Category: Industries

Category: Industries
West Corporation

Posted on March 16, 2016 by West Corporation 

Utilities are Stepping Up the Caller Experience in an Outage

Greg Ablett, Senior Vice President of Utilities and Business Support at West, offers his take on keeping up with today’s evolving utility customer in CS Week’s Spring edition of Newsline:

… utility customers rely on gas and electric power so much that if and when it goes out, they (understandably) tend to panic. They want to be kept in-the-know, up-to-the-minute during outage situations. There is a more user-friendly and cost effective solution. High-Volume Call Answering (HVCA) systems have transformed the way calls are fielded during extended, storm-related outage situations and on blue sky days. …

Click here to read the Newsline article (beginning on Page 3).

Join West at CS Week Conference 40, April 25-29, where we’ll continue taking an in-depth look at how the utility landscape is shifting and what companies should do to step up to the challenge. While you’re planning your trip to Phoenix, don’t forget to check out our event calendar to explore some other engaging events to stop by throughout the year!

West Corporation

Posted on March 9, 2016 by West Corporation 

Scale and Capacity—Where It Matters

By Colin Roberts

As provider organizations seek to improve customer service, they are challenged to balance automation—which allows patients to self-serve for basic needs—with personalized interaction.

Let’s face it, patients have different requirements and needs, depending on their level of risk.

For example, lower risk patients may only need to reach out to your access center for relatively simple requests, like appointment scheduling or directions to your facility. Meanwhile, higher-risk patients—those with chronic conditions, for example—may require more interaction with a care coordinator, registered nurse or care coach.

The problem for many hospitals is that they handle each of these patient types exactly the same—and it is simply unsustainable from a cost and efficiency standpoint.

Hospitals need to ask themselves—does every patient require the exact same level of attention? Where will efficiency have maximum impact? Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on March 3, 2016 by West Corporation 

Avoiding CMS Penalties—and Capturing New Revenue Streams—Through Proactive Patient Outreach

By Chuck Hayes

Thousands of hospitals across the United States are feeling the financial pressures of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Up to three percent of Medicare reimbursement is on the line when patients are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days of discharge for a set of diagnoses specified by CMS.

This year, 2,601 of the 3,400 hospitals subject to the program will have to pay penalties to CMS.

Needless to say, preventing readmissions is top of mind for hospital executives — and improving transitions of care through proactive patient outreach is a key strategy in achieving this goal.

Engaging Patients through Early Outreach

Research shows that early outreach is key to ensuring that discharged patients understand their care plan and receive the follow-up care they need. That’s one reason why CMS’ transitional care management guidelines require communication with the patient within two business days of discharge.

One Pennsylvania hospital recently proved how effective a simple outreach intervention can be in reducing readmissions. They piloted a program where they sent simple reminders via text message to patients and their caregivers—one message the day after discharge verifying patients had picked up their medications and scheduled their follow-up appointment, and one reminder message the day before the follow-up appointment. The result was astounding: Readmissions in the pilot group were 25 percent lower than in the control group! Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 

Add Big Data Skills to your Arsenal of Tools

by Jen Rychly, Media Coordinator – West Corporation

Recently, two executives within West Corporation were featured in CIO, a publication geared toward IT professionals. The latest issue details an up-and-coming trend that is becoming more common among information technology organizations. West is among one of the leading technology companies using online training. Clearly, online training doesn’t replace a formal education, but for those looking to expand or simply begin working on their big data skillset–online training is a perfect place to start.

Acquiring the big data skillset

Due to rapidly evolving technology, it’s often challenging for organizations to acquire the “perfect” candidate with all the necessary skillsets needed to perform to expectations, particularly in big data. Even when they think they have the right fit, the skills needed today may become passé tomorrow. By offering online training courses, West ensures our employees are up to speed on the vital skills needed in today’s fast-moving tech world. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on February 29, 2016 by West Corporation 

Three Tips for Creating Calls-to-Action in Patient Outreach

By Justin Everette

Whether you have adopted automated tools to engage patients about care opportunities or you rely on manual staff efforts to make those connections, the importance of message content cannot be overstated. One of the most essential components of effective communication is the call-to-action — the action you want the patient to take in response to your outreach. Whether it’s calling a phone number, visiting a website, or scheduling a screening — it needs to be extremely clear what you want patients to do and how you want them to do it.

