• BUILD OR BUY:CONSIDERATIONS FOR CALL CENTER OUTSOURCING •
INSIDE… KEEPING QUALITY PEOPLE • DEVELOPING AN E-SECURITY POLICY
August/September 2006 Volume 4 Issue 4
48955 Hickory Lane • Mattawan, MI 49071
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Email: Answers@AnswerStat.com saying about RED ALERT:
Publisher/Editor ........................................................Peter DeHaan
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our Director of Emergency Services told me
Email ...............................................................firstname.lastname@example.org this was ‘the most organized and eﬀective
Fax......................................................................................866-668-6693 notiﬁcation’ she had ever been part of.
Display/Marketplace Advertising.............................Valerie Port RED ALERT performed ﬂawlessly through
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Fax......................................................................................866-668-6698 provide our First Responders with all the
Designer/Production ...............................................Dave Margolis information they needed to eﬀectively
Phone.................................................................................866-668-6696 implement our emergency plans.”
Email ................................................................firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Burns • Manager, Telecommuncations
Anne Arundel Medical Center
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Dec/Jan 2007 Oct 27 Nov 3 2007 Buyer's Guide
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AnswerStat magazine is distributed bimonthly to hospital, healthcare,
and medical related call centers. The distribution list is continuously
New Vendor Literature 3
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Medical Call Center
Listing Directory ...................................14 Departments
Are you looking for a medical call center
4 Vital Signs
to handle calls for you? Start your search here.
The Pursuit of Perfection ........................................................7
These call centers provide services to hospitals,
clinics, large companies, and other medical News ..........................................................................................9
and healthcare related organizations.
They can provide medical answering service, Marketplace............................................................................28
telephone nurse triage, appointment setting
service, appointment reminder service,
physician referral service, and more. Industry Calendar...................................................................30
12 21 23 25 Aug/Sept v4.4
Build Versus Buy: Creating a Frontline That
Considerations for Improves the Bottom Line ................................ 23
Call Center Outsourcing ...................................12 By John Skabelund
By Paul Spiegelman It seems that everywhere, even call centers,
A professional call center should be an on-the-job apathy runs rampant. More and
integral part of a hospital’s outreach and more people clock in for work and clock out
marketing mix. The phone is often the mentally. What can you do about it? Begin
first contact point for a new or potential by helping your frontline to start caring
patient, so careful attention should be about your bottom line.
given to how this interaction is handled
and the impression it makes on the caller. Developing an E-Security Policy .................... 25
Here are some considerations in the By Patricia S. Eyres, Attorney at Law
build it or buy it conundrum. The threats are diverse and varied: spam,
viruses, securing networks, stolen identities,
How to Keep Quality People data theft, loss of confidential records,
in Your Call Center ............................................ 21 inappropriate or malicious email, protecting
By Marsha Lindquist laptops, remote access, and off-site staff.
Losing talented telephone staff is a critical That’s why security is everybody’s issue.
issue for a call center. The first concern is A comprehensive e-security plan is needed
finding and training replacements. A secondary to appropriately address these many issues.
issue is the knowledge that departing staff
takes with them. Fortunately, you can avoid
these issues; learn how to retain quality staff.
On the Web
More Articles Courtesy of MyArticleArchive.com.
Go to www.myarticlearchive.com/as to read:
• Questions to Ask Your Hospital Before Disaster Strike By Maurice A. Ramirez
• Learn to Love Your Job: 71/2 Secrets for Living a Life you Love By Allyson Lewis
• It’s Not All About Me! Seven Key Strategies for Thriving in the Corporate World By Allyson Lewis
• Learning to Lead: Five Steps to Pain-free, Productive Meetings By Suzanne Bates
Read our on-line whitepapers at www.AnswerStat.com/papers.
• Tapping the Web’s Self-Service Potential, by D. Blake Cahill, SafeHarbor
• Doing More with Less: Next-Generation Strategies and Best Practices for
Customer Service, presented by eGain.
[To have your whitepapers posted on the AnswerStat website, send them to
call this the
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the real work starts when we do.
SDC Solutions, Inc.
835 Hanover Street Suite 305
Manchester, NH 03104
Vital Signs Vital Signs
Peter DeHaan, Ph.D., Publisher
The Pursuit of Perfection
Based on the title of this article, StarTrek fans may For a perfectionist, there are many traits which
be anticipating an enlightened discourse on Seven of provide great value in the workplace and especially a
Nine’s unremitting pursuit of Borg-style perfection. call center:
Alas, this is not the case. (If you are disappointed, I
recommend watching, “The Omega Directive” – P r o d u c e q u a l i t y w or k: perfectionists tend to produce
StarTrek Voyager, season 4, episode 19 – and then high quality work. They take pleasure in
consider the high cost of the unrestrained pursuit of excellence and find satisfaction in a job well-done.
Instead, I am speaking of perfectionism in the E x c e e d e x p e c t a t i o n s: if the boss expects a handwritten
workplace, among your coworkers, and emanating report, the perfectionist will type it; if achieving a
from your staff. Do you want a call center of 99% rating is admirable, the purist will aim for
perfectionist agents? Some managers say “yes,” 99.9 – and then 100! Being above average is not
whereas others respond with a resounding “no.” The good enough; being the best is a self-imposed 7
informed answer is, “it all depends.” Here’s why: requirement.
Of that portion of the populace who are
perfectionists, some are blindly or proudly so. Others G o t h e e x t r a m i l e: perfectionists often go the extra
are self-aware of possessing this characteristic and mile. If a report needs to be five pages long, they
informed about it; I call them recovering perfectionists. will turn in six. If a product needs to have three
A self-aware or recovering perfectionist understands new features, they will add a fourth and maybe a
this condition, knowing how to tap into and celebrate fifth. If they set a record last month, they will
the many strengths and benefits of pursuing excellence. strive to better it this month. In sports, this
At the same time, they know to guard against its results in shooting free throws while the rest of
limiting, self-defeating, and even paralyzing facets. the team showers or taking 30 minutes of extra
Doing research on perfectionism reveals a host batting practice – every day.
of ominous and debilitating traits, starting with
compulsiveness and going downhill from there. S et hi gh s t a nd a r ds: another trait is that perfectionists
However, informed or recovering perfectionists can tap set high standards, both for themselves and others.
into the positive aspects of their natural tendencies As long as the standards are reasonably attainable,
when appropriate and needed, that is, when it is to it is acceptable, and even admirable, for the
their advantage to do so. At the same time, they can perfectionist to set a bar high – for him or herself.
usually avoid being handicapped by perfectionism’s (However, foisting faultlessness on the others does
alluring snares. (Continued on page 8)
Vital Signs Vital Signs
(Continued from page 7)
little more than establish the groundwork for future exhibited several perfectionist traits is taken aback at the
frustration, disappointment, and conflict between the thought of being called one or disavows any connection
precision-minded and the rest of the world.) whatsoever, I judge them to either be disingenuous or
lacking in self-awareness. Neither are characteristics that I
Of course, there are counterparts to these traits. One seek in an employee.
is procrastination. It is said that the perfectionist The second type of response to my perfectionist query,
subconsciously reasons that the results of their work will is unabashed pride and total satisfaction in possessing this
never be just right – no mater how much time is invested – quality. To make sure I am not rushing to a snap judgment,
so why start? In fact, the project is often delayed until the I give them one last chance for redemption. “What,” I ask,
last possible moment, so that at least there is a plausible “do you see as the weaknesses of being a perfectionist?”
