Telehealth services were on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have boomed since doctors diagnosed the first case. Patients rightfully want to limit their exposure to the virus, which means avoiding medical facilities whenever possible. For many people, telehealth has been a literal lifesaver.
Telemedicine has some technical limitations. It depends on remote communication infrastructure that has some flaws. If any part of this system fails, patients will not receive the timely care that they need.
If you are part of a telehealth effort, you need to ensure that operations run smoothly by adopting efficient telemarketing and telehealth practices.
Telehealth Popularity Skyrockets
A vast increase in patient requests for telehealth services has swamped some medical practices. While many physicians have added telehealth to their practices, some worry about the level of care they can give remotely. Obviously, in-person visits are necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment in many cases. However, the need to safely communicate with patients during a pandemic is driving the telehealth trend.
Regulators as well are looking for ways to roll out telehealth safely and preserve current medical standards. The healthcare system has been slow to respond to telehealth, which has been improved by new technology.
Despite the US having more funding and better facilities than many other countries, its telehealth system is still fighting to overcome systemic barriers.
Patients Complain About Blocked Calls
Hospitals, medical call centers, and doctors are having problems reaching their telehealth patients. They report that many calls never reach patients, often because of blocked calls. Blocked calls plague many types of businesses, but healthcare industries find this issue especially troubling.
The healthcare industry relies on patients receiving timely responses to their health questions. Delayed communication from their medical professionals might lead to worsening health and medical emergencies. Despite the rollout of STIR/SHAKEN, call recipients are still inadvertently blocking legitimate calls.
The STIR/SHAKEN framework has helped reduce call spoofing efforts. However, leading up to its rollout, call blocking apps and consumer practices focused on blocking unwanted calls. The side effect of these efforts means that the public is blocking the calls of legitimate businesses as well as fraudulent ones. Many callers automatically block unknown numbers or calls from any organizations that are labeled spam or scam likely.
Preventing Blocked Calls
Erroneously blocked calls are harming the telehealth industry and threatening the health of some patients. That means your organization needs to take action. You do not always know when patients have mistakenly blocked your calls, but you can take steps to minimize this problem.
Give Patients Your vCard
A vCard is your virtual contact information that you can send to your patients via text or email. They can then simply click on the information and easily store it on their phones.
When patients save a phone number, your call will no longer display “spam likely” or other negative call labels. Providing vCards helps ensure patients are receiving their calls and getting the medical advice and treatment that they need.
Phone Number Management
Phone number management is key to the success of telehealth. You must constantly monitor your phone numbers for flags and labels so that you can correct any problems promptly. This simple step prevents patients from mistakenly blocking your calls.
When you scan your outbound calls frequently, you can make certain that recipients have not misreported your number. You will also be able to determine if your company has been the victim of call spoofing.
Use Dedicated Numbers for Departments
You can also protect your practice by using dedicated numbers for different departments. Also, healthcare professionals in the same practice should have dedicated numbers.
This step helps ensure that staff members do not place too many calls on the same number, which can trigger spam labels. In addition, this method helps reveal if scammers are spoofing one particular number or if calls from that number are not reaching patients.
Always Follow Compliance
Compliance is key in the medical industry. While violating HIPPA laws can lead to severe fines or even the loss of your practice, telemarketing compliance laws can affect your telehealth services too.
Not following proper calling protocols can cause carriers to flag your numbers or patients to block them. The FCC can also issue heavy fines and other penalties for non-compliance. Remember to check for frequent federal updates to these regulations.
Telehealth Call Management
While telehealth is here to stay and slated to grow exponentially, adapting to the demands of this form of healthcare is difficult. You must deal with a myriad of government regulations while providing the top-quality care that your patients need.
When you offer telehealth services, you must ensure that you are offering excellent medical care to your patients and keeping their calls connected. You need dependable communication that goes both ways, something that wrongly blocked calls can prevent.
Fortunately, you can eliminate many call problems by staying vigilant and adopting call-friendly strategies.