Hyderabad, India, May 6, 2020 -- Several private hospitals have shifted a chunk of their work to call centres, which are now handling the majority of doctor consultations.
As consultations are now primarily being done through teleconsultation, call centres of hospitals are seeing a flurry of activity.
Although teleconsultations are not profitable for the hospital managements, it is being looked at as an essential patient outreach effort. "It is an essential service to maintain patient relations, essentially with existing patients. Usually patients who need a follow-up and cannot put a break in their ongoing treatment find it useful. As for the hospital, it is essential to extend this service but this is not done for profit. Around 90% of the consultation charge goes to the consulting doctor, while the remaining goes to the teleconsultation service provider and maintenance of records etc. Still our call centre is abuzz with teleconsultations currently," said a senior administrator of a corporate hospital in the city.
While a few doctors working in corporate hospitals continue to attend duties at the hospitals, most are currently reluctant to come to hospitals and are available only virtually. Meanwhile, the necessity to have minimal contact with suspected Covid-19 patients have pushed administrative staff to work from the hospital call centres. "Since being around the OP ward will mean extra usage of PPEs and of them measures, part of our team is now working from our call centre which is in a separate building. With each doctor taking up to 25 teleconsultations as most doctors are working from home, the call centre is busy now, unlike earlier. The teleconsultations have gone up by three times since the lockdown kicked in," said a brand consultant of another corporate hospital.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, May 7, 2020
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