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					                                                      AUG/SEPT 2006

 August/September 2006                                                     Volume 4 Issue 4
                   48955 Hickory Lane • Mattawan, MI 49071
                                                                                            Here’s what our customers are
                      Email:                                                                       saying about RED ALERT:
 Publisher/Editor ........................................................Peter DeHaan
                                                                                                                   “One of the first times we used RED ALERT,
                                                                                                                    our Director of Emergency Services told me
         Email                  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
         Phone.................................................................................866-668-6694         both the notification and confirmation                   process, and gave us the ability to
         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                              Kevin Burns • Manager, Telecommuncations
                                                                                                                                              Anne Arundel Medical Center
                                                                                                                      Be prepared. Find out more today!
                    Article/PR Space                                                                                                                    (800)356-9148
 Issue              Deadline   Deadline Feature                                                                                       
 Oct/Nov            Sept 1            Sept 8        Telephone Triage                                                                         
 Dec/Jan 2007 Oct 27                  Nov 3         2007 Buyer's Guide

 The mission of AnswerStat magazine is to be the principle clearinghouse
 of relevant and practical information for Healthcare and Medical related
 Call Centers.

 AnswerStat magazine is distributed bimonthly to hospital, healthcare,
 and medical related call centers. The distribution list is continuously
                                                                                                                 New Vendor Literature                                                 3
 monitored and updated via the AnswerStat Web site, industry sources,                                            Section Added to AnswerStat
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                        Contents Contents

                                          Cover Story

                         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,
August/September 2006

                         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
                                                                                   Advertiser Listing...................................................................29
                         service, appointment reminder service,
                         physician referral service, and more.                     Industry Calendar...................................................................30

                                                                                                                                                      AnswerStat Magazine
      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

                                                                                                                                                        August/September 2006
                     More Articles Courtesy of

                     Go to 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
                                                         • 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
our competitors
     call this the

finish line.
                       SDC understands that you have a choice when
                     you’re looking for a provider of mission-critical
                   communications solutions. That’s why for over 20
                 years, we’ve been setting industry standards not just
               for innovative technology, but for customer service and
              support as well.

             Our philosophy is simple: long-term business relationships
            depend on uncompromised commitment. When you choose
           any of our industry-leading products, including IntelliDESK®,
          IntelliSPEECH®, WebSERVICES or IPSERVICES, you also choose
         our legendary commitment to customer satisfaction. From
        installation on, we’re with you every step of the way to ensure
       you have the proper training and support to maximize your
      organization’s communications efficiency.

      The race for your business is just beginning. Visit us online at to find out how we intend to win it—and how
     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

                                                                                                                                                       August/September 2006
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
August/September 2006

                        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 and sign up today!
                                                                                                                                   AnswerStat Magazine
                                                                                                 News News

  HealthLine Systems
  Releases Physician
  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, 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

                                                                                                                             August/September 2006
  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 or contact Rick            Operating Officer, stated, “We are excited to have Tom join our
  at                     professional team as we accelerate the introduction of new and
                                                       existing services to our expanding medical markets.”
                                                            For more information, visit
                        News News

                        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;        run time.
                        for more information about Noble Systems, contact Lee Allum at 888-866-2538          ATSI is an international trade
                        x538,, or visit                           association for the TeleServices industry.
                                                                                                        For more information, visit

August/September 2006

                               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

                                                                                                                                AnswerStat Magazine
                                                                                                  News News

       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
       notification system.
            “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
       best-hospitals/honorroll.htm; for more information about Amcom, call 800-852-8935 or go to

                             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

                                                                                                                       August/September 2006
                             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
                                  BUILD VERSUS BUY:
                                    CONSIDERATIONS FOR
                                      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:
August/September 2006

   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
                                                                                                                                AnswerStat Magazine
     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.

                                                                                                                                 August/September 2006
                                                                  • 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
                        MEDICAL CALL CENTER
                         LISTING DIRECTORY
                                           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.

August/September 2006

                                                                                                                            AnswerStat Magazine
1-800 We Answer                                                  Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
545 8th Ave Ste 401                                                  service, appointment reminder service
New York, NY 10018, USA                                                     Ambs Call Center
Contact: Robert Porter, Vice President, at 212-868-1121 or       338 W Franklin St                                              Jackson, MI 49201, USA
Info: 1-800-WeAnswer provides call center services and unified
      messaging and to medical and other professional offices.   Contact: Aaron Boatin, Vice President, at 800-968-1181 or
Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting    
      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                                                service; also health surveys
Contact: Jackie Melkonian, President and CEO, at 760-403-3925
     or                                        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.                           
Services: Health education, disease management, and discharge    Contact: Scott Hager, President/GM, at 800-809-8835 or
     follow-up calling.                                    
                                                                 Services: Medical answering service
Act Teleservices
365 Willard Ave Site 2A                                          Ansercomm
Newington, CT 06111, USA                                         205 Chester Ave                                          Moorestown, NJ 08057, USA
Contact: Elizabeth Collins, Sales Manager, at 860-231-2908       Contact: Anthony Greenfield, CEO, at 856-234-0100.
     or                               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

