Operations & Logistics
6 min read

Elevating Patient Experience Through Healthcare Call Center Services

Ziv Gidron Head of Content, Hyro
Elevating Patient Experience Through Healthcare Call Center Services



  • Call centers play a pivotal role in shaping patient experiences in healthcare.
  • Call center patient experience challenges include outdated technology, long hold times, and decentralized patient data.
  • Advanced call center AI solutions can address these challenges.
  • AI can offer scalability, 24/7 support, and improved efficiency in healthcare call centers.
  • Strategies for enhancing customer experience include continuous agent training and gathering patient feedback.
  • AI can automate routine tasks, reducing waiting times and personalizing interactions.

The First Impression Is the Last Impression

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

For most patients, call centers serve as the first touchpoint in their healthcare journey. This initial interaction with your call center representatives will often become their first (and lasting) impression of your health system. 

It can also directly affect your revenue performance. 

According to Hyro’s State of Healthcare Call Centers report, 69% of surveyed call center executives, citing higher-than-average patient satisfaction, logged net profit margins that exceeded their 2023 projections. 

Source: Hyro's State Of Healthcare Call Centers

If so much hinges on patient experience, how can you improve it, not once but consistently?

The short answer is with bleeding-edge, HIPAA-compliant AI call center technology.


But before we dive into what that means, let’s examine the healthcare call center experience, how it currently feels to most patients, and how AI could play a crucial role in reshaping it.

What Is Call Center Experience in Healthcare?

Call center experience in healthcare refers to how patients feel about their interactions with their provider’s call center. Contact centers are essentially the “first line of defense” when patients need information, help scheduling appointments, and, of course, when emergencies strike.

While healthcare call centers play a crucial role in enhancing patient access, their operators face significant and costly challenges. Patient Access Collaborative reports that soaring call volumes are pushing agents to the brink, leading to annual turnover rates exceeding 25%. Rising patient expectations, increasingly longer hold times, and the pressure to position call centers as value generators rather than cost centers are making the job harder than ever.

The Current State of Call Center Experience

Let’s start by stating the facts: roughly half of patients hang up the call with their healthcare provider unsatisfied.

Source: Hyro's State Of Healthcare Call Centers

The reasons for their discontent are numerous, but here’s just a short list of common friction points: 

  • Outdated Technology: Clunky call center technology, such as intent-based IVRs and chatbots, is frustrating for patients to navigate. These tools are also time-consuming to update on your organization’s side, which means patients might not always be able to access your most up-to-date information and services.
  • Long Hold Times: Your patients anticipate immediate support when reaching out, but the combination of high call volumes and understaffed call centers often results in prolonged hold times. 
  • Limited After-Hours Service: Your patients’ health does not have operating hours. Limited after-hours support can make your system seem inaccessible.
  • Uncentralized Patient Data: Continuously entering or repeating the same information can frustrate patients and make their experience feel impersonal.
Source: Hyro's State Of Healthcare Call Centers

These issues don’t exist in a vacuum. And you can gauge their impact by measuring first call resolutioncall abandonment rateaverage hold time, call route success rate, ROI, goal completion rates, and average speed to answer.

Julian Ammons, Chief Director of IT Digital Cloud Development Ops at Baptist Health, shared insights into the Jacksonville, Florida, health system’s patient call center experience during our Digital Front Door Day 2023 virtual summit:


“60% to 65% of our calls were for password resets. Let’s say we had 1,000 calls come in, and 600 of them were for password resets. The average turnaround time for those calls was 14-15 minutes. That’s time we could have spent with the other 400 calls that came in, getting their issue resolved on the first try.”

This isn’t an uncommon scenario in the healthcare industry. Our report found that repetitive low-touch password reset calls are the top call drivers for 21% of call centers. 

When patients have no other pathway to accomplish the most mundane tasks, call centers take the hit.

How to Improve Customer Experience in Healthcare Call Centers

It’s not all doom and gloom. 

There are very tangible strategies and solutions you can adopt to improve your patients’ call center experience—let’s take a quick look at some of them:

  • Promote Continuous Learning and Development for Agents: Handling hundreds of emotionally charged calls daily and maintaining a high service standard requires ongoing empathy training. Additionally, quarterly training on the latest medical information is essential to keep agents up-to-date and compliant with HIPAA regulations.
  • Improve Patient Access:  Enhance patient accessibility by implementing AI-driven omnichannel, 24/7 support.
  • Encourage Patient Feedback: To pinpoint areas for improvement in call center customer experience, the most effective approach is to hear directly from your patients. Encourage patients to provide feedback so you can understand what’s working well and identify service blindspots that demand your attention.
  • Monitor Analytics and Provide Timely Feedback: Beyond patient feedback, leverage patient journey analytics to identify bottlenecks in your system. Utilize the compiled data to offer timely feedback to your agents.
  • Utilize AI Solutions: AI technology can resolve patient issues end-to-end, providing seamless experiences and simultaneously alleviating the workload on your call center agents.

AI's Role in Transforming Call Center Customer Experience

With a recession still looming over the US economy, expanding your agent headcount or outsourcing calls may not be the most practical solution.

The game-changer? AI-powered call center technology


Let’s explore how AI can address prevalent call center issues and positively impact your patient experience:

  • Enhance Agent Productivity: Utilizing AI-driven call center solutions can help your agents effectively manage routine tasks that consume a significant portion of their shifts. This re-captured time enables agents to concentrate on handling more intricate calls, fostering more meaningful connections with each caller.
  • Round-the-Clock Patient Accessibility: These advanced solutions offer 24/7 support across various channels, ensuring patients have access to general information and assistance with tasks like appointment scheduling and physician searches whenever they need it.
  • Reduced Waiting Times: With the aid of AI-powered call center assistants handling and resolving routine inquiries automatically, patients enjoy shorter hold times.
  • Tailored Interactions: AI assistants can gather patient intake information and share that data with agents before handing over the call. Armed with this information, agents can seamlessly continue the conversation initiated by the AI assistant, delivering a more streamlined and personalized experience for the caller.

Let’s illustrate this using an imaginary patient’s journey within a healthcare system like Intermountain Health:

The patient, who recently relocated to Denver, initiated their search for a new primary care physician (PCP) through one of Intermountain’s websites.


The AI web assistant addressed their initial queries and assisted in finding a suitable PCP based on specified criteria.


The patient successfully scheduled an appointment. ✅

Let’s try another example:

Faced with a complex issue requiring human assistance, the patient contacts Intermountain’s call center. 


The call center AI assistant gathers all relevant information from the patient and accurately routes them to the appropriate point of care. ✅

Watch Hyro’s VP Product Uri Pintov deliver a live demo of Hyro’s call center AI assistant: 

The Future of Customer Experience in Healthcare Call Centers

To significantly enhance customer experiences in call centers, integrating modern AI technology alongside live agents is essential. Embracing advanced solutions such as Hyro’s Adaptive Communications Platform, which offers scalability and a user-friendly patient interface, can set your call center’s quality of service apart.

Moreover, incorporating AI technology provides comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analytics, allowing for the continuous refinement of call center workflows through actionable insights and fostering adaptability to evolving patient needs.

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About the author
Ziv Gidron Head of Content, Hyro

Ziv is Hyro’s Head of Content, a conversational AI expert, and a passionate storyteller devoted to delivering his audiences with insights that matter when they matter most. When he’s not obsessively consuming or creating content on digital health and AI, you can find him rocking out to Fleetwood Mac with his four-year-old son.