specific tasks, like medical billing or appointment scheduling. Alternatively, you may employ a virtual assistant to handle various administrative tasks. You could even choose a comprehensive BPO solution, turning most of your administrative functions over to a professional service provider. Each of these approaches comes with its advantages and drawbacks. We’ll do a write-up comparing the approaches soon.

Embracing the Potential of Outsourcing

Outsourcing can offer many benefits to eye care clinics – and it’s not just about cost savings or improved efficiency. The heart of the matter lies in the potential for enhanced patient satisfaction.

When administrative tasks are handled smoothly and professionally by a dedicated service provider, it makes a difference. Your team has more time and energy to dedicate to patient interactions, leading to increased patient satisfaction. The better patient experience reflects positively on patient surveys. It often translates into patient retention and word-of-mouth referrals, further boosting your clinic’s revenue.

In our digital age, where patients value efficient and personalized experiences, outsourcing customer service can be a strategic move. It allows your clinic to focus on providing excellent patient care while ensuring that essential administrative tasks are handled accurately and efficiently.

Furthermore, using advanced technology by healthcare BPOs allows your clinic to stay current without significant investment in new software or training. It can facilitate better patient data management, ensuring privacy and accuracy, leading to trust and improved patient satisfaction.

Ultimately, the decision to outsource rests with you. Gathering all the necessary information and carefully considering your practice’s unique needs and goals is essential. But, as many clinics have found, outsourcing could be a practical step towards optimizing operations, improving patient satisfaction, and boosting revenue.

Remember, we’re in this together. As owners of our own eye care clinics, our primary goal is always the well-being of our patients. Let us know if you have any questions or if we can do anything to help you boost patient satisfaction by outsourcing customer service.

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