RECENT years have seen more and more healthcare clinics across Scotland realise the benefits to be had from outsourcing many of their administrative functions to a specialist (Business Process Outsourcing) company.
Begins Chris Munro, director of specialist business process outsourcing company, KBVO (Knowledge Base for Virtual Offices): “Whether clinics have receptionists or whether the healthcare professional – be it physiotherapist, osteopath, podiatrists orthodontist or optician – deal with patients themselves when they arrive for their appointment, an issue common to the healthcare sector is the fact that there are simply never enough staff to answer the phone, greet patients and carry out the required therapy.
“And as the overwhelming majority of new healthcare end users will typically make an enquiry by phone prior to booking an appointment, even when recommended, it is vital that all such enquiries are managed in a professional and friendly manner.”
That’s where a good BPO company can lend a helping hand.
Munro continued: “Increasingly sophisticated telecommunications means that BPO service providers can offer healthcare clinics a comprehensive variety of services, including: online diaries; appointment reminders to patients so there are no more missed appointments and wasted time slots in the diary and ensuring the optimum usage of diary slots so that appointments are bundled together rather than spread throughout the day.
“In order to be effective, it is essential that outsourced services such as telephone answering services are managed professionally and that, where possible, the same person answer calls as part of the client team.
“That means that the BPO company will need to know the workings of the healthcare clinic thoroughly to ensure that they run no risk of missing out on any enquiries, orders or appointments.
“Demand for BPO services is growing amongst the healthcare sector with practitioners now able to have their calls answered and processed on their behalf whilst they are unable to take them – and without the need to employ administration staff or, indeed, to build up an extensive and expensive branch network.
“It is its cost-effectiveness as well as the flexibility it offers through its ability to respond to peaks and troughs in demand from service users and the speed it offers for the scalability of healthcare enterprises that lies at the heart of the rise in demand for BPO suppliers.”
And Munro concluded: “BPO enables healthcare practitioners to focus on their core competencies, free from the burden of bureaucratic restraints. It enables clinics to remain agile and respond with haste to changes in demand by reducing or removing much of the need to recruit full-time employees who might transpire to be less productive and effective than their CVs had led therapists to believe.
“An effective way of cutting through reams of red tape, outsourcing can free up healthcare professionals from getting bogged down by the more mundane administrative matters of running a business, from processing payroll to compliance with a series of burdensome regulations.
“And given the continued global economic pressures, the demand for BPO services only looks set to rise as the flexibility it offers clinics enables them to down-size as well as up-size with much greater ease than would otherwise be the case. As such, the outsourcing sector is actively helping clinics survive and thrive through turbulent times.”
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