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Our world is becoming increasingly diverse, and while borders are shrinking, language barriers present a big challenge for healthcare providers to effectively communicate with patients. Language barriers harm the quality of healthcare services because they can lead to misunderstandings, misdiagnoses, and ultimately, compromised patient care.

Recognizing the need for bilingual support in health services is crucial in ensuring that all patients receive the care they deserve regardless of their language proficiency. Healthcare providers can provide bilingual support by utilizing bilingual call centres.

These call centres serve as a central hub where trained bilingual professionals can provide the necessary information to patients. Let’s explore how inbound bilingual call centres contribute to enhanced communication in health services.

Improving Communication Using Bilingual Call Centres

Healthcare call centres play a significant role in health management. They are critical in providing effective patient care and increasing patient satisfaction. When patients call a doctor’s office, they expect a courteous and understanding answer at the other end of the line.

In Canada, where French is spoken by nearly a quarter of the population, you can expect that one in four patients will be more comfortable communicating in their native tongue.

Unfortunately, not all receptionists are fluent in French, let alone understand the nuances of the language. Furthermore, they are also busy attending to patients, making conversing on the phone their least priority.

With a bilingual call centre, you can surpass these challenges and give patients the attention they deserve. Here’s what bilingual agents can do:

  • Schedule appointments: Bilingual agents can quickly assist patients calling to book an appointment with a doctor without making them wait on hold while the receptionist attends to other patients. Call centres can integrate with your scheduling system to avoid double bookings or missed appointments.
  • Dispatch urgent messages: When patients call because there’s an emergency, they expect an immediate response, not a promise of a return call. Bilingual agents can assess emergency situations, help calm down the patient, and transfer urgent calls to a doctor or the next-in-command based on a pre-set protocol.
  • Answer FAQs: It’s understandable for patients to call with several questions before booking an appointment or if they have general concerns about their prescriptions. Bilingual agents can take this off the plate of your busy receptionists by answering frequently asked questions based on a customized script.
  • Process payments and collections: If your practice requires advance payments to prevent last-minute cancellations, a PCI-compliant bilingual call centre can handle these payments for you, relieving the receptionist of this additional task.
  • Omnichannel responses: Bilingual call centre agents don’t just communicate over the phone. They are also well-versed in multiple contact points like emails, texts, live chat, and social media. By offering real-time multichannel communication, you can become more accessible to your patients.

Enhanced Patient Satisfaction with Bilingual Support

A recent study conducted in the US showed that Spanish-speaking patients were more comfortable interacting and sharing information with Spanish-speaking doctors. They were also willing to talk to English-speaking doctors, but their comfort levels and patient satisfaction were significantly higher when attended by Spanish-speaking physicians.

While the study was conducted in another country and involved another language, we believe that the results remain the same regardless of the language used. French-speaking patients will experience higher satisfaction if they can converse with bilingual agents whenever they need support.

With the help of a bilingual call centre, you can increase your patients’ comfort levels and provide a better service.

At On Call Centre , we deliver exceptional customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—sometimes 366. On Call Centre has been providing tailored, fluently French/English bilingual answering services and call centre services to small business owners (professionals, trades) and customer support departments (government, high tech, property management, healthcare, emergency clients) serving Ottawa , Montreal and Toronto —and all over Canada —for almost 50 years.

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