excuse as to why it’s not perfect: “I didn’t have much time to Occasionally, they will comprehend the importance of that
work on it!” Taking this to an extreme, some perfectionists question, using an astute answer to move them from this
miss deadlines and blow past due dates – often stressing category over to category three. Usually, however, they give
about or agonizing over some trivial or irrelevant detail. me a blank stare, as if my inquiry was nonsensical, responding
Another side-effect associated with perfectionism is that there is no downside or that they don’t understand what
problems making quick decisions. Sometimes, they need to I am asking. In similar fashion, I don’t want to work with a
“sleep on it” to be assured of the correctness of their perfectionist that has failed to realize the turmoil and trouble
judgment. Sometimes decisions can be agonizingly difficult they can produce by their proclivity for perfection
for them to reach. This, most likely, is because they fear The third type of perfectionist applicant smiles at this
reaching the wrong conclusion, that is, a less than perfect question and begins to share their self-awareness about the
one. The urge is to delay a pronouncement, while awaiting shortcomings of how their version of perfectionism is
more information, so that a proper and informed analysis can manifested. They openly identify the less then admirable
be considered. Unfortunately, this mental paralysis is ways that it reveals itself in them and often proceed to
8 seldom cured by amassing more data. communicate how they guard themselves and others from
Over the years, I have often interviewed perfectionists this tendency. This is a person I want on my team. Yes,
during job interviews. As it becomes more and more they may require a bit more management effort from time to
apparent that I am talking to a perfectionist, I segue into a time, but doing so is worth the extra energy as the results
special interview segment, just for them. “So,” I inquire, “Do will be an employee who produces quality work, frequently
you consider yourself to be a perfectionist?” exceeds expectations, goes the extra mile, and sets high
Their responses fall into one of three categories. The standards for themselves. Isn’t that who you want working
first one is shock or denial. If a person who has just in your call center, too? ¤
Attention Vendors and
Outsourcing Call Centers:
Sign up to be included in our 2007 Annual Buyers Guide. Now in its fourth year,
this greatly anticipated and valuable resource is expected to be the biggest one yet!
Make sure that you are included.
Go to www.answerstat.com/bg and sign up today!
Liaison Solution 2006 National Pediatric Telehealth Conference
Registration Materials Available
HealthLine Systems™, Inc.
Children’s Physician Network (CPN) will hold the 2006 National
released its Physician Liaison Solution,
Pediatric Telehealth Conference, “Reach for the Stars.” This third annual
a component of EchoAccess™, a web-
conference will start Thursday afternoon September 14 and conclude
based contact center software solution.
Saturday afternoon September 16 in Bloomington, MN.
This solution enables healthcare
The conference is for an audience of office and call center triage
organizations to manage physician
nurses, physicians, and administrators. This year, the conference will
contacts, administer continuing medical
feature continuing education credits for physicians and nurses. Featured
education, eliminate the cost of
speakers include Barton Schmitt, MD; David Thompson, MD; Nina
redundant systems, and document
Antoniotti, PhD, RN, MBA; and Carol Stock, JD, MN, RN.
physician relations program impact
Children’s Physician Network (CPN) is a Minnesota non-profit
through a user-friendly interface.
organization. The mission of CPN is to “enhance the value of care to
“Our goal is to provide our clients
children by improving services, supporting health care professionals and
with the tools they need to compete in
adding a pediatric voice to health care.” CPN is affiliated with Children’s
the evolving healthcare marketplace,”
Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
explained Dan Littrell, Chief Executive
Officer. “For over 20 years, our success
For full conference details including agenda, speakers, registration
has been built by leveraging technology
information, and accommodations, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call
to deliver superior, flexible software
952-931-3599, or fax 952-931-3545. Information is also available at
solutions that anticipate both changing
client needs and marketplace trends.”
HealthLine Systems’ Physician
Liaison Solution recognizes provider
data as the lifeblood of the healthcare
information system and is the result of MSB Appoints New Director of Sales
interviews with industry leaders,
physician relations managers, and Austin-based Medical Service Bureau (MSB) announced
physician representatives, as well as today that Thomas B. Bond has been appointed Director of
HealthLine Systems’ national Client Sales. MSB provides call center and support functions to the
Advisory Panel. medical community. Bond will be responsible for implementing
For more information, visit the company’s sales growth plan. Robert Donnelly, Chief
www.healthlinesystems.com or contact Rick Operating Officer, stated, “We are excited to have Tom join our
at RStier@HealthLineSystems.com. professional team as we accelerate the introduction of new and
existing services to our expanding medical markets.”
For more information, visit www.MedicalServiceBureau.com.
Wake Forest University Physicians Win Award
Wake Forest University Physicians (WFUP) were presented the
‘Best Practices in Contact Center Operations Award’ by Noble Systems Cosmopolitan Medical
Corporation. The award recognizes WFUP for outstanding Earns Certification
achievements in its patient services contact programs. Since
implementing an automated contact center technology solution and The Association of Teleservices
fine-tuning its operational processes, the organization has quadrupled International (ATSI) announced that
dollars collected. It has grown outbound contacts by more than 170% Cosmopolitan Medical Communications
and inbound contacts by over 120%. The group has also improved has received the Gold 24/7 Call Center
customer satisfaction, increased cash flow, and reduced operational Certification Award. The Certification
expenses. The award was announced at the Select Noble Users Group indicates that Cosmopolitan Medical
(SNUG) 2006 Conference. Communications has met or exceeded
“Noble Systems has enabled Wake Forest University Physicians’ high standards in the following areas:
Business Operations to operate more efficiently, effectively, and business practices; life safety;
economically,” stated Denise Fetters, Associate Vice President, Business operations, including normal and
Operations. Wake Forest University Physicians is the clinical practice emergency procedures; personnel
entity of Wake Forest University Health Sciences. It is comprised of 500 hiring; training; and ongoing
physicians who are the medical school’s faculty and also serve as the evaluations through a peer review
attending staff of North Carolina Baptist Hospital. program focusing on 99.9% annual
Visit WFUP at www.wfubmc.edu/wake-forest-university-physicians.html; run time.
for more information about Noble Systems, contact Lee Allum at 888-866-2538 ATSI is an international trade
x538, email@example.com, or visit www.noblesys.com. association for the TeleServices industry.
For more information, visit www.atsi.org.
Beryl Companies Named One of Top Places to Work
The Beryl Companies, a healthcare-exclusive customer interaction center located in Bedford, TX,
has been selected as one of the five “Best Places to Work” in Dallas/Fort Worth by the Dallas
Business Journal and one of the top 20 “Best Companies to Work for” in Texas by the Texas
Association of Business. This is the fourth consecutive year that Beryl has been included as one of
the Dallas Business Journal’s top ten “Best Places to Work” for mid-sized companies.
“Being selected a top employer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the state is a high honor,” said
Paul Spiegelman, Beryl’s founder and CEO. “Treating employees well produces greater loyalty,
productivity, and an all-around happier place to be. And, most important, it’s just the right
thing to do.”
More information about Beryl is available at www.beryl.net.
