Operations & Logistics
8 min read

Hiring Top-Performing Call Center Agents for Your Health System: A Step-by-Step Guide

Maya Agmon, Head of HR, Hyro
Maya Agmon Head of HR
Hiring Top-Performing Call Center Agents for Your Health System: A Step-by-Step Guide

Serving as the initial point of contact for your patients’ queries, call center agents play a critical role in a health system’s call center operations. Our State of Healthcare Call Centers Report found that only 51% of patients are satisfied with the service delivered by their provider’s call center. 

That means for every two patients that call, only one ends the call satisfied. 

Patient Satisfaction With Their Healthcare Providers In The Us
Source: Hyro's State Of Healthcare Call Centers Report

Our report also revealed that 69% of respondents enjoying high patient satisfaction had net profit margins that exceeded their projections. This correlation shows that high-performing call centers can positively impact patient experience and revenue outcomes. And one key component of an efficient call center is top-performing agents.

Source: Hyro's State Of Healthcare Call Centers Report

But how do you create a team that prioritizes patient satisfaction and operates at peak performance at all times? In this guide, we’ll uncover what it takes to hire healthcare call center agents who are highly qualified to provide exceptional service consistently. 

Identifying the Ideal Call Center Agent Profile

Call Center Agent Responsibilities and Skills

Finding top talent for your healthcare call center requires knowing what you need from your agents. Some common qualities you’d want in them are:


  • Empathy: Patients don’t call their healthcare providers for casual conversations. They primarily contact them because of overwhelming or stressful situations. Call center agents need to be empathetic towards patients, listen to what they’re saying, and help them get the assistance they need. 
  • Attention to Detail: In healthcare, details are essential, and one seemingly minor detail can impact patient engagement and the care they receive. Your call center agents must be detail-oriented to ensure critical information is being passed along correctly. 
  • Ability to Stay Calm Under Pressure: It’s common for patients to call their healthcare providers while emotionally distressed. It wouldn’t help them if your agent sounded stressed out, too. So, your agents must be able to maintain their composure while working in a high-stress environment. 

Your patients are not calling to schedule a Disney Cruise—they’re calling about their health, their lives.

Besides these, there might be other qualities that are unique to your call center that they will need to demonstrate. Additionally, you’ll need to use behavioral and cultural fit assessments to ensure candidates have the personality and work style necessary for the role.

Creating an Effective Recruitment Strategy

The type of talent you attract will significantly depend on your recruitment strategy. The first step is to create clear job advertisements that convey who you are, what the position entails, and what you require from candidates. Moreover, you should avoid vague job descriptions, which discourage top talent from applying.

Template: An Effective Health System Call Center Agent Job Description:

Job Title: Call Center Agent – [Insert Health System Name]


Location: [Insert Location]


Employment Type: Full-time


About Us:

[Insert Health System Name] is a leading healthcare provider committed to delivering exceptional patient care and support. We are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our community by providing top-quality medical services and personalized care. Our Call Center plays a crucial role in ensuring our patients receive the support and information they need, making a positive impact on their healthcare journey.


Position Summary:

As a Call Center Agent for [Insert Health System Name], you will be a vital member of our patient support team, responsible for delivering outstanding customer service to patients and their families. You will be the first point of contact for patients seeking information, scheduling appointments, and addressing their inquiries and concerns.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Patient Assistance: Provide courteous and empathetic assistance to patients and their families by answering inquiries, scheduling appointments, and directing calls to the appropriate departments or medical professionals.
  • Appointment Scheduling: Efficiently manage appointment scheduling and follow-up processes, ensuring patient appointments are accurately booked and confirmed.
  • Information Dissemination: Disseminate accurate and up-to-date information regarding our health services, healthcare providers, and relevant health information to callers.
  • Problem Resolution: Resolve patient issues, complaints, or concerns professionally and in a timely manner, escalating complex cases to the appropriate supervisor or department when necessary.
  • Data Entry: Maintain accurate and confidential patient records and data entry in electronic health systems or databases.
  • Quality Assurance: Adhere to established call center protocols and quality assurance standards to ensure consistently high levels of customer service and patient satisfaction.
  • Team Collaboration: Collaborate effectively with other call center agents, healthcare professionals, and support staff to ensure seamless patient care and coordination.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay informed about changes in healthcare policies, procedures, and services, participating in ongoing training and development opportunities.



  • High school diploma or equivalent (Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in a healthcare-related field is a plus).
  • Previous customer service or call center experience is preferred.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Empathetic and patient-focused with a strong commitment to providing exceptional customer service.
  • Proficiency in using computer systems and electronic health records.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, if required.
  • Knowledge of healthcare terminology and insurance processes is a plus.



  • Competitive salary
  • Comprehensive healthcare benefits
  • Retirement savings plans
  • Paid time off and holidays
  • Ongoing training and professional development
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Opportunities for career advancement

How to Apply:


Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume and cover letter to [Insert Application Submission Email/Link]. Please include “Call Center Agent Application – [Your Name]” in the subject line of your email.


[Insert Health System Name] is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds and experiences.


Join our dedicated team and help make a difference in the lives of our patients. Your commitment to providing exceptional service is at the heart of our mission to improve healthcare in our community. Apply today!

