In the call center, we act as a liaison or medical concierge for the patient. We’re the patient’s extended voice and we help them be heard.

When I pick up the phone and talk to a patient, a million things come out. The patient is hurt or they’re in trouble, so communication is the biggest thing. They may have mentioned 10 problems, but I have to decipher exactly what they need. Good listening skills are absolutely key to working in the call center.

For example, once a woman called in who was frantic and almost in tears. Her husband was having severe back pain, and he couldn’t stand or walk. Earlier she’d tried but was unable to get an appointment to see one of the specialists, and she was extremely upset. I worked with her and was able to set the appointment up for her husband. Later she actually wrote a letter to the hospital explaining the situation and how much I had helped her out. That recognition felt really nice.

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work in the medical industry. I started working in the local hospital as a teenager, and later I became a radiation therapist. The office I worked at closed, and that’s when I started working in a hospital call center.

In this job, it helps that I’m charismatic, outgoing and detail oriented. I care about the patients who call in, and I’m concerned for them and want to help.

Here at McKesson, it’s a win-win. You can tell that McKesson really cares about its employees and the patients. The standards they hold us to, the training on how to treat patients, the protocols and procedures show me they genuinely care about the patients. Our call center patients are not just a number.

We have tools that help us do our job, whether we’re working with a patient who needs an appointment at a larger hospital or a smaller clinic. We use the McKesson Phone Script Manager tool, which is our lifeline. If we’re uncertain about what to say or a patient has a very specific circumstance, we’ll know how to respond in a way that’s attentive and involved and always consistent.

We also have a Four Square Management Console, which tells us how many calls are in queue and how long they’ve been waiting. That’s another vital metric because if we see more calls, we’ll do our best to be efficient on our current calls – without cutting down on our customer service – so we can help the people who are waiting.

Using us as their clinic or hospital call center, the healthcare groups we work with are able to reach more patients. In a traditional office setting, there are only two or three people able to answer the phones. At our call center, we have hundreds who can help your patients schedule more appointments and procedures.

We go the extra mile for the patients, and it’s rewarding to hear their appreciation. It feels good when the patient praises you at the end of the call; they say thank you, thank you so much. 



About the author

McKesson Business Performance Services offers services and consulting to help hospitals, health systems, and physician practices improve business performance, boost margins and transition successfully to value-based care.