Reducing your medical center's average handle times is challenging as you scale. Learn how to improve average handle time and calculate your AHT.
How to Measure Patient Experience at Outpatient Medical Centers
Healthcare centers should continuously monitor and measure patient experience to make improvements with a combination of the right KPIs. Learn more...
As a leader of patient experience at an outpatient healthcare center, you know how challenging it is to build out a patient support team in-house.
Creating an in-house patient support team often comes from many obstacles, from changing seasonal demand to the high cost of labor in many states across the country.
Because of this, healthcare organizations and outpatient medical centers often outsource their patient scheduling, insurance verification, and follow-up communication to a healthcare call center.
Still, navigating and selecting the right call center for your medical organization isn’t easy. If you’re evaluating different call centers, ask about these five key performance indicators (KPIs) during your discovery calls.
Top five healthcare patient experience Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Quality assurance audits are essential to develop customized coaching programs, reduce errors in workflows and per agent, and improve your agents’ soft skills.
Your healthcare call center should audit three to five calls per agent per week and score the calls based on the outpatient healthcare provider’s ‘KPI’ scorecard.
Whether you’re looking for a healthcare call center or simply hoping to improve your current in-house patient support programs, use the following quality assurance metrics to benchmark and determine areas of improvement and celebrate your recent performance.
1. Average Speed of Answering (ASA)
A healthcare call center’s ASA measures the time it takes for an agent to answer an inbound patient call. A high ASA might point to two different problems: lack of training and education across agents or that your call center is understaffed.
To find your ASA, calculate the following:
ASA = Total time customers wait in queue / Total number of answered calls
At CCD Health, our ASA benchmark is between 30 to 60 seconds to ensure that our agents are prepared and have the necessary resources to provide patients with relevant support. If you struggle to provide an ASA below 1 minute, it might be time to audit your onboarding and training programs or expand your current team size.
2. Average Handle Time (AHT)
Average Handle Time looks into the average time it takes for an agent to resolve a patient inquiry over the phone. At CCD, we currently possess a five to seven-minute benchmark when it comes to AHT. However, it's essential to note a high satisfaction rating with AHT. If an agent experiences a high AHT and a low satisfaction rating, this metric will be counterintuitive to the cause.
To determine your AHT, use the following formula:
AHT = (Talk time + hold time + follow-up time) / Total number of calls
The industry standard AHT is between six and eight minutes. This can be impacted by your team size, caller inquiries, and resources available to your current team of customer support.
Still, you can improve your average handling time by investing in better agent training, offering a medical knowledge base, providing scripts and examples, and regularly communicating with your agents.
3. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score
Your healthcare center’s CSAT score is a powerful success metric and indicates a customer’s (or patient's) satisfaction with the services provided by call agents. CSAT often uses a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is Very Dissatisfied and 5 is Very Satisfied:
- 1 - Very dissatisfied
- 2 - Dissatisfied
- 3 - Neutral
- 4 - Satisfied
- 5 - Very satisfied
High CSAT implicates excellent services and a high patient experience, whereas a low CSAT indicates a poor patient experience. To measure your CSAT, use the total number of ‘satisfied’ and ‘very satisfied’ responses and divide by the total number of respondents.
You can use the following formula:
CSAT = (Number of ‘4’ and ‘5’ responses) / (Number of Respondents) x 100
Keep in mind that your CSAT score is a “right here, right now” KPI that relates to a specific patient experience, and not an ongoing customer relationship. To measure an ongoing customer or patient relationship, you should use the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your NPS is a call center KPI used to measure a patient’s loyalty and willingness to recommend your services or products to other people. NPS is an index ranging from -100 to 100, and measures how likely a patient or customer is to advocate for your offerings. Your NPS responses will be broken up into three categories:
- Promoters: responses with a score of 9 or 10.
- Passives: responses with a score of 7 or 8.
- Detractors: responses with a score of 0 to 6.
To calculate your NPS, use the following formula:
NPS = (Total Promoters) - (Total Detractors)
Focus on optimizing your NPS to increase referrals and grow your customer base through word of mouth and customer loyalty.
5. Abandoned call rate
Abandoned calls can be divided into two categories, and are critical to measure the level of agent responsiveness and impact patient satisfaction.
- Missed calls: a phone call deliberately ended by the caller before being answered by an agent, a declined call occurs when the agent actively refused a call.
- Declined calls: a phone call when the agent actively refused a call, often due to being on the phone with another customer.
To calculate your missed call rate, use the following formula:
ACR = (Number of calls offered - Number of calls handled) / (Number of calls offered) x 100
The percentage of missed or declined calls at a call center can indicate two things: the call center is low on staff and can’t speak to patients waiting in the queue, or the call center’s agents have a high AHT and are unable to resolve a phone call efficiently. If a call center has a high rate of missed or declined calls, consider looking at a better staffed, lower AHT organization.
Measure and improve patient experiences at every touchpoint
Understanding these critical performance metrics can help see the importance of patient satisfaction in healthcare and identify the best call center to partner up with. During your discovery call, ask the right questions to a business development representative.