Eight of 16 Top Hospitals Use Amcom Solutions
Half of the hospitals ranked in the annual “Best Hospitals Report” published by U.S. News & World
Report use Amcom software. Eight out of the top 16 “America’s Best Hospitals” have installed
Smart Center, Smart Web, Smart Speech, Smart Console, and/or Amcom’s e.Notify automated event
“The most highly respected hospitals in the world depend upon Amcom software,” said Jack Collins,
CEO of Amcom Software. “These organizations have eliminated manual processes by automating
call-center functions with Web-based applications, speech technologies, and automated event notifications.
Our software enables the consolidation of facilities, processes, and personnel, proving to save hospitals
millions of dollars in operating costs and efficiencies.”
For more information about the U.S. News & World Report, go to www.usnews.com/usnews/health/
best-hospitals/honorroll.htm; for more information about Amcom, call 800-852-8935 or go to www.amcomsoft.com.
1Call Holds Management Seminar
The 1Call Division of Amtelco hosted the seventh annual Management
Seminar, June 6-8, 2006, in Madison, Wisconsin. Attendees learned about 11
many aspects of their systems, including account setup tips and a bonus session
on using Infinity IS, as well as Red Alert Emergency Notification. Several
breakout sessions allowed attendees to pick topics best suited to their specific
needs. Guest speaker Betty Bouchie, System Analyst at Queen Elizabeth II
Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, shared information on Web
On-Call, National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO), and operator training
aids, including tests and exercises used at her call center.
Comments from seminar attendees included, “Presenters kept it educational
and fun.” “The seminar was very well done. I got some great ideas.” “Awesome
job.” “Great conference and great support from Amtelco. Pleasure to see the
‘team’ that they have.” “This seminar was an exciting experience and very
detailed. Tom [Curtin], please be proud of your team. They are like family,
which means they care. This is important!”
Next year’s 1Call Management Seminar is scheduled for April 2007.
For more information, contact 1Call at 800-356-9148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUILD VERSUS BUY:
CALL CENTER OUTSOURCING
By Paul Spiegelman
ost of today’s forward-thinking hospitals already measure the return on investments for all of your marketing
12 have some type of marketing call center in place. efforts. In fact, Solucient’s most recent call center survey
Whether it’s one or two people staffing phones revealed some imposing statistics that illustrate the
in-house, a sophisticated outsource call center partner, or importance of hospital call centers:
something in-between, hospitals have caught on to the • Forty percent of callers are new callers.
inherent benefits of having a central location for community • One in four callers will have an inpatient discharge or
members to find physicians, register for classes and events, outpatient visit within 12 months of the initial call.
or simply get directions to the facility. • The retention rate (multiple visits to the hospital) of
Historically, budget has been one of the key factors in callers over three years is 70 percent, compared with
determining the size and complexity of a call center. It has 46 percent of non-callers.
also, at times, been a significant driver in deciding whether Through our own work over the past two decades – and
or not to outsource this important function. To help you based on interactions with more than three million
decide between operating a call center internally or selecting customers a year – we know that:
an outsourced partner, this article will look at important • Consumers value accessibility, convenience, and
factors to consider. customer service.
• Around-the-clock availability can set one hospital apart
Call Center Considerations from a competitor across town.
A call center should be an integral part of your customer • The burgeoning use of the Internet has compelled more
outreach and marketing operations. As it is often the first call centers to integrate online communications with
point-of-contact for a new or potential patient, a call center their existing telephone operations.
is a prudent investment and, when used efficiently, can • Consumers should be able to interact with you in the
most comfortable and convenient method. 6. Divide total costs by call volume (actual or projected)
• An investment in the hospital call center supports to establish an average cost per call.
marketing efforts, increases patient loyalty, and attracts
responsive patients; all of which help drive revenue. Once you have determined the costs to operate an
In short, whether looking to implement a call center for in-house call center, you now have a frame of comparison.
the first time or reevaluating an existing arrangement, the Contact an outside call center provider – one whose
impact that a call center can have on hospital revenue, reputation is one with which you feel comfortable – and ask
profitability, and patient loyalty cannot be overstated. them to provide you with their fees based on the same
anticipated call volume and needs you used to calculate your
Call Center Costs in-house expenses. Also ask what additional “value added”
In deciding whether to “build” or “buy” your call center, benefits they bring should you choose them to be your
you first need to assess all costs associated with either outsourced partner. You’ll also need to make sure you do an
option. Some of these costs may not be immediately apples-to-apples comparison. For example, if you are
apparent. The following six steps, however, can guide you considering a 24/7 operation, you need to determine the
through the process. internal costs in order to compare them to an outsourced
1. Make some basic determinations.
How many calls do you receive or are you anticipating Outsource Call Center Capabilities
each month? Do these calls generate outgoing letters? If so, A call center can and should be more than just a sum of
how many each month? Approximately how many minutes its operating costs. A well-designed call center that has
are spent on the phone each month? If you have an internal accountability built into its core can propel a hospital toward
call center now, how many call advisors do you currently greater revenues and increased market share. Because
have? How many supervisors/managers work in the call outsourced call centers pride themselves in customer service
center? How many IT staff support the call center? and customer relationship management, they often can
deliver value-added services that cannot be replicated
2. Look at the costs associated with setting up in-house. An outsourced call center partner should be
and maintaining an internal call center. able to:
Each call advisor needs furniture, a telephone with • Expand your hours of operation.
headset, routing system, computer, software with individual • Increase your service levels (make sure all calls are
licenses, and a printer. An internal call center requires its answered promptly).
own servers, adequate phone lines, and high-speed Internet • Expand your service offerings through technology that
access. The entire call center staff needs training (both may not be affordable otherwise. 13
initial and ongoing) and support. Don’t forget that someone • Expand the languages you support.
will be needed to maintain all of the equipment. • Introduce you to like hospitals and share best practices.
• Benchmark your organization against others in the
3. List the direct expenses associated with a call center. industry.
This includes salary and benefits for all of the staff • Use your database as a real CRM (customer relationship
needed to operate a call center, including supervisors, management) platform.
managers, and multi-lingual call advisors. Also include any • Create revenue reconciliation reports that show a
support services, such as IT. Other call center costs include correlation between callers and patient visits.
annual software license fees, office supplies, and postage for • Have the flexibility to grow with your changing needs.
outgoing letters generated by the call center. • Meet your customer service standards.
In addition to having it be financially sound and having
4. Determine the indirect costs. the outsourced partner bring value-added benefits, another
These expenses include rent, utilities, real estate taxes, reason to consider outsourcing is that hospital resources can
accounting, HR, facilities support, insurance, workers’ be freed up for other purposes. An external partner enables
compensation, professional liability, and commercial and the hospital staff to focus on what they do best – provide
excess liability insurance. top-quality medical care to their community. ¤
5. Add up all of the set-up, direct and indirect expenses Paul Spiegelman is founder and CEO of The Beryl
to determine total call center cost. Companies; for more information visit www.beryl.net.
MEDICAL CALL CENTER
Are you looking for a medical call center to handle health related calls for you?
These call centers provide various call processing services to hospitals, clinics, large companies, and other medical
and healthcare related organizations. The key services that are available include medical answering service,
telephone nurse triage, appointment setting service, appointment reminder service, and physician referral service.
