ChaseData Call Center Software Blog

Healthcare Call Centers - Ensuring Consumer Privacy

Posted by Ahmed Macklai on Oct 27, 2019 7:30:00 AM

healthcare call centers

With open enrollment on the horizon, business is soon to be booming for healthcare call centers. Whether it’s questions about coverage or concerns about care, these healthcare call centers are always very busy in the year’s final months - and always highly concerned about protecting the privacy of their callers.

Unlike the average call center - where consumer data security is already of critical importance - healthcare call centers have additional concerns to address. The type of information that they handle is incredibly sensitive; consumers call with their most private details and have to hand them over to representatives they don’t know. To foster trust and help set your callers’ minds at ease this fall, it’s important to put a premium on consumer privacy - and here are a few ways to do exactly that:

Know Where the Gaps Exist in Your Current System

Most agents and mangers probably think that their contact center is fairly secure. After all, this is the age of big data, when everything has to be password protected.

However, many of the features that contact centers rely heavily on are not well-protected. What’s more, they may lack the necessary protection to do much more than serve information up to fraudsters and hackers on a proverbial silver platter. Features like your system’s interactive voice response and even your VOIP technology may not be as secure as you might think it is. If you are prioritizing consumer privacy this season, begin by determining where weaknesses might be. Then, fortify those areas.

Cover Your Basics

There are some very simple ways that you can ensure increased consumer privacy - and customer satisfaction - that you are likely already doing. Some of these include:

  • Keeping software up to date
  • Using a password management system
  • Training staff on proper security procedures
  • Using adequate anti-virus protection

Cover these bases first to make the rest of the security game easier.

Adopt DTMF

If you’ve ever contacted a healthcare call center, you have likely been asked for sensitive information such as your birth date, social security number, and more. While this information is necessary to better serve the client, it can also put them in danger if the audio from the call falls into the wrong hands.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. Adopting dual-tone multi-frequency technology - or DTMF - allows consumers to enter their sensitive information via touchpads or keyboards. This lessens human error and protects consumer privacy - a double win for your center!

Encrypt It

This is a standard practice in many modern contact centers. Encryption serves multiple purposes. First, it protects information by essentially locking it behind a firewall. Those without access to it will continue not to have access.

Second, it guards information against even the company’s own employees. Should someone let information slip or gain access to it themselves with malicious intent, it is useless to them because of the encryption.

Test, Test, Test

Once you’ve protected sensitive information, keep it protected by testing that protection regularly. Doing penetration checks with white hat professionals will help you ensure that no matter who tries to access client information, it is safe - ensuring consumer privacy.

Put MFA To Work in Your Center

You’ve probably heard of multi-factor authentication but may not be using it in your center. However, if you want to ensure consumer privacy, you really should be.

Multi-factor authentication - or MFA - is an umbrella term that refers to many practices and precautions that can be taken to limit access to data and protect it from compromise. Some of these precautions include:

  • Near field communications (NFC)
  • Biometrics, such as voice prints or other NLP-based security measures
  • One-time passwords
  • Risk-based authentication and role-based access to information

These approaches are all designed to keep people who have malicious intent from accessing information that could endanger someone in the wrong hands.

Know the Importance of Protecting Consumer Privacy

Why are you going to all of this effort, anyway? Why not settle for the same tools that are used in standard call centers - it works for them, so why not your facility?

It is important to remember that the information handled by medical call centers is far more sensitive than that which is processed by a typical contact center. Rather than just financial information, your agents will handle details regarding identity, medication lists, and much more. The patients that are relying on the proper handling of their information on the other end of those phone lines are putting a lot more trust in your staff than they have likely ever put in a contact center before!

What’s more, there could be serious consequences to a consumer privacy breach in the world of medical data. In addition to losing your good reputation within the industry, you also stand to lose business if you do not safeguard consumer information properly. You could also accrue penalties within your industry for not meeting regulations, or even face legal action if consumer data is compromised.

Lastly, though not likely, there is always the chance that harm could come to a person because their medical information was mishandled. If you don’t want to risk your staff being part of that, ensure that they are trained to always handle information correctly - and that they have the tools to do so.

Have the Right Technology in Your Corner

You cannot hope to protect consumer privacy without the right tools for the job. Thankfully, the industry experts at ChaseData have everything you need to provide safe, reliable exchanges with your healthcare call center for every consumer - and a great customer experience, every time.

Make this the year you upgrade your technology to better meet the needs of your consumers and better protect their privacy. Commit to both with help from ChaseData. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help!


Topics: Call Center Management