I have found this conversation very interesting. I manage a call center for American Veterans who call with medical issues and questions along with general issues of all types. The calls range from “when is my next appointment” to “I am having chest pain”, or in some cases a potiential suicide. I staff with registered nurses who follow protocols for clinical questions. I have productivity issues, but perhaps slightly different from non-medical call centers. I want my staff available, Butt…. I also want them to take the time needed to assist the patient. I am trying to meet a 95/30 service level and an not there yet.
Tim’s comment and question about tracking the type of calls is something I do. My call center operates from 4pm to the next morning at 8am weekdays and 24 hours a day weekends and hollidays. We are available when the regular offices and clinics are closed. I agree that some times the calls we receive are an indication of a process not working as planned. As an example if a veteran calls at 8pm to ask how to use his insulin, we are a success if we can assist him and keep him safe an healthy, on the other hand the patient education given the veteran was lacking or he would not have needed to make the call.
We track calls by type to identify system issues that we can report back the the hospital responsible for the patients care.