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Survey Results: An Inside Look at What’s Happening Across Hospital Contact Centers

Jun 28, 2024

This article was written by Jessica Levco, who covered the Annual Healthcare Call & Contact Center Conference held in Atlanta, GA in early June, 2024. 

Earlier this year, we partnered with our friends at Healthcare Contact Center Times to conduct the National Healthcare Contact Industry Survey (NHCCIS). After 30+ years, this tri-annual survey remains the most comprehensive assessment of the state of healthcare contact centers. photo of a person taking an online surveyWe gathered insights from more than 50 healthcare contact center leaders across the U.S. Then, we shared the results at the Healthcare Contact Center Times conference this summer.

Growth and optimism within the industry

Most respondents anticipate an increase in both contact center staff size and budgets over the next two years. This growth is expected to be driven by an increase in service offerings, indicating a continued demand for contact center services in the healthcare industry.

The survey found that the majority of contact center leaders plan to remain in the industry for at least six years or the rest of their careers. This suggests a high level of job satisfaction and commitment to the industry, Schneider says.

Despite the growing importance of contact centers, demonstrating their value to executive leadership remains a challenge. Divis expressed concern about the declining focus on tracking return on investment (ROI) and urged the industry to "take a step back and decide what those key metrics are."

“One of the challenges respondents said in the survey was proving to executives that you added value to the organization,” Divis says. “But yet 25% are trying to document revenue or revenue generated. So that's a big disconnect.”

Staffing challenges and solutions

Staffing remains a top challenge for contact centers, with over a third of respondents reporting difficulties in recruiting both clinical and non-clinical staff. However, the survey also found that recruiting has become somewhat easier since 2021, suggesting that the post-pandemic hiring landscape may be improving.

To address staffing challenges, contact center leaders are prioritizing improved efficiency, embracing technology and investing in better training strategies. The survey also revealed that hourly wages for call center staff have risen since 2021, reflecting the competitive labor market.

The rise of technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare contact centers. The survey found that most call centers offer a mix of clinical and non-clinical services, with a growing emphasis on non-voice channels such as website inquiries, patient portal support and telemedicine.

While only a quarter of call centers currently use AI to enhance self-service options, another 40% are actively exploring its potential. This suggests that AI adoption is poised to accelerate in the coming years, as contact centers seek to improve efficiency, personalize the patient experience and streamline operations.

IT has a lot on its plate right now — in terms of new applications, security issues and data breaches.

“IT is looking for ways to cut down the number of applications,” Divis says. “As contact center managers, you have to advocate for what you need. It’s not easy. But IT can be your greatest partner once you have that relationship in place. But they have to understand what you need and why it’s important.”  

You can download the entire report here.

We extend our sincere thanks to Healthcare Contact Center Times for their partnership, and to LVM Systems for their sponsorship and unwavering support of this survey initiative.

  • contact center
  • Call Center
  • healthcare call center innovation