Running a High-Quality, URAC-Accredited Nurse Line Health Call Center: It Takes a Village
Health Dialog recently earned URAC’s Health Call Center Accreditation for our nurse line and health coaching services—and along the way, we learned what it takes to meet the quality standards that URAC expects. Read on as we share what we learned about the process of getting a nurse line health call center accredited and how the hard work benefits our clients.
What is URAC?
URAC is a nonprofit organization that promotes healthcare quality through leadership, accreditation, measurement, and innovation. They offer accreditations in different areas of the healthcare industry, including for health call centers.
Achieving a URAC accreditation
Over the course of going through the rigorous process of applying for and receiving this accreditation, one thing was abundantly clear: it takes a village to run a nurse line health call center. And URAC made sure we measured up. A URAC accreditation is not just an indication that Health Dialog provides excellent coaching services. Throughout the review process, we also had to prove that our nurse line programs are equipped with the infrastructure to maintain high-quality internal support for health coaches, and that we have the people, policies, technology, and security to deliver on this promise.
This seal of approval is not just for us. It also benefits our clients, who can take pride in knowing that they are using a URAC-approved health call center.
What do you need to have in place to earn the URAC Accreditation for Health Call Center?
- Getting the best staff
Building a strong team of experienced and well-trained health coaches starts the moment we look for clinicians who have the drive and background to join our team. Human resources scouts highly-qualified and licensed registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and registered dietitians who go through an intense interview process. We choose people who already have the right assessment skills, but who are also eager to learn and have a calming demeanor that will help members feel comfortable speaking on the phone during vulnerable moments.
- Providing comprehensive training
Senior clinical staff ensures that our health coaches go through a rigorous orientation and training process. Health coaches learn how to ask the right open-ended questions to assess symptoms and present the right treatment options. Beyond the skills of transferring their in-person clinical skills to telephonic communication and learning how to use the proper technology to respond quickly and thoroughly, they receive ongoing monitoring and support from coaching leaders.
- Staying up to date
Coaches never stop learning. They continue to study relevant topics such as patient confidentiality, cultural sensitivity, and emergency protocol. On the clinical side of education, senior board-certified clinicians stay on top of the medical literature and prepare guides so health coaches can deliver the most current information about members’ treatment options. All of these processes make our health coaching services into a URAC-approved, well-oiled machine.
- Using reliable technology
As our health coaches go about their calls, it’s key that they use technology that runs smoothly, helps them get the information they need on the spot, and prevents any problems that might disrupt a call. Our technology experts assure that everything is in place.
- Keeping member information private and secure
A major concern of both Health Dialog and URAC is to protect the personal information of anyone who calls into the or receives health coaching services. Behind the scenes, we have extensive systems in place that safeguard the personal information of those who call in. Additionally, every single employee at Health Dialog receives regular training in the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Protecting the privacy and security of personal information is a company-wide commitment.
- Ensuring client satisfaction
URAC wants to make sure that Health Dialog is taking care of its clients by regularly checking in and assessing satisfaction with our programs. If a client wants to offer a coaching program related to diabetes management, we make that happen. If a client needs help promoting services to their members, we suggest promotion strategies.
Celebrating pride in our nurse line and our commitment to our clients
While many of the core components requirements by URAC were already in place, to have such an esteemed organization approve our health call center is a reminder that we are following through with our commitment to high-quality standards in clinical support. “Hearing that from an outside source was really validating,” said Donna Gartland, Health Dialog’s director of clinical quality, who started out as a health coach herself nearly 17 years ago. “I hope that all the health coaches feel proud of the work that they do, day in and day out, with members.”
These are just some of the criteria for URAC accreditation—of which we met every measurement.
And with the fresh URAC seal, our clients can also feel immense pride that they are delivering top notch nurse line and health coaching services to their members.
As we move forward, we are delighted to know we are meeting a high caliber of excellence.