The transition from hospital care to home can be difficult, especially for patients suffering from chronic illnesses or recovering from recent surgical procedures. Because of the severity of their conditions, patients recently discharged from hospitals are inordinately vulnerable to the myriad complications, infections, and illnesses responsible for countless hospital readmissions each year. With the help of a URAC-accredited health call center, however, these transitions can be greatly improved, easing patient concerns through the provision of superior outpatient care and round-the-clock access to clinical assistance.
For three decades, URAC has enriched the healthcare community by promoting quality improvement. Because URAC accreditation is not given, but rather earned, health call centers exhibiting the URAC seal are proven to foster excellence while demonstrating a lasting commitment to the safety and accountability of its patients. URAC-accredited health call centers are staffed with professionals devoted to providing optimal patient experience in a timely and confidential manner. These clinicians are specifically prepared to handle patient questions and concerns, and will work directly with individuals or outside caregivers to analyze health data and ensure patients receive a quality of care equal or greater to that obtained through hospitalization and other traditional care facilities.
URAC Call Center Benefits
URAC-accredited health call centers not only improve quality of patient safety and care, but also offer a litany of additional benefits. Here are a few examples.
- Significant Financial Relief: A study performed in 2011 revealed 3.3 million cases of 30-day hospital readmissions in the United States alone. These readmissions resulted in a staggering $41 billion in hospital costs. Through the collaboration of telehealth services and URAC-accredited health call centers, it is possible to reduce annual healthcare expenditures considerably, in turn easing patients and providers alike from unnecessary financial burdens.
- Building and Promoting Trust: Though patients don’t always have a choice as to whether they seek medical attention, they can decide where they seek medical attention. Like all organizations, hospitals rely on their reputations to continue operating, and offering the services of a URAC-accredited health call center will greatly improve trust and satisfaction among their patients.
- Boosting Hospital Performance: By partnering with a URAC-accredited health call center, not only will hospitals improve the quality of life for their patients and aid in accelerating recovery times, but also simultaneously improve staff performance. Hospitals are notoriously crowded facilities and, as such, are often forced to hurry procedures in order to keep up with the steady influx of new patients. By reducing readmission rates, hospitals will relieve themselves from the strain of housing too many patients, which, in turn, will improve operations and reduce instances of medical errors.
Prior to the advent of telehealth monitoring, patients returning home from recent hospitalizations were offered very few options regarding ongoing treatment and assistance outside of physical care facilities. Now, with the help of medical devices, integrated ehealth systems, and partnerships with URAC-accredited health call centers, patients can receive reliable and trusted outpatient care from the comfort of their homes, greatly reducing their likelihood of hospital readmission.
About Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas is the president of Advanced TeleHealth Solutions. In 2004, she developed and secured funding for the first Medicaid-covered telemonitoring program within the Disease Management Department for the State of Missouri. Seeing the need that various industries had for cost-saving solutions that could provide improved health outcomes for patients, she began Advanced TeleHealth Solutions in 2011. Thomas is an expert on diabetes telehealth programs and a nationally renowned speaker, using her expertise in telehealth monitoring to educate hospitals, home health agencies, and other companies and organizations about the benefits of telemedicine solutions.