                                                                                                                                   August/September 2006
                                                                 Phoenix, AZ 85082-2763, USA
Advanced Communications                                
203 N Main St                                                    Contact: Mary Jones at 800-408-3408
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,
Wilmington, DE 19804, USA                                        Info: Full Service 24x7 HIPAA compliant nationwide                                                   medical answering service.
Contact: E. Darlene Rogers, President, at 302-658-8540 or        Services: Medical answering service, appointment reminder                                         service; also response to emergency and deployment
Info: Telemarketing outsource and answering service                   alert (HEICS) in urgent situations.
     provider.                                                                                           (Continued on page 16)
                        (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
                                                                 9725 Datapoint Dr Ste 300A
                        Contact: Gary A. Pudles, President and CEO at 609-921-7450          San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
                             or                                          Contact: 800-945-9129 or
                        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
                        AnswerPlus Inc
                        10 Canmotor Ave                                                     Colorado Mountain Medical
                        Toronto, ON, M8Z 4E5, Canada                                        PO Box 1749
                                                                 Edwards, CO 81632, USA
                        Contact: Dana Lloyd, VP of Sales and Marketing, at        
                             416-503-8888 or                           Contact: Deb Novak Office, Manager Coordinator, at
                        Info: Specializes in emergency response applications.                   970-569-6335 or
                        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.                                                                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,                       
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
August/September 2006

                                                                                                 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
                                                                      Kendall Park, NJ 08824, USA
                        Contact: Betty Dulgar, Communications Supervisor, at      
                            419-423-4500 or                               Contact: Gretchen Godwin, RN, General Manager, at
                        Services: Medical answering service                                      609-658-8845 or
                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                     AnswerStat Magazine
                                                                 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                                              
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                             Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA
Info: Experienced, specially trained nurse and medical 
     representatives providing a full range of medical advice    Contact: 888-366-3633 or
     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                               South Portland, ME 04106, USA
Contact: Bill Boulware, Owner, at 877-218-6986 or                      Contact: 877-579-7857 or
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                                               while providing continuous, quality care. More than 250

                                                                                                                                          August/September 2006
Contact: Martin Pettersson, Director of Marketing, at                 hospitals, health systems, health plans, group practices, and
     218-722-2800 or                         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                                         5855 Copley Dr Ste 250
Contact: Brian Richardson, Vice President at 888-267-1342        San Diego, CA 92111, USA
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)
                        (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
                        375 Longwood Av                                                Info: A medical-only call center that offers a complete
                        Boston, MA 02215, USA                                               portfolio of support services.
                                                        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 gdupont@masco.har-                service; also automated patient test results, daytime
                                                                         office call processing.
                        Info: Call center that specializes in operator services and
                             telephone answering services for the medical community:
                             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,
                             emergency codes, inbound surveys, inbound customer        Contact: Christian Smith, General Manager, at 866-870-5810
                             service.                                                       or
                                                                                       Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
                        McKesson                                                            service, appointment reminder service
   CareEnhance Services
   Broomfield, CO 80021, USA                                                           NotifyMD                                                                 318 Seaboard Ln Ste 310
   Contact: 800-829-2550 x6361                                                         Franklin, TN 37067, USA
   Info: CareEnhance nurse triage provides a multi-channel                   
        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
        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
August/September 2006

        to meet your individual objectives.                                  
   Services: Telephone nurse triage                                                    Contact: Steve Trifelos, VP of Sales and Marketing, at
                                                                                           585-671-0778 or
                        Medical Connections, Inc.                                      Services: Medical answering service
                        14180 Dallas Pkwy # 450
                        Dallas, TX 75254, USA                                          Optum
                                                             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

                                                                                                                                AnswerStat Magazine
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                       604-664-7640 or
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
Personalized Communications                                         Services: Medical answering service
205 E Center St
Duncanville, TX 75116, USA                                          Sound Telecom                                                     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           
     (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                                                                                     Contact: Regina Brantley, Vice President of Business
Contact: Phillip Bryant, President, at 888-837-3482 or                   Development, at 888-203-1118 or                                                                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

                                                                                                                                      August/September 2006
     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                                                                Contact: Sydney Ryan, VP at 888-693-2255 or
Contact: Dale Mason, President, at 519-332-2320 or                                                               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                                       18 Beck St
Contact: Ray Sealey, Owner, at 843-665-9211 or                      Atlanta, GA 30318, USA                       
Services: Medical answering service                                                                          (Continued on page 20)
                        (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               
                        Info: Nationwide medical answering service                        Contact: Mike Foust, VP of Operations, at 336-574-3000 or
                        Services: Medical answering service                         
                                                                                          Services: Medical answering service
                                                          Torcom Communications
                        Contact:                                  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
                             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
                             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                            
   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
        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
August/September 2006

        also class registration, web-based customer support, and                          Contact: Gary Kirkbride, President, at 989-686-1200 or
        outbound calling                                                            
                                                                                          Services: Medical answering service, appointment setting
                        The Connection                                                        service
                        11351 Rupp Dr
                        Burnsville, MN 55337, USA                                         Valcom
                                                          578 Hartford Ave
                        Contact: Jenny Twa, Sales and Marketing, at 952-948-5335          White River Junction, VT 05001, USA
                        Services: Medical answering service                               Contact: 802 295-7514 or
                                                                                          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 and sign up today!