Another key component of your recruitment strategy is where you post your job advertisement. You’ll need to utilize multiple recruitment channels, such as job boards and social media platforms, to reach the widest possible panel of candidates. 

Screening and Selecting Call Center Agent Candidates

Once you have a list of qualified candidates, use their assessment results to narrow down who’s going to the next phase of the screening stage. The behavioral, cultural fit, and skills assessments will give you a good idea of the type of person each candidate is, how they’d fit into your call center’s environment, and their skill level. Using this information, you can interview the most qualified talent and focus on getting to know their motivations and how they will fit into the team’s dynamic. 


When recruiting call center agents, also conduct reference and background checks. They can help you feel confident that the candidate you’re hiring is who they say they are and can actually provide your patients with quality assistance.

Onboarding and Training

You’ll need to design an onboarding program to help your new agents maximize their potential. This program aims to help them familiarize themselves with their new role. Your onboarding plan might include helping them understand the work culture and responsibilities and assigning a peer mentor. 


Your agents will need training on patient communication, their tech stack, HIPAA compliance, scenarios they’ll face with patients, and the best and worst ways to handle them. You can also use their skill assessment results to see where they need more assistance. 


However, training doesn’t end after the initial onboarding period. To ensure your agents continue providing high-quality service to patients, they’ll need continuous training on new technology, crises, and emerging medical trends.

Retaining and Motivating Call Center Agents

Healthcare call center agents work in a high-stress environment, which can be emotionally draining and result in burnout. They also deal with irregular work schedules. Ultimately, these factors make retaining agents difficult and can lead to staggering high call center turnover rates. In fact, Patient Access Collaborative members report +25% turnover a year. 

While it’s not easy, there are some strategies you can implement to help motivate your agents and, in turn, lower your attrition rate: 


  • Recognize Their Hard Work: Letting your agents know that you recognize and appreciate their hard work can boost morale and encourage them to continue doing their best. 
  • Offer Rewards Programs: Offering a rewards program is another way you show agents that you recognize their hard work. It doesn’t need to be extravagant to make a difference; you can offer gift vouchers to reward their performance.  
  • Encourage Open Communication: Creating an open communication environment can motivate your agents to share their thoughts, which can also help you spot early turnover signs. 
  • Offer Career Development Opportunities: When agents feel stagnant in their roles and lack growth opportunities, they’re more likely to leave to advance in their careers. However, you can increase employee engagement and retention by offering these opportunities at your center. 
  • Utilize Efficiency-Boosting Tech: Call center agents can experience burnout and feel unmotivated when answering repetitive patient calls. You can boost their efficiency and allow them to focus on more complex cases that align with their expertise by utilizing healthcare call center automation. Hyro’s three-pronged approach enables health systems such as Intermountain Health to optimize their agents’ workloads and priorities through: 
    • Smart Routing: AI-powered smart routing accurately routes patients to the appropriate point of care through Natural Language Understanding (NLU). 
    • End-to-End Resolution: AI call center assistants can solve routine requests, such as appointment scheduling, Rx management, and FAQs, with zero human involvement.
    • SMS Deflection: SMS deflection (Call-to-Text) automatically deflects repetitive patient queries to self-serve via SMS. 

Tracking and Evaluating Call Center Agent Performance

How can you tell the difference between top-performing agents and those who need additional support to reach peak performance levels? By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). Common KPIs that can help you evaluate your agent’s performance are patient satisfaction score, call abandonment rates, average call handling times, and first-call resolution. By conducting regular performance evaluations, you can gauge your agents’ strengths and weaknesses. If you notice performance issues that need to be discussed, like lower patient satisfaction scores, you can provide feedback and follow-up actions to fix the problem. 

How to Improve Call Center Agent Performance

One way to improve a health system’s call center agent’s performance is to provide them with regular feedback and coaching. Feedback can help agents identify their strengths and areas for improvement, while coaching can help them develop new skills and strategies to handle different situations. Feedback and coaching should be based on objective data, such as call quality scores, patient satisfaction ratings, and key performance indicators. Feedback and coaching should also be timely, specific, and constructive so that agents can learn from their mistakes and successes.

Team members are not robots, we get very complex calls, we get very unique scenarios that we can’t outline all the time. We want to do everything we can to make sure that the commitment to quality is there.

Wrapping Up

Recruiting top-tier agents for your health system’s call center doesn’t happen on its own. To hire call center agents, you’ll need to determine your ideal agent and create a hiring process that helps you properly target them. Then, establish onboarding, training, and performance evaluation programs to help hone their skills and implement employee retention strategies to reduce turnover.


Ultimately, your call center agents are your patients’ first point of contact and, as mentioned above, can play a dramatic role in patient satisfaction and experience. That’s why these strategies aren’t set in stone and should be continuously monitored and optimized to ensure your patients only have the best service a center can provide.   

Learn how you can use AI-powered call center automation to empower your top-performing agents.

Conversational AI insights,
directly to your inbox.
About the author
Maya Agmon, Head of HR, Hyro
Maya Agmon Head of HR

Maya is Hyro's Head of HR and an accomplished tech leader spearheading people-first optimization processes within growth-stage startups. While she may be unflinching in her approach to her profession, she does harbor an inexplicable fear of pigeons that we are all helping her to work out.