1-800 We Answer Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
545 8th Ave Ste 401 service, appointment reminder service
New York, NY 10018, USA
www.efls.com Ambs Call Center
Contact: Robert Porter, Vice President, at 212-868-1121 or 338 W Franklin St
email@example.com. Jackson, MI 49201, USA
Info: 1-800-WeAnswer provides call center services and unified www.ambscallcenter.com
messaging and to medical and other professional offices. Contact: Aaron Boatin, Vice President, at 800-968-1181 or
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting firstname.lastname@example.org.
service Info: Ambs Call Center is a complete, medically-based call
center that offers turnkey solutions for any size practice
ABMS Call Center or health system. Call for a live demonstration.
16501 Walnut St Ste 12 Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
Hesperia, CA 92345, USA service, appointment reminder service, physician referral
www.abmscallcenter.com service; also health surveys
Contact: Jackie Melkonian, President and CEO, at 760-403-3925
or email@example.com. AmeriCall
Info: Healthcare call center catering to California based 1502 Tacoma Ave S
physicians, medical groups, IPAs and Hospitals; owned Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
and operated by an R.N. www.americall.com
Services: Health education, disease management, and discharge Contact: Scott Hager, President/GM, at 800-809-8835 or
follow-up calling. firstname.lastname@example.org
Services: Medical answering service
365 Willard Ave Site 2A Ansercomm
Newington, CT 06111, USA 205 Chester Ave
www.actteleservices.com Moorestown, NJ 08057, USA
Contact: Elizabeth Collins, Sales Manager, at 860-231-2908 Contact: Anthony Greenfield, CEO, at 856-234-0100.
or email@example.com. Info: Full answering service centers NY, NJ, PA, Fl and
Info: Award winning telemessaging service, site certified, and nationwide
HIPAA compliant. Services: Medical answering service
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting 15
service, appointment reminder service, physician referral Answer 1 Communications
service PO Box 62763
Phoenix, AZ 85082-2763, USA
Advanced Communications www.Answer1.com
203 N Main St Contact: Mary Jones at 800-408-3408 orMary@Answer1.com
North Baltimore, OH 45872, USA Services: Medical answering service
Contact: Jayson Wickard, President at 419-257-5050 or Answering Innovations LLC
AdvancedComm@Verizon.Net PO Box 44194
Services: Medical answering service Madison, WI 53744-4194, USA
Alpha Telemarketing Inc. Contact: John Poehling, Medical Sales Representative, at
9 Germay Dr 2nd Fl 800-873-4257, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilmington, DE 19804, USA Info: Full Service 24x7 HIPAA compliant nationwide
www.alphatelinc.com medical answering service.
Contact: E. Darlene Rogers, President, at 302-658-8540 or Services: Medical answering service, appointment reminder
email@example.com service; also response to emergency and deployment
Info: Telemarketing outsource and answering service alert (HEICS) in urgent situations.
provider. (Continued on page 16)
MEDICAL CALL CENTER LISTING DIRECTORY
(Continued from page 15) patients and clients.
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
AnswerNet Network service, appointment reminder service
345 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ 08542, USA CareNet
www.answernet.com 9725 Datapoint Dr Ste 300A
Contact: Gary A. Pudles, President and CEO at 609-921-7450 San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
or firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: 800-945-9129 or email@example.com
Info: The AnswerNet Network provides telemessaging Info: Using strict medical guidelines, CareNet’s nurse triage
(telephone answering), inbound, outbound, automated, and services provide patients and members with 24-hour
e-bound voice and text-based customer contact services. access to health professionals while helping to lower
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting costs associated with physician and emergency
service, appointment reminder service department visits.
Services: Telephone nurse triage
10 Canmotor Ave Colorado Mountain Medical
Toronto, ON, M8Z 4E5, Canada PO Box 1749
www.answerplus.ca Edwards, CO 81632, USA
Contact: Dana Lloyd, VP of Sales and Marketing, at www.colmtmed.com
416-503-8888 or firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Deb Novak Office, Manager Coordinator, at
Info: Specializes in emergency response applications. 970-569-6335 or email@example.com.
Services: Medical answering service Services: Medical answering service, telephone nurse triage,
appointment setting service, appointment reminder
ARO Virtual Call Center service, physician referral service
3100 Broadway Ste 100
Kansas City, MO 64111, USA Communications Center Inc.
www.callcenteroptions.com 829 Grant St
Contact: Michael Amigoni, CEO at 816-777-2008 or Franklin, PA 16323, USA
Info: New Patient Relationship Management (PRM) service, Contact: Heidi Black, General Manager, at 800-369-6266 or
insurance verification/pre-certification, A/R follow-up, firstname.lastname@example.org
16 and interoffice communications. Info: A small home-town call center with a special focus on
Services: Appointment setting service, appointment reminder customer service.
service Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
service, appointment reminder service
Blanchard Valley Health Association
145 W Wallace St Corridor Medical Answering Service
Findlay, OH 45840, USA 3088 Route 27 Ste 7
www.bvha.org Kendall Park, NJ 08824, USA
Contact: Betty Dulgar, Communications Supervisor, at www.corridoranswering.com
419-423-4500 or email@example.com. Contact: Gretchen Godwin, RN, General Manager, at
Services: Medical answering service 609-658-8845 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Info: All medical answering service; owned and managed by
Callzilla LLC an RN
1150 NW 72nd Ave Ste 520 Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
Miami, FL 33126, USA service, appointment reminder service; also Rx refill
Contact: Neal Topf, President, at 305-503-9069 or
Info: Callzilla is a near-shore call center to organizations that
require Spanish language services for their Hispanic
First Contact Communications
7825 American Heritage Dr NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109, USA
CPN Nurse Triage Contact: Chadwick Tivis, President, at 505-232-7815 or
910 E 26th St Chad@Firstcontactcom.net
Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA Services: Medical answering service
Contact: Jan Jachimowicz, Director of Communications Fonemed LLC
and Business Development, at 612-813-7435 or 2975 Broadmoor Valley Rd, Suite 201
email@example.com Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA
Info: Experienced, specially trained nurse and medical www.fonemed.com
representatives providing a full range of medical advice Contact: 888-366-3633 or firstname.lastname@example.org
and care over the phone. Info: Fonemed provides after-hours coverage to physician
Services: Medical answering service, telephone nurse triage, practices, clinics, and hospital systems throughout North
appointment setting service, appointment reminder America. Customized triage services ensure that patients
service, physician referral service; also hospital triage receive the quality of care and services they expect.
Services: Telephone nurse triage
Critical Care Communications
8030 Fawnridge Circle IntelliCare Inc
Tampa, FL 33610, USA 500 Southborough Dr
www.criticalcarecommunications.com South Portland, ME 04106, USA
Contact: Bill Boulware, Owner, at 877-218-6986 or www.intellicare.com
email@example.com Contact: 877-579-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Info: National medical call center. Info: IntelliCare provides outsourced telephone triage to hospitals
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting and physicians nationwide. Telephone triage programs
service, appointment reminder service, physician referral include after-hours coverage for practices, community nurse
service; also prescription refill services and practice lines, and ED triage. At any hour, patients can contact a
management registered nurse who will use industry-standard guidelines
to provide accurate advice for patients seeking appropriate
CustomerLink care based on reported symptoms. IntelliCare nurses can
325 S Lake Ave Ste 710 typically respond to 80% of calls without requiring physician 17
Duluth, MN 55802, USA involvement – allowing clients to optimize their resources
www.customerlinkone.com while providing continuous, quality care. More than 250
Contact: Martin Pettersson, Director of Marketing, at hospitals, health systems, health plans, group practices, and
218-722-2800 or email@example.com employers nationwide outsource their call center operations
Info: Specializes in durable medical equipment applications. to IntelliCare or use the company’s technology to effectively
Services: Medical answering service and efficiently improve access to quality care.