                                                                                                                                   AnswerStat Magazine
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

                                                                                                                                August/September 2006
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)
                        (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
August/September 2006

                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                      AnswerStat Magazine
                                                                   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.

                                                                                                                                        August/September 2006
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 or call 888-925-8462.

August/September 2006

                                                                                                                                           AnswerStat Magazine
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

                                                                                                                                   August/September 2006
        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

August/September 2006

                                                                                                                                   AnswerStat Magazine
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
     authorized persons.
• 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
     unauthorized access.
• Respect the privacy of other users’ software and data.
• Reporting information security violations.
Specifically Address Data Confidentiality

                                                                     August/September 2006
     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 or 800-548-6468.
                        Marketplace Marketplace

                        EQUIPMENT                                 NURSE/TELEPHONE TRIAGE VENDORS           SOFTWARE

                                                                        IntelliCare, Inc.
                                                                          500 Southborough Dr.
                                                                        South Portland, ME 04106
                                                                                Dan Day

                        FURNITURE/SITE DESIGN                                                              TELEPHONE TRIAGE CALL CENTERS

                                                                                                              The Beryl Companies
                                                                                                            3600 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021
                                                                                                                        Angela Douglas
                                                                                                               Director of Business Development
                        NURSE/TELEPHONE TRIAGE VENDORS                  CAS Services
                                                                        11330 Lakefield Drive, Suite 140
                                                                                                                       IntelliCare, Inc.
                        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
                                     F: 303-466-5949
                            marketing/services/triage/index.jsp   SOFTWARE
August/September 2006

                                                                                                           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                                                    
                             Richard D. Stier, Vice President
                                                                                                                    Contact: Jan Jachimowicz,
                                 800-733-8737                                                               Director of Communications and Business
                                                                          Development at 612-813-7435 or

                                                                                                                                      AnswerStat Magazine
                                                                                           Advertiser Directory

MEDICAL ANSWERING SERVICES                                                                 1Call,
                                                   Doctors' Exchange Inc                   a division of Amtelco ..............3, 22, 32
                                                      19399 Helenberg Rd Ste 1
                                                                                           800-356-9148 or
                                                     Covington, LA 70433, USA
                                               Contact: Brian Richardson, Vice President   fax: 608-838-8367
                                                          at 888-267-1342 or     

                                                                                           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                                    952-931-3597
        Findlay, OH 45840, USA                  Contact: Billy Peppard, General Manager,
                                       at 214-696-5258
  Contact: Betty Dulgar, Communications       
                                                                                           HeathLine Systems Inc ......................24
     Supervisor, at 419-423-4500 or
                                                                17085 Camino San Bernardo
                                                             TeleMed                       San Diego, CA 92128
                                                              18 Beck St                   800-733-8737
 Corridor Medical Answering Service                   Atlanta, GA 30318, USA     
           3088 Route 27 Ste 7                
      Kendall Park, NJ 08824, USA                  Contact Steve Clover, VP Sales &
                                                                                           LVM Systems .........................................2                     Marketing at 888-203-4804 or
 Contact: Gretchen Godwin, RN, Gen Mgr                       4262 E. Florian Ave
            at 609-658-8845 or                                                             Mesa, AZ 85206             PHYSICIAN REFERRAL SERVICE                  480-633-8200
                                               PROVIDERS                                                                                            29

        CPN Nurse Triage

                                                                                                                                                    August/September 2006
              910 E 26th St                      Colorado Mountain Medical                 SDC Solutions Inc ........................... 6, 31
     Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA                              PO Box 1749                   603-629-4242
                           Edwards, CO 81632, USA     
  Contact: Jan Jachimowicz, Director of         
     Communications and Business                                                 
                                                  Contact: Deb Novak Office, Manager
    Development at 612-813-7435 or                  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
                        INDUSTRY CALENDAR
                        HEALTHCARE                              September 14-16, 2006
                                                                      2006 National Pediatric Telehealth Conference
                        AND                                           Hotel Sofitel, Minneapolis, MN
                        MEDICAL                                       For more information:
                        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

                                                                October 24, 2006
                                                                       Pre-Conference - AAACN
                                                                       Telehealth Nursing Practice Core Course (TNPCC)
                                                                       Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino, Scottsdale, AZ
                                                                       For more information, visit

                                                                October 25-27, 2006
                                                                       LVM Users’ Conference
                                                                       Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino, Scottsdale, AZ
                                                                       For more information, visit

                                                                February 25 – March 1, 2007
                                                                       HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)
                                                                       Annual Conference & Exhibition, New Orleans
30                                                                     For more information, visit

                                                                May 13-16, 2007
August/September 2006

                                                                       ATA (American Telemedicine Association)
                                                                       Twelfth Annual Meeting & Exposition
                                                                       Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN
                                                                       For more information: 202-223-3333, 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, or
                        to medical and healthcare related
                        call centers.                          
                        Send your event information to

                                                                                                                           AnswerStat Magazine
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