Here are three best practices for creating effective calls-to-action in your patient outreach:

  • Be immediate. You are always going to have a small percentage of your targeted patients abandon your message before it’s complete. Placing the call-to-action at the forefront of your message ensures they at least get the most important information.
  • Be repetitive. Think of this as the call-to-action “sandwich”. After immediately stating the call-to-action in your message, you should then repeat that call-to-action again at the end of the message to make sure you’ve driven the point home. The sandwich looks like this: State the call-to-action, spend some time educating patients on why it is important, and then mention the call-to-action again.
  • Be specific. This is the “how” of your call–to-action. Being specific guides the patient from “get a screening” to “here’s specifically how you schedule this screening”. Instead of “call us”, you can have greater impact by saying “call us at 888-123-4567” (or better yet, offer patients the option to connect directly to the scheduling department). You cannot rely on the message recipient to navigate through a website or to look up a phone number. For best results, be specific and make it as easy as possible to take action.

Immediate, repetitive, and specific. Work these three concepts into your calls-to-action for patient communication that drives engagement and increases response rate.

Justin Everette is Director, Marketing Communications for TeleVox Solutions, West Corporation, where the healthcare mission is to help organizations harness communications to expand the boundaries of where, when, and how healthcare is delivered.

West Corporation

Posted on February 24, 2016 by West Corporation 

US Utilities Lead the Way for UK with Outage Communications

When severe weather hits, how can utilities avoid a storm of customer dissatisfaction? The immediate response is clear: restore service disruptions as quickly as possible. But there’s another business imperative utilities can’t overlook: customer service. In general, UK utilities lag behind their US counterparts in terms of storm-related customer service. But with inclement weather on the rise in the UK — and growing demand for better service — the pressure is on UK utilities to deliver a higher standard of customer service before, during and after a storm. Read the article here.

West’s Senior Vice President of Utilities and Business Support Greg Ablett weighs in on keeping up with today’s utility customers in an article recently published by Utility Week.

Join us at CS Week Conference 40, April 25-29, where West will share more utility best practices and further explore Greg’s insights on graceful automation – and check out the rest of our event calendar to connect with us at other events over the next few months.

West Corporation

Posted on February 12, 2016 by West Corporation 

Roses are Red, the PC is Through?

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The time of year that masses of eligible singles sit at home with pints of ice cream on-hand, scrolling through nauseatingly romantic pictures in their Facebook and Instagram feeds. With each refresh comes a feeling of satisfied envy. Satisfied being the key word.

Not long ago, such Internet scrolling transitioned from mouse wheel to persistent thumb. Robert Cringley recently posted an article detailing this evolution and why a computer in our pocket trumps one at a desk.

Sitting at a desktop with Ben and Jerry’s just doesn’t paint the same picture of self-pity as a mobile device, a couch and Sleepless in Seattle in the background. It’s strangely satisfying self-pity because it’s where we want it and how we want it.

Our mobile devices are part of us; when we wear our hearts on our sleeves, smartphones are waiting in our palms to pick up the pieces. Like a best friend, they are there at all hours, ready to swoop in wherever help’s needed.

When the couch gets monotonous and a private Valentine’s Day getaway is in order, companies in every industry are fueling the peoples’ demand for mobility by: Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on February 5, 2016 by West Corporation 

Patient Engagement: A Call to Action

By Laura Bramschreiber, VP Marketing Strategy — Healthcare Practice, West Corporation

A core goal of any healthcare practitioner is to encourage patients to either begin, continue, or cease an action or series of actions. How do you communicate with patients in order to compel them to a specific, pre-determined action? Following are common desired patient actions that can be achieved using the right engagement and activation strategies.

Get Patients to See You

Carve out an efficient and consumer-friendly way to keep your patients on top of their wellness and treatment goals via reminders for upcoming services, like immunizations and screenings, and scheduling appointments and follow ups.

There are several ways to realize success in this area, but the two most important include:

  • Ensure that inbound calls from your patients are routed quickly, efficiently, and in a way that intelligently collects data that fosters a holistic view of each patient; and
  • Establish the preferred mode of communication for each patient—be it voice, text, web portal, or some other medium.

Patient preferences for communication channel and frequency can get pretty granular. For example, you may have a single patient who prefers bills to come through e-mail; appointment reminders to come via text; and consults be streamed over video. Establishing and updating these preferences, as well as their consent, are key to any ongoing engagement strategies.

