Interactive Voice Response
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to IVR and interactive voice response software as well as automatic call answering solutions.
Business phone systems and toll free answering systems (generally 800 numbers and their equivalent) are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country.
Our PACER and Wizard IVR systems add another dimension to our call center phone system solutions. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either in-house service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.
How to Establish a Medical Call Center
Key criteria to analyze your needs and build your system.
By Rick Gilman, vice president of healthcare for Ensource, Inc. , Jacksonville, FL.
Many advanced healthcare institutions have established some form of call center to better serve their patients and streamline access to healthcare. However, before undertaking such a project, it is wise to understand what a call center is, and what it will and will not do. It is also wise to understand the hardware, software and peripheral support systems involved. Finally, it is imperative that you establish a clear understanding of what you want this system to do.
A call center is another term for an Automatic Call Distributor or ACD. An ACD is essentially a telecommunications switch that routes calls, either inbound, outbound or both, between a caller and an “agent.” In most cases, with the addition of a software package and additional hardware, the in-house telecommunications switch (PBX) will support a call center as well as route traditional telephone calls.
Streamline With IVR
For general questions, the call center is usually “front-ended” with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The IVR prompts a caller to direct his own call route with specific questions or choices. The caller is eventually connected to an agent who can assist him. The IVR helps streamline the process and helps to ensure that the caller is connected with the correct agent, thus saving agent time on incorrectly routed calls.
Nurse triage is a very effective use of call center technology. A patient can call in and speak with a nurse or other healthcare practitioner. The patient might be directed to see a primary care physician, obtain over-the-counter products or be issued a prescription, told to report to the emergency room, or be directed to another healthcare practitioner.
Triage call centers require a careful study of staffing requirements. Since it is not necessary for a trained practitioner to physically sit at an agent station next to other practitioners, the incoming call can be directed by the switch to an appropriate practitioner wherever he or she sits, in another office or even in another building.
Another consideration for staffing is based on skill set. Many call centers use “skill-based routing” to direct a call to an agent (practitioner) who has a prescribed set of skills for answering a patient’s questions. Quite often, nurses who have undergone specific training in handling incoming patient calls will staff a triage call center.
This includes skills on how to quickly assess the patient’s problem, severity of their situation and what course of action is required. The key benefit of having such a triage system is that it will diminish the number of people who automatically go to the emergency room, regardless of their problem.
Wizard Simplifies Development
DSC provides IVR software including our IVR wizard development tool for creating interactive voice response applications.
Our IVR software lets you increase IVR development productivity by providing a visual development environment. IVR applications can be defined in minutes using this sophisticated, yet easy to use development tool.
DSC also has available a comprehensive IVR software library known as our IVR Wizard Software Development Kit. This optional package is available for programmers and systems adminstrators who wish to manage IVR programs fromLinux IVR, Unix, or Windows IVR operating environments.
Data collected by your phone ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) or IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems can be passed to your existing PC, Unix or Web applications through our phone software.
The PACER predictive dialer can automatically call your customers and pass only connected calls to your agents. With our computer telephony software, your telephone and computer work together to provide cost-saving benefits.