Call Metrics and the Healthcare Call Center

1 min read

There are a variety of metrics that are used to gauge agent productivity and the effectiveness of call center operations. These are important from a call center management perspective; however, a healthcare call center is unique. The role of a healthcare call center agent is more nuanced that in other industries, patients’ needs are more complex, and callers’ expectations for service are much higher— most patients expect their phone experience to mirror their care experience onsite. Considering this, the patient experience always takes priority. 

This reality can render many standard call center metrics meaningless. For example, longer handling times would typically be interpreted as poor agent performance but in a healthcare setting may be perfectly appropriate as patient needs are more varied, and things that help extend care culture over the phone, like empathy and active listening, take time. In the case of the healthcare call center, performance metrics must be interpreted less for the numbers and more as the experience they represent.

Call metrics are rarely mutually exclusive, which makes them valuable tools for seeing the big picture of the patient’s phone experience. For example, abandonment rates can be directly tied to a poor speed to answer or long hold times, which simply tells us that patients are waiting for assistance so long that they give up. In a healthcare call center, you can’t interpret poor metrics as performance failures, they are representative of something much more important. Here, abandonment rates are missed opportunities for prevention and treatment, and possible patient loss to competitors. 

Using call metrics for the analysis of healthcare call center performance must be done in the context of patient access. This means going beyond math to dive deeper into what is happening between agents and patients and how that experience impacts operations in their entirety: from scheduling volumes and brand reputation to loyalty and patient outcomes.

Learn more about interpreting performance metrics in a healthcare environment in our white paper:

Behind the Metrics: Exploring The Realities Of Healthcare Call Center Performance Indicators