What is a HIPAA Compliant Call Center?
Healthcare call centers serve a variety of functions; they may be used as medical answering services, personnel management, employee training, or scheduling patient appointments.
- Medical Answering Service
A good HIPAA compliant call center trains employees on how to handle calls for different situations such as routine and emergency calls. HIPAA compliant call centers should be capable of taking precise messages, call screening, and online access to listen to messages.
HIPAA compliant call centers can be used to streamline personnel scheduling and management. A web-based scheduler allows healthcare organizations to easily manage staff schedules and changes in schedules.
An essential feature for healthcare organizations is HIPAA compliant messaging. Staff are often on the move, making communication between staff members difficult. Implementing HIPAA compliant email and texts allow staff members to communicate and collaborate easily. Staff members can also receive updates throughout the day when there are changes to appointments.
Scheduling employee training in a healthcare setting can pose a multitude of issues. Staff members often have differing schedules, having the ability to virtually train employees is a great asset that every healthcare organization should utilize. Staff members must be trained on HIPAA, organization’s policies and procedures, and how to use call center features in a HIPAA compliant manner.
- Patient Appointment Scheduling
HIPAA compliant call centers allow patients to schedule appointments through their service. Patients often look to online scheduling for appointments, allowing them to choose an appointment time that best suits their schedule. Online scheduling is a reliable way for patients to schedule, change, and cancel appointments.
- Patient Appointment Reminders
A HIPAA compliant call centers enable appointment reminders for patients. Healthcare organizations generally waste time reminding patients of their appointments. Therefore, a healthcare call center can save healthcare organizations a lot of time and money by automating the process. Many HIPAA compliant call centers allow for automated or live agent appointment reminders.
Patient care can be improved with live web chats. Patients can ask questions in between appointments, and receive quick responses. A HIPAA compliant call center offers secure messaging between patients and healthcare organizations.
Choosing a Medical Call Center
Before choosing a call center to work with, healthcare organizations must ensure that they are HIPAA compliant. A medical call center is considered a business associate (BA) under HIPAA. Covered entities (CEs) are required to vet their vendors by sending them vendor questionnaires. In addition, before any PHI can be shared, there must be a signed business associate agreement (BAA).
HIPAA compliant call centers enable healthcare organizations to easily manage employee and patient scheduling, facilitate secure communication (both internally within the organization and externally with patients), and train employees. Many healthcare call centers offer customized services for healthcare organizations of all sizes. The impact a HIPAA compliant call center can have on business practices is vast, allowing healthcare organizations to focus on their business.