Services: Telephone nurse triage
Doctors’ Exchange Inc
19399 Helenberg Rd Ste 1 KP OnCall LLC
Covington, LA 70433, USA dba OnCall Healthcare Communications
www.Doctors-Exchange.com 5855 Copley Dr Ste 250
Contact: Brian Richardson, Vice President at 888-267-1342 San Diego, CA 92111, USA
or Brian@Doctors-Exchange.net www.oncallhc.com
Info: Established in 1921, The Doctors’ Exchange is an Contact: 858-974-1000
experienced nationwide medical answering service Info: OnCall’s nurse triage and advice services provide patients
offering itemized billing and accurate, accountable, with immediate telephone access to nurses who deliver quality
professional telephone operators. medical advice and referrals to the appropriate clinical setting.
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting Services: Telephone nurse triage
service (Continued on page 18)
MEDICAL CALL CENTER LISTING DIRECTORY
(Continued from page 17) Medical Service Bureau, Inc.
4300 North Lamar
Austin Texas 78765 USA
Contact: Robert Donnelly, Chief Operating Officer, at
MASCO Services 512-206-1157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
375 Longwood Av Info: A medical-only call center that offers a complete
Boston, MA 02215, USA portfolio of support services.
www.mascoservices.com Services: Medical answering service, telephone nurse triage,
Contact: Gary Dupont, Director of Telecommunications and appointment setting service, appointment reminder
Customer Care, at 800-690-7243 or email@example.com- service; also automated patient test results, daytime
vard.edu. office call processing.
Info: Call center that specializes in operator services and
telephone answering services for the medical community: MyAnswering.com
nationwide, 24/7, full services provided, and HIPAA 5525 S 900 E Ste 330
compliant. Salt Lake City, UT 84117, USA
Services: Medical answering service; also operator service, www.myanswering.com
emergency codes, inbound surveys, inbound customer Contact: Christian Smith, General Manager, at 866-870-5810
service. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
McKesson service, appointment reminder service
Broomfield, CO 80021, USA NotifyMD
www.careenhance.com 318 Seaboard Ln Ste 310
Contact: 800-829-2550 x6361 Franklin, TN 37067, USA
Info: CareEnhance nurse triage provides a multi-channel www.notifymd.com
avenue for improving access to care, creating a more Contact: Kimberly Watts, Vice President of Sales, at
informed and empowered consumer by providing them 866-367-5494 or email@example.com
with immediate information and advice from a registered Services: Medical answering service; also daytime call
nurse. As a result, members and employers receive management solutions
more value for their premium dollar while payors
18 decrease costs. McKesson is the largest provider of OKS-Ameridial Worldwide
nurse triage services, with more than 25 million lives 4535 Strausser St NW
covered. CareEnhance 24/7 Nurse Triage is positioned North Canton, OH 44720, USA
to meet your individual objectives. www.oksgroup.com
Services: Telephone nurse triage Contact: Steve Trifelos, VP of Sales and Marketing, at
585-671-0778 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Connections, Inc. Services: Medical answering service
14180 Dallas Pkwy # 450
Dallas, TX 75254, USA Optum
www.mediconn.net 6300 Olson Memorial Highway
Contact: Billy Peppard, General Manager, at 214-696-5258 Golden Valley, MN 55427, USA
Info: 100% medical telephone answering service specializing Contact: 888-262-4614
in physician offices, home health, hospice, and medical Info: Optum’s nurses deliver peace of mind for nearly any
related businesses. health concern 24/7. Optum Live! nurses may share
Services: Medical answering service, appointment reminder Web pages of interest on the user’s screen, present
service detailed diagrams and descriptions to help users, and
simultaneously chat with users.
Services: Telephone nurse triage
PDL Mobility & Call Centers Robertson Telecom
2420 42nd Ave NE 270 - 1075 West Georgia
Calgary, AB, T2E 7T6, Canada Vancouver, BC, V6E 3C9, Canada
Contact: Chad Molleken, Business Acquisition, at Contact: Ron Barker, Business Development Manager, at
888-735-7166 or email@example.com 604-664-7640 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Services: Medical answering service Services: Medical answering service
RSVP Call Center Service
1501 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10028, USA
Contact: Alex Martin, Sales and Marketing Manager, at
646-485-7560 or email@example.com
Personalized Communications Services: Medical answering service
205 E Center St
Duncanville, TX 75116, USA Sound Telecom
www.per-com.com 1495 NW Gilman Blvd Ste 4
Contact: Stan Gardner, President, at 800-232-3321 or Issaquah, WA, 98027, USA
Info: Award-winning, 24/7 full-service HIPAA compliant Contact: Michael LaBaw, President, at 425-392-3120 or
inbound & outbound call center, with bilingual firstname.lastname@example.org
(English/Spanish) and web connected agents. Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting service, service, appointment reminder service, physician referral
appointment reminder service, physician referral service service; also disaster recovery and emergency medical
Physician One Team Heath
a division of Answer One Inc. 431 Park Village Drive, Suite C
2216 Young Dr Ste 3 Knoxville, TN 37923, USA
Lexington, KY 40505, USA www.teamhealth.com
www.answerone.biz Contact: Regina Brantley, Vice President of Business
Contact: Phillip Bryant, President, at 888-837-3482 or Development, at 888-203-1118 or
email@example.com Regina_Brantley@teamhealth.com 19
Info: 24 hour medical call center providing service nationwide Info: Specializes in customized clinical call center solutions
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting Services: Telephone nurse triage
service, appointment reminder service
Telelink Call Center
Professional Answering Service 44 Austin St
877 Exmouth St St. John’s, NL, A1B 1N1, Canada
Sarnia, ON, N7T 5R3, Canada www.telelinkcallcenter.com
www.professionalansweringservice.ca Contact: Sydney Ryan, VP at 888-693-2255 or
Contact: Dale Mason, President, at 519-332-2320 or firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com Info: Over 40 years of experience, in an ISO certified
Services: Medical answering service environment: efficient, friendly and affordable.
Services: Medical answering service, appointment reminder
Professional Assistant service
1522 Siesta Dr
Florence, SC 29505, USA TeleMed
www.professionalassistant.net 18 Beck St
Contact: Ray Sealey, Owner, at 843-665-9211 or Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Services: Medical answering service (Continued on page 20)
MEDICAL CALL CENTER LISTING DIRECTORY
(Continued from page 19) The Telephone Center
1204 Oakland Ave
Contact: Steve Clover, VP Sales and Marketing, at Greensboro, NC 27403, USA
888-203-4804 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.telectr.com
Info: Nationwide medical answering service Contact: Mike Foust, VP of Operations, at 336-574-3000 or
Services: Medical answering service email@example.com
Services: Medical answering service
www.medical-triage.com Torcom Communications
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 25 Kessel Ct Ste 107
Info: Tell-A-Nurse has provided after-hours on-call phone Madison, WI 53711-6227, USA
triage services to doctors, medical facilities, and other www.torcom.com
practitioners since 1999. Medical guidelines are used Contact: Elin Torvik, Medical Sales Representative, at
by experienced RNs to triage calls from an answering 800-242-0098 or email@example.com.
service or directly from patients. Info: Torcom communications is an award-winning,
Services: Telephone nurse triage full-service HIPAA compliant healthcare inbound and
outbound communications center.
