By Gina Tabone – MSN, RNC-TNP

In terms of delivering high-quality, cost-effective healthcare, most people would agree that 2015 is going to be a very complicated year and many organizations are going to rely on consultants to help them be successful. Every day dozens of potential solutions are offered for overcoming healthcare delivery challenges, and one solution repeatedly suggested is that of a medical call center. Many organizations do not possess the internal expertise to effectively implement and operate this type of access to care.

A successfully operated medical call center can meet the need to provide access, continuity of care, optimal resource utilization, and better outcomes for more patients. Many healthcare organizations have already established their own call centers, others outsource to nationally recognized organizations, and some are still exploring the best options for their patients and organizations. Often, the expertise of a medical call center consultant is engaged to define the best goals to work toward and to map out strategies for achieving those goals.

If you’re considering partnering with a medical call center consultant, you should be happy because your organization acknowledges the value of a medical call center and is willing to seek out and pay for industry expertise. As a responsible leader, you will select a call center consultant who can meet your needs, direct your efforts, and ensure success for your call center, your organization, and for you. Remember, your reputation is on the line.

Your best interests are served by selecting a consulting group with established roots in providing telehealth. When you’re looking for advice about a specific subject, there’s an inherent intelligence that only comes with someone who has experience in that subject. Hands on medical call center expertise is valuable when you’re hiring a consultant for help with a startup or making your existing operation more efficient.

Empathy is the icing on the cake. Look for a consultant who can identify with you and understand the emotional rollercoaster that a leader of a 24/7 call center faces. An empathetic consultant understands what motivates you and what keeps you up at night and can see the current situation from your perspective. Consultants with a history of successful call center leadership can focus on experiences similar to yours, respect the uniqueness of your organization, and customize proven strategies to ensure that your call center meets and overcomes the challenges that healthcare may face in 2015.

Ask your consultant, “Have you ever walked in my shoes?”

gina_taboneGina Tabone, MSN, RNC-TNP, is Director of Clinical Solutions at TeamHealth Medical Call Center.   Prior to joining TeamHealth, she served as the Administrator of Cleveland Clinic’s NURSE on CALL 24/7 nurse triage program. Under her direction, ED utilization declined, continuous care coordination improved, performance metric targets dropped from 33% ABD to less than 5%, URAC accreditation was achieved, and the call center grew from covering 350 physicians to the integration of more than 1,500 employed and affiliated providers.