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Providing a WFH Option for Healthcare Call Center Staff: 5 Steps for Success

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Faced with the dual challenge of staff shortages caused by the Great Resignation and increased demands from patients for greater access to personalized, convenient service, today’s healthcare practices are ramping their investments in a wide range of new customer-facing digital technologies.

As healthcare organizations of all types take a new look at their legacy systems, one area of focus is now on new and secure ways to communicate more effectively with patients. Cloud-based communication systems are delivering a host of new benefits—including easy integration with electronic health records (EHR) and other healthcare information systems, secure communications with patients from any location, and data sharing across multidisciplinary care.

Because healthcare call center staff can now remotely access the patient data they need to quickly serve patients from a single program or app, these new communication systems are enabling a benefit that is important to all staff: The work from home (WFH) option.

Why WFH Is Important

The issue of healthcare staff burnout has become all too real. In fact, since 2020, the healthcare sector has lost nearly half a million workers, according to the U.S. Burau of Labor Statistics.[1]  If a practice can provide a WFH option for healthcare staff who do not need to directly support patients, it can help relieve the issue of staff burnout and improve retention by enabling a better work-life balance. Enabling staff to work remotely also expands your resources, by making it possible to recruit talent at any distance from the office.

Read more: Has your patient communication solution become a Frankenstein monster?

How to Make WFH Work for Your Healthcare Organization

Making a WFH option work for your practice requires the right technology and a well-considered plan that includes the following steps.

  1. Develop a WFH policy that outlines your expectations. Clarify for your staff the ways that working from home may be different from the way they work onsite. Your policy should include specifications about technologies that can be used that will not put patient data at risk and outline procedures for the handling of protected health information (PHI). You might also want to include recommendations for the frequency and content of communications among team members and their managers.
  2. Ensure HIPAA compliance. The security of patient data that your staff accesses in remote environments should be protected in the same way it is in the physical office. And communication among healthcare staff should be conducted across HIPAA-secured communication channels. You may want to have your remote staff sign an agreement that they will adhere to the rules you set.
  3. Enlist the support of your IT team. Your IT support team should educate your staff about data protection best practices to ensure that they comply with HIPAA guidelines and preserve the integrity of patient and company data.
  4. Ensure authentication through virtual private networks (VPNs). Staff members who will have direct access to your HER system will need to authenticate through VPNs and use two-factor authentication as an additional security measure. In addition, any personal devices used by remote staff to access PHI should always be updated with the latest security software.
  5. Use secure technology. Using cloud-based communications systems certified by third parties for security compliance is the best way to keep your remote staff working seamlessly. Look for a HITRUST CSF-certified solution that provides access to voice and video meeting, EHR management, and team messaging capabilities on a single platform.

Read more: How tech improves job satisfaction of healthcare call center staff.

Cloud-based Patient Communications Are the Future

WHF options for healthcare call staff are here to stay. Are you ready to reap the benefits? Today’s cloud-based patient communication platforms can reimagine your phone system and transform it into a powerful, secure patient contact center.

PatientSync is a patient engagement platform designed with a full menu of features and workflows to improve the cycle of interaction between your healthcare staff and your patients. Let us help you launch your WFH program with confidence.

[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/11/the-mass-exodus-of-americas-health-care-workers/620713/

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