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
service, appointment reminder service, physician referral
service; also response to emergency and deployment
The Beryl Companies alert (HEICS) in urgent situations.
3600 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021, USA Total Quality Communications Inc.
www.Beryl.Net 5532 N Broadway
Contact: Angela Douglas, Director of Business Development, Chicago, IL 60640, USA
at 817-355-5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.Tqcweb.com
Info: The Beryl Companies offers physician-referral services, Contact: Janet Livingston, Sales and Marketing, at
nurse telephone triage, class and event registration, 800-270-7030 or Janetlivingston@tqcweb.com
appointment scheduling, cross-sell opportunities, Info: Spanish/English bilingual agents.
outbound calling capabilities and web-based services. Services: Medical answering service
Live call advisors are available 24/7 providing a single
20 experience to consumers both on the phone and over the Tri-City Tele-Com, Inc.
Internet. Available in English and Spanish. 1105 W Jenny St
Services: Telephone nurse triage, physician referral service; Bay City MI 48706 USA
also class registration, web-based customer support, and Contact: Gary Kirkbride, President, at 989-686-1200 or
outbound calling email@example.com.
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
The Connection service
11351 Rupp Dr
Burnsville, MN 55337, USA Valcom
www.the-connection.com 578 Hartford Ave
Contact: Jenny Twa, Sales and Marketing, at 952-948-5335 White River Junction, VT 05001, USA
or firstname.lastname@example.org www.centrapage.com
Services: Medical answering service Contact: 802 295-7514 or email@example.com
Services: Medical answering service
Attention Vendors and Outsourcing Call Centers:
Sign up to be included in our 2007 Annual Buyers Guide. Now in its fourth year, this greatly anticipated and valuable resource
is expected to be the biggest one yet! Make sure that you are included. Go to www.answerstat.com/bg and sign up today!
HOW TO KEEP
By Marsha Lindquist
osing talented, quality employees is always difficult for So how can you keep your quality employees for as long
an organization, but especially for a call center. Not as possible? You must make their impact on the organiza-
only does it mean finding and training replacements, but tion’s success clear by building a corporate culture around
also losing all the knowledge and understanding that those the right mindset. Use the following process to refocus your
people take with them. While it is true that in today’s envi- organization so your employees don’t feel compelled to
ronment no organization can realistically believe they will change jobs so frequently:
keep an employee for twenty or thirty years, companies can
reasonably expect people to stay for four to six years. Lay the Foundation
Essentially, you need to keep your people as long as The mindset you create in your call center will permeate 21
they fit within what your organization is trying to accom- everything you do. It will affect your strategies, the type of
plish and as long as they add value. You want to maximize clients you go after, and the kind of people you hire. For
the relationship as long as employment is productive for example, many leaders focus frantically on fire drill types of
both sides. You certainly don’t want people leaving because tasks, that is, the things that need to get done immediately.
they become disenchanted with the job. In the process, they allow the tasks that need to be planned
Many employers believe that people get seduced away and prepared for to go unattended and uncompleted. When
by the allure of larger companies, greater benefits, more pay, the leaders operate in this rush, rather than in a cool-headed
or a desk with a window, but those factors are rarely the real manner, they spread it through the entire organization.
reason people leave. What really causes many people to Your actions and mannerisms reveal the mindset you
change jobs is that they don’t understand where they fit and maintain from day one. Even when you interview people, you
how their role impacts the call center’s or organization’s communicate the corporate culture to them. So set your
overall goals. They may feel like their work doesn’t affect intrinsic values right away to avoid bringing in people with a
the company’s success or they don’t develop mutually work-here-awhile-and-leave mindset. Rather than just
respectful and open relationships with their bosses and man- covering benefits, rules, and vacation time, the most
agers. When employees start feeling this way, then they important part of your orientation process needs to focus on
start shopping around for other jobs. Unfortunately, many your culture, how you work with one another, how you coop-
times people are seduced away by another organization that erate with one another, and what kind of clients you pursue.
promises all these things, but doesn’t actually deliver them. Spend less time on the rules and more on the way of thinking.
Then the process begins again. (Continued on page 22)
HOW TO KEEP QUALITY PEOPLE IN YOUR CALL CENTER
(Continued from page 21) headed in the wrong direction, then you need to communicate
and work with everyone to show how things are changing.
The foundation of every call center is the attitude of the Most important, communicate to your call center agents
people within it. Therefore, the senior managers and leaders how they contribute to the new goals. What do the employees
of your organization must create the right mindset for the need to do to continue to grow with the company? What
entire staff. They must determine how the organization’s skills do they need? What attitude do they need to adopt?
goals are established and communicated, the importance of What personal investment do they need to make? How will
those goals, and the way your staff works with each other. the organization support that? While most organizations
only cover these issues once a year, you should communicate
Strengthen the Structure this at least twice every year to maximize effectiveness without
A strong organizational structure stems from strong it becoming a burden.
focus. To strengthen your focus, set goals and objectives
and then communicate them clearly throughout the Add the Finishing Touch
operation. Limit your list to two or three realistic goals, Once you’ve created a mindset and strengthened the focus
rather than a laundry list of items. This focuses your of your organization, you must maintain these elements by staying
employees on the most important things, rather than a cadre involved with your employees. The employees need to trust that
of different things. Then hire people who are open to honest conversations can occur. Talk to them about what
changes, can focus on these goals, and can adhere to the you see for them in the future and ask how they want to accom-
culture you maintain. Many times people hire the skill set plish that, not, “This is what you need to do; now go do it.”
first and the attitude second, but it needs to be the other way Also, go beyond business and the bottom line. Take an
around. You can teach skills, not attitude. interest in what employees do to be happy and healthy outside
What about the people who have been in your call center of work. Many organizations see that healthy, happy people
for a few years and are already with the program but seem to have the right attitude at work.
be veering off course? If you’re trying to change the Staying involved should filter down through all levels,
organization’s culture or make an impact on it because you’re from the executives, to the senior managers, to the department
directors, to management. It shouldn’t be a huge load for
one single person. When you do this, you also instill
responsibility to the lower supervisory levels, which helps
them become better managers. Trusting the lower levels to
become involved also builds the mindset.
22 Keeping Your Employees Through the Years
Even though you may be able to hire an equally skilled
replacement for less money, the knowledge your organization
loses when an employee leaves is extremely difficult to
replace. While no one stays with the same company for their
entire career anymore, you can expect to keep employees for
a few years, but you need to make them clear on how their
job and responsibilities affect the company’s success.
