Consolidation of Call Center Services at IDNs

Integrated delivery networks (IDNs) are expansive health care provider organizations that typically consist of multiple hospital facilities, outpatient service sites, affiliated medical groups, and a health plan. Managing call volumes effectively for these large organizations requires a comprehensive call center consisting of trained staff, sophisticated call center software, and complex telephone equipment. While select administrators may opt to manage call volumes in a decentralized format—using disparate call centers at each facility—others choose to centralize call management functions within a consolidated system. Select leaders and telecommunications experts who prefer this option cite a variety of benefits—including greater economies of scale, cost reductions,and consistent customer service mechanisms—as rationale for their decisions.That said, consolidation of disparate call centers is a complex task that requires substantial technical knowledge regarding telephone and software technology—often in the form ofthird-party consultants—familiar with call center consolidation. The following Original Inquiry brief highlights call center consolidation efforts at three IDNs.

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