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Healthcare’s moving into the 21st century, but many users are holding on to 20th century-style expectations

By Sean L. McCarthy

The next time you go in for your check-up, look at your doctor’s office, and see some of the little changes that have sprouted up in the past few years. Free wi-fi for moms, dads, and busy students. Nurses may be toting around tablets instead of clipboards. And once you get your prescription, you can fill it in the same building… and get a skinny, 20-ounce latte with a double shot of espresso while you’re waiting for your medication to get filled.
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Trouble with the Cost Curve

By Colin Roberts
High-risk patients—those with chronic conditions, for example—are the primary drivers of cost in healthcare today, due to the level of coordination and number of personal interactions required to successfully manage their health and treatment.

As providers seek opportunities to bend the healthcare cost curve in a more favorable direction, they might wish to pay closer attention to the “care curve” and whether they should really handle every patient, regardless of health status or requirements, exactly the same. I think what they see may surprise them.
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The Value of a Connected Utility Customer Experience

By Doug Thompson, Director of Product Management and Development, West Interactive

The customer service formula of yesteryear fades further into obscurity every day. Wait for a customer to become agitated, take their call, and then play damage-control. This didn’t jibe with customers even when landlines were the norm, and it’s simply unacceptable now — especially while Joe Schmo compares his interaction with an electric company to Zappos’ swiftness earlier in the week.

We get it: In an industry where unforgiving circumstances dictate all, creating a consistently rewarding customer experience can feel a lot like bailing water out of a sinking ship. Read More >

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Four of West’s Education Solutions are Award Finalists

We are proud to announce that four SchoolMessenger products have recently been recognized by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) for the 2016 CODiE Awards. A staple within the software and information industries for over 30 years, SIIA has a history of identifying quality customer solutions.

These four West solutions have been recognized and are in the running to win the number one spot in the award categories listed below them: Read More >

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West’s IVR Recognized as Best in Industry by CRM

West is honored to receive the 2016 CRM Service Winner Award for Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Dedicated to helping clients facilitate more rewarding customer interactions, West views IVR as the backbone for a complete, well-rounded multi-channel customer experience. We are proud to deliver a sturdy foundation for more connected communication.CRM Winner

CRM Media recognized West for its sophisticated speech recognition systems, layered with rich Natural Language capabilities. CRM also attributed much of West’s success to a variety of well-timed and swiftly executed strategic business decisions, including divesting its agent services business. Click here to read CRM’s full write-up.

CRM graded West on a variety of factors including reputation for depth of functionality and reputation for customer satisfaction, scoring West at 4.0 and a 3.9 respectively on a 5-point scale. (Here is a rundown their grading process.)

As a newcomer to the leaderboard in 2015, CRM highlighted West’s jump to the number one spot in 2016. Their complete graph is below: Read More >

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Armed for Proper Data Security and Compliance

The imperative to meet customers’ ever-increasing demand for speed, convenience and personalization (with complete accuracy) can make data security and compliance a major concern. This is especially true when dealing with highly sensitive material, like protected health information (PHI) in the Healthcare industry.

Sensitive information calls for a sensitive touch. Having the right people on your side makes all the difference.

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) has created the Business Associate Council (BA Council) to ensure continual collaboration among healthcare associates and to provide a much needed forum for organizations seeking to stay ahead of security risks. This council will enable organizations to agree on an appropriate set of requirements to achieve greater compliance efficiencies and reduce overall costs to business associates. Read More >

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Send Your Callers to the Free Throw Line

Whether you are an avid college basketball nut, or were roped into the “madness” and took a more creative approach to team selection (Hey, those jerseys are neat!), there are 9.2 quintillion possible combinations you could have ended up with by the time your March Madness bracket was complete. That’s 9.2 billion written one billion times. You had a lot of tough decisions to make.

Imagine if each of those decisions could have affected the way your company runs— organizationally and on the consumer side. That feeling of the unknown many get while filling out a bracket is a lot like how it feels when making customer communication decisions, with just as many potential outcomes. Even the smallest choices matter in the long run!

Repeat calls, for instance, are an often overlooked source of customer information. Often seen as an organizational “air ball,” a repeat call can actually become a valuable tool in your overall customer experience strategy. (What are a caller’s pain points? Can you apply your findings across other communication channels?) Read More >

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Be the Lexus® of Healthcare

By Brian Cooper, Patient Engagement Strategist, West Healthcare

Lexus is the most dependable car brand on the market today, according to J.D. Power & Associates. It has ranked the highest in vehicle dependability for five consecutive years.

What does this have to do with healthcare? A lot, when you consider the changing landscape of our healthcare industry.

We are entering a world where consumers’ experience with the care they receive matters more than ever before—and where ratings like those by J.D. Powers could soon become a reality for health systems across the United States. We are entering a world where consumers expect the same level of service and quality that they receive in other industries. We are entering a world where consumers are beginning to ask themselves: “Why should I buy healthcare from you as opposed to your competitor down the street?”

Healthcare organizations are competing ever more fiercely to gain and retain patients’ business—and first impressions are critical. That’s why the patient’s experience when reaching out to your healthcare organization seeking to do business with you is so important. That’s why a modernized access center (a centralized scheduling or contact center) is critical both for differentiating your organization and for preventing leakage. Read More >

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Text Messaging, Consumerism, and the Healthcare Industry, Part 2: Complying with Regulations

By Fonda Narke, Director of Product Integration, West Corporation Healthcare Practice

Texting is inarguably the preferred mode of communication for many consumers (see my previous blog on how consumers have grown to rely on texting).

So why are many healthcare organizations still hesitant to text their patients? They are rightly careful about complying with regulatory requirements for patient consent and privacy. In this blog, I’ll explain how organizations can implement an effective texting strategy that aligns 100 percent with regulations.

Addressing the Compliance Side of Texting
The two primary regulations organizations must consider when building a texting strategy are:

  • The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) – TCPA requires organizations in any industry—not just healthcare—to obtain consent to contact a consumer on a cellular phone device. The law protects consumers from the text-messaging version of spam (especially in the days when consumers had to pay for each text they received).
  • HIPAA – We in healthcare are, of course, very familiar with HIPAA, so I won’t describe it in any detail here. The law dictates that a patient’s protected health information (PHI) can only be transmitted to healthcare consumers in a secure manner. Texting does not constitute a secure channel for sharing PHI.

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Best Place to Work for YP’s: West

By Jen Rychly, Media Coordinator – West Corporation

On Friday, March 11, 2016, it was publicly announced that West Corporation had been selected as one the recipients of the 2016 Bubbler Awards: Wisconsin’s Best Places to Work for Young Professionals. The Bubbler Awards create an opportunity for companies to showcase the strides they’ve made toward accommodating the needs and interests of a shifting new workforce – Millennials.

This award holds a great deal of meaning for West. Selection was not random or based on luck. Our own employees felt confident that West is the best place to work and took the time to fill out a nomination form.

This speaks volumes as we strive to ensure that West’s culture is inclusive and inviting, and that our offices create an environment that our employees are excited to work at. Read More >


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