Get Patients to Follow and Utilize their Treatment Plan

Comb your database to identify those patients who would benefit from transition care management (TCM) or coordinated care management (CCM) programs. Treatment gaps and missed appointments put patients at risk for readmission; providers should see these challenges as a means to unearth opportunities to improve the quality and efficacy of their programs, as well as take advantage of new value-based reimbursements in these areas.

Patient education is important, clearly; but so is training and awareness on the part of the clinical staff and physicians. Everyone involved must be up to speed on the value these programs bring to patients and the importance of the program to the practice in terms of revenue. Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities—ranging from scheduling, obtaining written consent, delivering care and billing—is key to success.

Get Patients to Monitor Progress between Visits

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring are incredible opportunities to innovate an underutilized area of patient care, foster new streams of revenue, and add formidable building blocks to value-based care by providing your patients with a comprehensive roadmap to sustained health. This can be accomplished by starting as early after discharge as possible and using communication technology and clinical resources to keep tabs on treatments and follow up care, as well as to monitor and address any complications.

Get Patients to Pay their Bills

A byproduct of value-based care is that the revenue cycle starts much earlier than it used to. Patients are expected to have more “skin in the game” when it comes to paying for healthcare services, which means that providers need to collect as much money as possible pre-service or at the point of care.

Practices and hospitals need to ensure that patients fully understand their financial obligations upfront. A standardized script for staff or automated communications should provide patients information about what they will owe when they come into the office, but also the payment options they can choose from, and any documentation they should bring with them to their visit.


By taking practical steps toward patient-centric engagement, providers can create a high-quality, intuitive and effortless consumer experience that has elements of a world-class retail service, while meeting the unique needs of the healthcare setting. Look for vendors and partners with the right combination of technology, experience and vision that will help you employ meaningful business practices regarding patient engagement and activation.

West Corporation

Posted on January 25, 2016 by West Corporation 

The Path to Meaningful Engagement

By Colin Roberts, Senior Director, Healthcare Product Integration, West Corporation

Technological innovations have gifted providers with myriad ways to communicate with and collect data from patients.

As provider organizations seek to incorporate more — and more meaningful — touchpoints with their patients throughout the continuum of care, they are challenges to close communication and care gaps, improve staff workflows, and ultimately drive more holistic patient engagement.

The ideal pathway to optimized patient engagement and activation lays in establishing and utilizing standardized best practices and leveraging automation.

A standardized and consistent communication pathway gives every department manager a more productive, contextual, and consistent way to seamlessly engage with patients on any issue and at any point within the continuum of care.

Automation establishes a cadence for reminders, including duration, frequency, time of day, and how patients want to be contacted. Though the term “automation” sometimes carries a negative assumption that the future of patient engagement removes human interaction from the equation, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the automation of routine communication alleviates administrative burdens, freeing team members to focus on more complex interactions in a meaningful way. With today’s technology, even automated processes can be personalized — both in messaging (i.e., specific to the individual patient) and how the message is communicated (i.e., the patient: phone call, text, email, etc.).

Value-based healthcare has myriad moving parts, but the clear through line is the efficacy of provider-patient communication. Greater financial obligations have given patients greater power when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider, and the mandate to reduce costly readmissions and provide patients a retail-feel to healthcare encounters has incented providers to seamlessly optimize patients To see a demo, visit the West Corp. booth at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas.

Note: This blog originally appeared in Health IT Outcomes.

Learn More and Schedule a Private Demo

West Corporation

Posted on January 22, 2016 by West Corporation 

Is Your IVR Out of Shape?

Voice self-service is a lynchpin for most companies’ customer service roadmaps. Optimization strategy can make it exceptional. Having seen the retail industry’s customer service influence across all verticals, we at West have witnessed the importance of evolution firsthand.

The consumer-driven world in which we live has spread the demand for accurate, immediate care when it comes to anything from pizza delivery, to air travel and even to choosing an insurance provider. Retail has set a standard that companies in every industry are being challenged to exceed.

While few would venture to argue against the need to drive an individualized customer experience, it is all-too-easy for brands to neglect helping voice solutions grow beyond their infancy stage.

Yes, we need to create a customer experience that evolves with our customer’s needs. But how does a company shift beyond stating the obvious to moving toward a more finite means of accomplishing customer satisfaction? Read More >