Start by creating a mindset in your call center and then
develop goals that everyone can focus on. Let your employees
know how they contribute to those goals and the organization’s
success. Finally, stay involved with your employees and
allow them to have open conversations with you to build
relationships. When you follow these steps, you will create a
corporate culture that inspires your employees to stay with
your organization long into the future. ¤
Marsha Lindquist is a business strategist, author, speaker, and
a Principal of The Management Link, Inc. Visit her website at
CREATING A FRONTLINE THAT IMPROVES THE BOTTOM LINE
By John Skabelund
ave you left a convenience store lately, wondering While encouragement for a job well done can make an
why the cashier seemed so put-out, even hostile, individual feel good in the short term, employees need proof
while ringing up your purchase? Do you long for a that they are integral to the business’ success if you are to
simple “Thank you,” or a “Have a nice day,” when your achieve long-term results. A business-owner who couldn’t
change is handed to you at the video rental place? Have you spare a lot initially for his receptionist’s salary hired the least
had the impulse to reach across the counter and tickle the expensive employee he could find. After a few months, however,
disgruntled robot who’s handing you your change, just to a colleague called him to say that not only was he treated
see if you could get a smile or even eye contact? What has rudely by the receptionist, but he was told, when he tried to
happened to America’s frontline? order a product, “We ain’t got none of them.” Lesson learned,
Throughout the country, at retail businesses, restaurants, the owner hired a Director of First Impressions to answer
and, yes, at even call centers, on-the-job apathy runs rampant. phone calls and take orders. He explained the impact of the
Unreliable, bored, unmotivated, unfriendly, and even openly position on the company and how important it was to make a
antagonistic frontline employees give your customers a bad great first impression on every customer. Now, whoever
impression of your business and make it difficult for them to answers the phone not only hears praise from management
want to come back. You may already have experienced the for doing a great job, but is given proof that he or she is a
tremendous impact your frontline’s attitude can have on your valuable asset to the company’s continuing success.
repeat business and thus your bottom line.
More and more frontline employees are clocking in for Invest in your employees.
work, while clocking out mentally. What can you do A call center manager with high turnover blamed 23
about it? “today’s kids’ lack of loyalty” instead of looking for substantial
In the long-term, money alone appears to do little to root causes for his inability to maintain a reliable staff.
improve the frontline’s motivation. If a bigger paycheck Though it is easy to attribute high employee turnover to a
doesn’t cure the “I’m just here for the check” attitude, then Generation Y characteristic, the real cause of the problem
what will? Here are some suggestions for working with often lies with the employer and a lack of effort to encourage
your employees to get your frontline to start caring about employee buy-in.
your bottom line. You may never have thought about it in these terms, but
management usually makes decisions based on information
Share the vision. that the frontline doesn’t have. So, feeling misunderstood
Show your frontline employees the big picture and help and unheard, frontline employees retreat to an extremely
them to realize their role in the call center and the impact of unproductive “Us versus Them” stance in relation to
their work on the business. Rather than letting them feel management. Employees who feel detached from the
like a dispensable cog in management’s machine, make clear organization’s decision-making process find it very easy just
the tie-in between good customer service and repeat to show up for a paycheck, give minimal effort, and, finally,
business. Most frontline employees, when they understand not show up at all.
how necessary repeat business is to keep the company If your employees are stale, revive them by giving them
running, will respond positively, if only to ensure that they an opportunity to be heard. Invest some time and involve
will continue to have a place to come to work each day and a your staff in the decision-making process whenever possible
steady paycheck. (Continied on page 24)
CREATING A FRONTLINE
(Continued from page 23) most, then developed a way for him to earn it.
Remember, it isn’t always money that motivates your
and you’ll see the pay off. They will in turn invest in you frontline. Whenever possible, reward improved and
and your company with their time, energy, skills, and loyalty. consistently good performance with whatever each employee
When you simply take the time to ask employees their wants most.
views on matters affecting the call center, they will feel more
involved and empowered; their loyalty is a natural byproduct Create the frontline you want and need
of those feelings. When you make decisions that are Don’t despair that there just aren’t any good workers
contrary to the frontline’s point of view, explain the factors out there anymore. You can have the frontline staff you
that went into the decision-making process and how their want and that your business needs by taking action. Start
input shaped the final decision. today by explaining your organization’s big picture to every
employee. Ensure that they understand their direct impact
Reward performance. on your business’ bottom line. Follow that up by making
Telling an employee that they have done a great job each employee feel like he or she is a part of the business by
makes them feel good for the short-term, but eventually giving everyone a voice in decision-making whenever you
wears off. Excellent frontline employees might not be with can. Finally, develop a reward system for improved per-
your business for long, as your customers see an exceptional formance. Whether it is profit-sharing or something else
level of service and try to woo your people over to their they value, you will develop employee loyalty by making an
businesses. So it’s essential for you to establish a rewards effort to recognize and compensate superior performance. If
system that works in order to keep your best employees. you follow these steps, you will find yourself with a frontline that
A skilled clerk who’d been working at a convenience store cares as much about your company’s bottom line as you do. ¤
for a year had a stack of business cards from the store’s
customers who had offered him jobs in a wide variety of industries. John Skabelund, president of Altima Consulting Inc., speaks
He hadn’t left yet. More than the money, he appreciated his on leadership and performance improvement to business
employer’s flexibility with scheduling; he valued his time more organizations, educators, and students. For more information,
than money, and his manager had discovered what he valued visit www.altimaconsulting.com or call 888-925-8462.
By Patricia S. Eyres, Attorney at Law
angers lurk in cyberspace. Every call center should risky software, such as chat or file-sharing programs, all of
have an easily understood, consistently enforceable which offer entry points for the creative criminal. That’s
policy to protect trade secrets, maintain the integrity why security is everybody’s business and all managers and
and security of all networks and servers, protect sensitive employees must understand the importance of following
client and caller information, protect the organization from established security procedures. This is especially important
lawsuits by third parties, protect the integrity and reputation when using laptops or working from remote locations.
of the organization and its business, and ensure achievement Keeping your networks secure from hackers is just as
and productivity. Security is everybody’s business. critical to protect callers’ information. Hackers target
Spam and viruses are the most visible, but not the most electronic databases of call centers because they often have a
significant security challenge. Fearing loss of confidential mountain of information from which identities can be stolen:
records from intrusion by criminal hackers, call centers are names, addresses, credit card information, and other personal
installing firewalls to protect their networks. These data. Theft of customer data gets the attention of the media,
firewalls will stop many, but not all, of today’s hacker and one company was hit with a class action lawsuit
attacks. Hackers can take advantage of holes in a network’s charging that it failed to secure credit card information
perimeter defenses created by employees who bypass online. The visibility of insecure networks has
protections by attaching modems to their PC’s, setting up prompted tough laws in several states, most notably
wireless access points without permission, or downloading (Continued on page 26)
DEVELOPING AN E-SECURITY POLICY
(Continued from page 25) What is the Purpose of
Email is ideally Information Security?
California, that require any business that
collects data from California consumers to
suited to Information security is designed to
prevent unauthorized access or damage to
immediately notify every person if there is a smuggle trade hardware, software, and data. This encom-
breach of security – from any source. secrets and passes misuse, malicious or accidental
What about mischief and malice by damage, vandalism, intentional intrusion,
employees and coworkers? In many ways,
valuable company fraud, theft, and sabotage to information
email is ideally suited to smuggle trade data out of an resources. The purpose of information
secrets and valuable company data out of an organization. security is to safeguard your call center’s
organization. Leaks of business plans can be information resources, including all hard-
embarrassing and costly; the intentional ware, software, and data in both electronic
disclosure of secrets can cost a lot more. A and hardcopy formats.
comprehensive e-security plan should address internal
threats that are as dangerous as attacks from outside. Define Responsibilities for Information Security
Identifying internal threats is the first step. The The job of protecting hardware, software, and data
combination of email overload and careless attachments is (hard-copy and soft-copy) from abuse is shared by all users –
one risk; intentional stealing from internal electronic files by employees, contractors, management, administrative staff,
email attachment is quite another. Whether accidental or and clients. Make it the responsibility of every system and
deliberate, breaches of confidentiality can erode customer information user to read, understand, and comply with your
and employee confidence, cost jobs, and devastate your security policy and all associated information security
organization. policies and procedures. Post the essential provisions on
Information security requires effective policies and con- your intranet as well as publishing it in hard copy in your
sistent enforcement. It is imperative that every employee Employee Handbook.
know and understand their role in security, even when it Your call center should manage information security
seems like a hassle. standards, procedures, and controls intended to minimize the
risk of loss, damage, or misuse of your organization’s data,
by developing policies:
• Establishing and maintaining policies, procedures, and
standards for access.
