Engagement Model 101

2 min read

Choosing the right engagement model for a healthcare contact center partnership can be difficult. You must make careful considerations in regard to the complexity of calls you need the vendor to handle as well as the volumes and potential future volumes, to minimize disruptions in your practice flow. Outsourced call center services (of any kind) typically fall into three types of engagement models: Targeted, Shared, or Full. In this post, we are going to provide a basic overview of each one and identify some of the pros and cons.


A targeted engagement model is best for organizations that are not ready to outsource 100% of their calls or are looking for augmented support for an established internal call center. A targeted model diverts only specific call types to the service provider and is typically used to outsource more basic patient needs such as routine inquiries or refill requests while complex calls are left to your internal call center. One of the benefits of this model is that it’s easy to scale. This means you can incrementally route more call types to your service provider, working into other engagement model types down the road.


  • A tailored approach to outsourcing
  • Easy to scale
  • More control for easier buy-in


  • inconsistent quality (internal vs outsourced)
  • Siloed support doesn’t solve overall volume issues
  • Longer implementation times



Shared engagement models are often referred to as an “overflow” model for out-of-the-box call center services, but configuration can vary greatly depending on the provider. In this arrangement, calls that fail to be picked up by your internal call center are routed to the service provider after a predetermined amount of time (typically 30 seconds). Alternatively, some versions of the shared model split the call volume by a predetermined percentage, for example, a 50/50 split would route every other call to the service provider. These kinds of service models are especially helpful in managing unpredictable or fluctuating call volumes.


  • Quick fix for spiky call volumes
  • Simple implementation
  • A good option for a temporary solution


  • Inconsistent quality (internal vs outsourced)
  • Long call wait times by nature
  • Di­fficult to scale



A Full engagement model puts all of the burdens of call center management, from staffing to technology, on the vendor. In this model, 100% of their call center operations are handled by the service provider. This solution is rarely a health system’s first choice as many are apprehensive to trust a vendor with this level of control, however, it is often the simplest solution— and the only solution that ensures consistent quality service levels.


  • Consistent quality
  • Easily scalable
  • Vendor technologies improve the access experience


  • Perception of a loss of control
  • Requires vendor trust
  • More robust planning and longer implementation times


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