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Contact Center & Healthcare Operations Leaders: Fireside Chat

Contact Center & Healthcare Operations Leaders: Fireside Chat

A fireside chat dedicated to healthcare operations and contact center professionals who speak in code like AHT and FCR and who fight a constant battle between a minute saved vs. a better experience provided. Watch the recording from Digital Front Door Day 2023.


  • Julian Ammons, Director of IT Digital Cloud Development Operations at Baptist Health
  • Omar De La Cruz,Former Director, Customer Care Contact Center at Adventist Health

Chat Highlights

In this fireside chat, Julian Ammons, Director of IT Digital Cloud Development Operations at Baptist Health, and Omar De La Cruz, Former Director, Customer Care Contact Center at Adventist Health, share insights into their roles and experiences. Julian oversees in-house development and Azure resource deployment, while Omar brings 25 years of contact center expertise, focusing on its integration into the healthcare sector.

Challenges in Healthcare Contact Centers: A Common Thread of Science

Omar emphasizes the fundamental connection between healthcare and contact centers: both are rooted in science. He stresses the specific science inherent in each domain and highlights the challenges in bridging the gap during the ongoing digital transformation. Omar’s extensive experience involves educating healthcare executives on the value of contact centers and dispelling the perception of contact centers solely as cost centers within the healthcare industry.

Transforming Contact Centers from Cost Centers to Profit Centers

Omar delves into his decade-long journey of educating healthcare executives about the value proposition of contact centers. He addresses the challenge of shifting the perception of contact centers from being mere cost centers to becoming revenue-generating profit centers. By illustrating a back-of-the-napkin calculation, he demonstrates the financial impact of contact centers on healthcare, emphasizing the potential for substantial returns when managed effectively.

The Call Center as the Unsung Hero: Shifting Perceptions and Recognizing Value

Julian adds a thoughtful perspective, comparing the call center to the often-overlooked father figure in a family. He likens the call center’s role to that of a dedicated provider silently ensuring the smooth functioning of operations. This analogy leads to a discussion on the perception challenges faced by contact centers, attributing the lack of recognition to their behind-the-scenes nature. Both speakers emphasize the importance of continuous education and effective communication to reshape perceptions and highlight the invaluable role of contact centers in healthcare.

Analyzing Call Volume and Lost Revenue Streams:

In this segment of the fireside chat, Omar & Julian emphasize the critical role of data in understanding and demonstrating the impact of call volume on the organization’s revenue. Omar recounts a specific instance where he took a comprehensive snapshot of call volume over a ninety-day period. By examining metrics such as call abandonment, hold times, and overflow to interpreter services, he was able to tie these data points to lost revenue. Omar effectively communicated this to the CFO, highlighting the significance of answering calls promptly and efficiently in maintaining revenue streams.

Tying Data to Lost Revenue:

Continuing the discussion, Omar shares his experience of connecting specific call-related data to tangible revenue loss. By presenting a scenario of losing twenty-five thousand calls and then extrapolating how many of those calls would not result in scheduled appointments, he demonstrates the financial impact. Through this approach, Omar illustrates the importance of considering various factors, such as abandoned calls, overflow to answering services, and interpreter costs, to give a holistic view of revenue loss. This detailed breakdown enables executives, especially CFOs, to grasp the financial implications of call center performance.

Impact on Branding and Social Media Transparency:

Omar extends the conversation beyond financial implications, highlighting the broader consequences of inadequate call center performance. He emphasizes that, in the current era of social media transparency, unanswered calls and prolonged wait times can significantly devalue the organization’s branding. He stresses the need to understand the audience, especially when dealing with healthcare, where the stakes involve emotional and physical well-being. Omar underlines that neglecting calls can result in not only financial losses but also a tarnished reputation, emphasizing the interconnectedness of operational efficiency and overall brand perception.

Balancing Automation and Human Interaction:

Shifting the focus to automation, Julian discusses the balance between leveraging technology for efficiency and maintaining human-centric interactions. Drawing from his experience in an internal call center, Julian shares how automation was strategically implemented to address specific pain points, such as a high volume of password reset calls. He highlights the importance of allocating time for call center agents to build personal connections with callers, especially for more complex issues that require human empathy. This discussion underscores the nuanced approach required in deploying technology within a call center to enhance efficiency without compromising the human touch.

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