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Quality Assurance in Healthcare

By Gretchen Ryan | February 7, 2018
Traditionally, a quality assurance is the process of systematic examination of a quality system carried out by an internal or external quality assurance or audit team. In healthcare contact centers with interaction recording, Quality Assurance also refers to a valuable set of tools that ensure personnel are well trained, adhere to performance standards, and have supporting records that show compliance with regulations. Examples of best practices using Quality Assurance tools include both proactive and reactive training, actionable feedback, and supplemental record keeping that supports compliance requirements.

Training & Procedures
Research indicates that proper training of agents in healthcare contact centers produces improved interactions and generates appropriate empathy towards patients. Reviewing recordings and issuing performance gradings in Quality Assurance ensures that agents are meeting the organization’s requirements for increasing patient satisfaction and retention.

In addition, Quality Assurance can be employed to correct procedural errors and contribute to protocol changes that will improve interactions and outcomes, reducing costs and driving revenue. For example, a nurse has been told to instruct patients to hang up and call another department for specialized assistance, but the facility now has unified communications in which the nurse can advance-notify the other department by IM and directly transfer the call. This issue would be detected with Quality Assurance, and updating the protocol to direct transfer would be the logical solution.

Compliance & Medical Records
Compliancy with medical records regulations is a complex process and continually under investigation. Recorded interactions and reports from Quality Assurance can assist in showing compliance in some cases. For example, an associated interaction with an agent or nurse that shows correct procedures in communicating with a patient can prove compliance with medical record requirements. Similarly, Quality Assurance can combine any number of interactions associated with the procedure in question, and these can be statistically analyzed for determining organizational compliance. Or, grouped records can be used to show an improvement trend for the compliance.

With the plethora of regulations and compliance standards in the healthcare industry, it is essential to record and store all telecommunications interactions. Using Quality Assurance in the contact center can contribute to training agents for correct performance as well as proving compliancy.

Have a success story related to the use of Quality Assurance in your organization? Have ideas about how to take Quality Assurance to the next level to optimize operations and patient relations? If so...

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About the Author - With more than 20 years' experience developing infrfastructure, policies, systems, and processes for numerous companies, Gretchen currently manages a diverse range of services and resources with HigherGround. Her responsibilities include oversight of Human Resources, administration, government contracts, and legal affairs. Click here for more information on Gretchen and the rest of the HigherGround team!
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.