• Securing information and implementing access to
• Assisting data custodians in identifying and evaluating
information security risks.
• Selecting, implementing, and administering controls and
procedures to manage information security risks.
• Distributing security report information in a timely
manner to management, data custodians, and appropri-
ate system administrators.
• Reviewing data security issues that have company-wide
• Promoting security awareness to all managers, supervisors,
and other end-users through timely information and
Establish Accountability Standards and
then Enforce Them Consistently
Security is everybody’s business. End-users, including
clients and vendors, accessing your data should be personally
responsible for proper use of the resulting available information.
Employees who access data must be responsible for:
• Complying with all security policies and procedures in
the use, storage, dissemination, and disposal of data.
• Safeguarding passwords
• Protecting data (softcopy and hardcopy) from
• Respect the privacy of other users’ software and data.
• Reporting information security violations.
Specifically Address Data Confidentiality
Due to the value and sensitive nature of your call
center’s data and client information, employees must
exercise caution and care in their jobs and adhere to all
information security policies and procedures. In order to
effectively communicate this policy and emphasize the
importance placed on the confidentiality of data and
software, all employees should sign a data confidentiality
statement on an annual basis; new employees should sign the
statement prior to being hired. Additionally, the call center
should reserve the right to monitor and review all system
activities performed by system users and notify users that
they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their
computer files, including e-mail. ¤
Patricia S. Eyres is an attorney with 18 years defending
businesses in the courtroom. She can be reached at
www.PreventLitigation.com or 800-548-6468.
EQUIPMENT NURSE/TELEPHONE TRIAGE VENDORS SOFTWARE
500 Southborough Dr.
South Portland, ME 04106
FURNITURE/SITE DESIGN TELEPHONE TRIAGE CALL CENTERS
The Beryl Companies
3600 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021
Director of Business Development
NURSE/TELEPHONE TRIAGE VENDORS CAS Services
11330 Lakefield Drive, Suite 140
McKesson Health Solutions Duluth, GA 30097 500 Southborough Dr.
CareEnhance 24x7 Nurse Triage Toll-Free: 888-461-9206, x112 South Portland, ME 04106
P: 303-664-6361 Local: 770-232-5310 Dan Day
Darin Southard, Vice President 877-579-7857
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.casdss.com
Web: http://www.careenhance.com/ www.intellicare.com
Specializing in customized clinical call center solutions
431 Park Village Drive, Suite C, Knoxville, TN 37923
Regina Brantley, 888-203-1118
Vice President of Business Development
TELEPHONE NURSE TRIAGE SERVICE
HealthLine Systems, Inc. CPN Nurse Triage
17085 Camino San Bernardo 910 E 26th St., Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA
San Diego, CA 92127 www.cpnonline.org
Richard D. Stier, Vice President
Contact: Jan Jachimowicz,
800-733-8737 Director of Communications and Business
RStier@healthlinesystems.com Development at 612-813-7435 or
MEDICAL ANSWERING SERVICES 1Call,
Doctors' Exchange Inc a division of Amtelco ..............3, 22, 32
19399 Helenberg Rd Ste 1
Covington, LA 70433, USA
Contact: Brian Richardson, Vice President fax: 608-838-8367
at 888-267-1342 or email@example.com
Children’s Triage Service ..................26
Medical Connections, Inc.
14180 Dallas Pkwy # 450 14525 Hwy 7 West, Suite 315
Blanchard Valley Health Association Dallas, TX 75254, USA Minnetonka, MN 55345
145 W Wallace St www.mediconn.net 952-931-3597
Findlay, OH 45840, USA Contact: Billy Peppard, General Manager, www.cpnonline.org
www.bvha.org at 214-696-5258
Contact: Betty Dulgar, Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
HeathLine Systems Inc ......................24
Supervisor, at 419-423-4500 or
email@example.com. 17085 Camino San Bernardo
TeleMed San Diego, CA 92128
18 Beck St 800-733-8737
Corridor Medical Answering Service Atlanta, GA 30318, USA www.healthlinesystems.com
3088 Route 27 Ste 7 www.telemedinc.com
Kendall Park, NJ 08824, USA Contact Steve Clover, VP Sales &
LVM Systems .........................................2
www.corridoranswering.com Marketing at 888-203-4804 or
Contact: Gretchen Godwin, RN, Gen Mgr firstname.lastname@example.org 4262 E. Florian Ave
at 609-658-8845 or Mesa, AZ 85206
email@example.com PHYSICIAN REFERRAL SERVICE 480-633-8200
CPN Nurse Triage
910 E 26th St Colorado Mountain Medical SDC Solutions Inc ........................... 6, 31
Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA PO Box 1749 603-629-4242
www.cpnonline.org Edwards, CO 81632, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Jan Jachimowicz, Director of www.colmtmed.com
Communications and Business www.sdcsolutions.com
Contact: Deb Novak Office, Manager
Development at 612-813-7435 or
email@example.com Coordinator, at 970-569-6335 or
Software Corporation .........................27
3025 S Parker Road, Suite 925
Critical Care Communications CPN Nurse Triage
910 E 26th St Aurora, CO 80014
8030 Fawnridge Circle
Tampa, FL 33610, USA Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA Tiffany Kreinbrink: 800-309-7321
Contact: Jan Jachimowicz, Director of
Contact: Bill Boulware, Owner at Communications and Business
877-218-6986 or Development at 612-813-7435 or
HEALTHCARE September 14-16, 2006
2006 National Pediatric Telehealth Conference
AND Hotel Sofitel, Minneapolis, MN
MEDICAL For more information: www.cpnonline.org
CALL CENTERS September 25-27, 2006
ATA (American Telemedicine Association)
Fall Forum on Remote Monitoring and Home Telehealth
Omni Champions Gate Resort, Orlando, FL
For more information: 202-223-3333 or www.americantelemed.org
October 24, 2006
Pre-Conference - AAACN
Telehealth Nursing Practice Core Course (TNPCC)
Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino, Scottsdale, AZ
For more information, visit www.lvmsystems.com
October 25-27, 2006
LVM Users’ Conference
Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino, Scottsdale, AZ
For more information, visit www.lvmsystems.com.
February 25 – March 1, 2007
HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)
Annual Conference & Exhibition, New Orleans
30 For more information, visit http://conference.himss.org/
May 13-16, 2007
ATA (American Telemedicine Association)
Twelfth Annual Meeting & Exposition
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN
For more information: 202-223-3333, firstname.lastname@example.org or
April 6-9, 2008
ATA (American Telemedicine Association)
Thirteenth Annual Meeting & Exposition
We are happy to publish industry Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Seattle, WA
events that are of potential interest For more information: 202-223-3333, email@example.com or
to medical and healthcare related
call centers. www.americantelemed.org
Send your event information to
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To Update Mailing Label Call 866-668-6695