Illness to wellness – the patient care journey is fast-changing

Good health is a Journey. Every individual must be the CEO of their health and be armed with information to make informed decisions. The biggest stakeholder of good health is the individual’s family and the Society at large. The cost of poor health not only impacts the individuals and their families but the entire society at large. 


In a country like India, which is home to one-sixth of humanity and with such vast diversity in education, nutrition, health, and income, good health is getting its due attention now.  The state of Healthcare presents a vast opportunity for innovation, patient engagement and drive transformation like never thought before post the pandemic. 


The pandemic has allowed the stakeholders to redefine their approach to health. The world is waking up to the dream of putting patients’ safety first and taking a holistic view of their needs. Proactive patient engagement is now becoming mainstream in many provider organizations, and for good reasons.


The quality of patient care is determined by the quality of infrastructure, personnel, and operational efficiencies. Patient orientation is the fundamental requirement, and this is where digital technologies can help providers in offering the best patient care. 


Digital advancements in healthcare are propelling innovation and driving long-term structural changes in how healthcare is delivered – trends that the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated. 


Healthcare at a broader spectrum can be divided into Critical care, Chronic Care & Wellness. The key mantra for engagement success is quality, access, & reduced costs, with patient safety and welfare as the critical criteria for the outcome measure.


How do you ensure the success of patient care?

Access: Accessibility and availability of the hospital and the physician to all those who require healthcare. Post-procedure access to be made available using telemedicine besides physical visits. 


Appointment: Minimize waiting time for all services and ensure that appointment schedules are adhered to, guaranteeing optimum resource utilization and happier patients. 


Information: Information and instruction about all procedures should be made clear in an understandable language to the patients —  regular communication during and post-treatment to ensure successful patient care.


Quality: Access to trained professionals providing patient care is a must to ensure the desired outcomes. Usage of adequately maintained and latest equipment with newer technologies help in appropriate diagnosis and patient care.


Improvement of patient care is a dynamic process and should be uppermost in the minds of medical care professionals and providers alike.


Enhancing Access

Indian health care had mainly been underfunded, and many of the indicators in terms of coverage, number of beds to population, number of doctors to population are vastly skewed. Further, their availability is also restricted in cities and towns, and it is not uncommon for people to travel a long distance to get even basic health care. 


Accessing quality information and care will be difficult without the use of technology. It is necessary now to enhance access through innovative use of technology to reach out to patients, and it makes a lot more practical sense during these extreme pandemic times. 


People often consider excellent customer service as an essential part of healthcare. The use of technology minimizes room for error, and providing a superior user experience enhances patient satisfaction, thereby improving the quality of care.


How do we enhance access using technology is something that we will see in Part 2 of this article – Illness to wellness – improving patient care using technology

5 reasons why you have to look at the cloud for your contact center

Two-thirds of the contact centers moved to the cloud in the last 12 months. The contact centers moved to the cloud to keep their floors running as a response to the pandemic. 


That being said, the contact centers now have started seeing several other reasons why the cloud makes sense for them.


There are several reasons why cloud would make sense, and the top 5 reasons are: 


1. Flexibility

It allows you to avoid high capital investments for your contact center infrastructure. You are only talking about operational expenses, where you pay by the minute for all of the infrastructure that you use. You pay for your dialer, integrations, telephony, storage, and analytics, all put together by the minute.


Besides, you can scale up and down the number of agents based on your business demands. No infrastructure is lying unutilized with zero sunk costs at any point in time. 


2. Increased uptime

What does cloud bring to uptime issues? You are most likely to host it on a platform like Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure. They have put in all that it takes to make their infrastructure scalable and redundant. All of these are available on a need basis. You can safely assume an uptime of 99.9% and add a redundant carrier to this, and you are good to go. 


Just imagine the customer service that you can provide with close to zero downtime on your offerings.


3. Access to applications and intelligence

Think of a situation where you want to add speech analytics to your contact center and integrate it with your CRM. We are easily talking thousands of dollars as additional investments that might be prohibitively expensive for a mid-sized contact center to procure and maintain. However, we are looking at a few cents extra for every minute of your usage with the cloud offering. 


This would allow your agents to manage every customer conversation better, and the intelligence adds up over a period that will enable you to provide a better and better customer experience.

4. Security and compliance

You name your need, and your cloud provider would most likely have – disaster recovery plans, high visibility of the environment, monitoring logs of cloud activity, identify access management tools, automated services, and encrypting data at all times. 


Imagine the amount of effort and dollars needed to have this infrastructure up and running. All of these are already addressed by your provider. 


What about compliance? 

Your cloud infrastructure comes with compliance like HIPAA, HL7, PCI-DSS, SOC, ISO 27001, SSAE16/ISAE 3402 Type II standards. This makes you call center compliant with most customer compliance requirements as well. Isn’t that a significant advantage? 


5. Reduced reliance on IT

The biggest challenge that traditional contact centers face is that they are far too dependent on IT to set up, maintain, and operate the contact center. There are too many variables associated with internal IT – capabilities, infrastructure availability, and reliability. You can remove all of these unknowns and safely do away with the dependence on IT to operate your contact center.

