Group Health Announces Significant Contact Center Improvements

Dec. 8, 2009

Basking Ridge, NJ – Group Health Cooperative, one of the nation’s largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care systems, selected Avaya contact center solutions to achieve greater efficiencies and faster service in their patient service operations. The company, which serves more than 600,000 people in Washington State and Idaho, chose Avaya in order to help them deliver better health care service, and do so in a more cost-effective way.

After implementing an Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony platform, Group Health was able to reduce the time it takes to resolve client issues by approximately 90%. This was a significant achievement, since before Group Health had its new contact center solution in place, it could take approximately nine hours to resolve patient issues via multiple phone calls. This was due to the previous system’s inability to route information quickly and appropriately to the right resource. The company recognized the need to improve speed to service and first call resolutions.

Group Health’s IT team took steps to not only improve customer satisfaction, but also streamline processes and costs. With Avaya’s contact center solutions, Group Health was able to enhance its routing capabilities and increase first call resolution of patient problems from 7% to 72%, compared to the prior year. This raised Group Health’s patient service to new levels of excellence.

Group Health also focused on ways to better manage call volumes, which could reach 3,500 inbound patient calls a day. With the help of Avaya and Platinum partner NACR, the company targeted three key areas: improving call routing and first call resolution, computer telephony integration to enable screen pops of patient records, and medication adherence and disease management. NACR also developed applications for the platform that would address needs specific to Group Health’s business.

“How many people have their physician actually answer the phone when they call their clinic?” asked Ernie Hood, Chief Information Officer.  “At Group Health this is becoming an every day occurrence made possible by this technology and the result is better care for the patient and less time wasted on phone tag.”

Group Health also deployed Avaya Voice Portal to enable patients to be more quickly connected directly to their personal care teams. Avaya Voice Portal serves as the umbrella application allowing for self-service and automation of call inquiries, and provides customers with expected wait times and their queue position. Call Management intelligently routes calls so patients can enter their member ID and other information, in order to be automatically routed to the correct personal care team.

Avaya Voice Portal will play a key role in a new application underway at Group Health. This will provide automated, proactive medication-refill notification calls to patients in at-risk groups such as HIV, cardiovascular, and diabetes. In the future, the program may be extended to all patients who order their medications through Group Health. Plans are under consideration for a variety of self-service functions for patients, including checking on the status of benefits and provider eligibility calls.

In addition to the improved efficiency, Group Health also benefits from the customized reporting module that provides information on the end-to-end call experience on a call-by-call basis. Managers can now determine where problem points may exist and can take immediate action to correct any issues.

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