While the cloud provides all of these advantages, people were initially hesitant to adopt this model. It has taken a pandemic to make people realize the benefits of the cloud.


From here on, I guess there is no looking back for the cloud contact centers platforms. It is only onward and upward, mainly because of the benefits that it offers its customers.

You pick up the phone! I can reach a real person.

I was honestly surprised that my company, CD Baby, was such a runaway success. But I was even more surprised to find out why, said Derek Sivers. 


CD had lots of powerful, well-funded competitors, but after a few years, they were all but gone, and we dominated our niche of selling independent music. 150,000 musicians, 2 million music-buying customers, $139 million in revenue, $83 million paid directly to musicians. 


What was the secret to CD Baby’s success? Derek adds I never did any marketing. Everyone came by word-of-mouth. But why? 


For years, Derek asked hundreds of clients why they chose CD Baby instead of the alternatives.


Was it the pricing? The features? Nope.


The #1 answer, by far, almost every time someone raved about the company, was this: 


“You pick up the phone! I can reach a real person.”


Their customer service principle has always been, your call gets picked up in the first two rings. 


This was in the year 2014. They continue to do it even today. 


Why wouldn’t other organizations do this? 

Isn’t customer more important than the company? The easiest way by which you can improve customer loyalty and make your customer a brand ambassador is through better customer service. 


Exceptional customer service is a revenue generator. Customer support is the lynchpin in the entire customer journey. Proactive organizations leverage customer service as an opportunity to delight customers and engage them in new, exciting ways. 


Exceptional customer service stories

These are some exceptional customer service stories made available by live agents on call. 


Rackspace – a Rackspace employee, was in the middle of helping a customer through a marathon troubleshooting session when she heard the customer tell a colleague that she was hungry. The support professional put them on hold and ordered her customers a pizza. 

They were still on the phone when it arrived 30 minutes later. The customers were delighted, and the support professional knew that everyone would have fuel to power through until it was resolved. [Source:]

Trader Joe’s – Trader Joe’s has a cult following for a reason. Everyone has a favorite Trader Joe’s customer service story, and here is one of those. 


One day, an 89-year-old man was snowed in at his Pennsylvania home around the holidays. His daughter was concerned about getting him food and called a bunch of stores to see if anyone delivered. 


Trader Joe’s broke their own policy to deliver the gentleman items that fit his low-sodium diet – all free of charge. In fewer than 30 minutes, a Trader Joe’s team member was knocking on the door with a full delivery. [Source:]


Customer service, after all, is a philosophy. Derek Sivers says the things to keep in mind are: 


  1. You can afford to be generous
  2. The customer is more important than the company
  3. Customer service is a profit center
  4. Every interaction is your moment to shine 
  5. Lose every fight 
  6. Rebelliously right the wrongs of the world 

How do you address the most significant technology and infrastructural challenges in remote working?

70 to 90% of the call center workforce have moved to a work-from-home model or remote working model since the onset of the pandemic.


This move was forced, and organizations did everything in their capacity to move their agents’ homes. This helped them to continue serving their customer needs without massive interruptions.


Organizations faced several challenges – cultural, social, infrastructural, and technological challenges.


We will look at the technological and infrastructural challenges in this article.


Technological and infrastructure challenges


Most organizations had an on-premise dialer or contact center solution. It didn’t make it possible for them to move their agents’ homes. Besides, for the agents to connect to their office systems from home, they needed VPN connectivity.


VPN licenses come at high costs, and also the bandwidth required to access in-house systems using VPN connectivity is reasonably large. Most home broadband connections do not provide this level of support.


Most agents did not have good quality computer systems at home for them to start working at home. Many of them had access to only shared computers, tablets, and mobile phones.


Also, you have to consider the dependency of the entire family on the home broadband availability. It has to be shared between people trying to access in-house office applications, collaboration apps, online schooling, and entertainment needs. Getting additional lines and upgrades was also an issue during the pandemic.


Moving to cloud


The easiest solution was to move its call center infrastructure to the cloud. However, most incumbent vendors weren’t focused on the cloud, and they needed anywhere between 4 to 6 months to get to a basic version of a cloud offering.


This is where we helped most customers by moving their call center function to our cloud offering. We made them operational within 24 hours, with the option to connect to their internal systems at a later point in time.


The advantage with this move was anyone with a browser – be it tablets, mobile, or computers, can access the cloud contact center solution without any hassles. This allowed them to ensure business continuity.


Low-bandwidth connectivity


Internet connectivity from home broadband solutions has low bandwidth connectivity that results in poor call quality with jitters, delays, and choppy voice.


We circumvented low bandwidth issues using a connected method for telephony with regular PSTN connectivity. We provided credentials to every agent that made their voice calling secure and integrated the connected method telephony with the contact center platform seamlessly.


The most significant concerns that call centers have while moving their agents’ homes are overcoming the technological and infrastructural challenges.


You don’t have to worry anymore.


Solutions are available to circumvent most technological and infrastructural challenges.