More on Quality and Safety

Healthcare industry benchmark study finds customer service a priority

The Customer Operations Performance Center, a Florida-based customer service and benchmarking company, has released findings from its first Healthcare Industry Benchmark Study.

The study, which compares the healthcare industry to multi-industry benchmarks and to COPC High Performing Benchmarks, identifies many opportunities in which healthcare organizations can improve customer satisfaction and reduce expenses.

Beginning in January 2011, the COPC healthcare team recruited 20 of large healthcare organizations representing the full range of industry sectors. These organizations provided the baseline results for trending.

“The healthcare organizations that participated in the first wave of this study seized the opportunity to identify major gaps in their customer experience,” said Daren Springer, COPC's director and head of healthcare practice. “This study provides a unique insight into healthcare organizations’ operational performance and offers an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in the current healthcare transformation occurring today."

"Healthcare reform and the consumerism movement require that the healthcare organizations significantly increase their customer focus and perform more like other customer-centric organizations. This requires organizations to benchmark themselves against the best with the best and define and implement best practices to improve their performance,” said Springer.

[See related story: Raising the bar: Customer service]

“Those who participated in this study will be able to use the findings to help improve customer satisfaction/loyalty and reduce costs,” said Cliff Moore, chairman and co-founder of COPC.

The Healthcare Benchmark Study findings identify key opportunities across healthcare organizations. For example:

  • 44 percent track claim leakage – Given that the recommended target for claim leakage is 2 percent to 3 percent of total claims expense and the industry is trending at an estimated 13 percent to 15 percent, this represents a significant savings opportunity that the majority of the participants are not tracking and managing.
  • 6 percent track agent utilization or occupancy – This is one-tenth of the average of the companies in COPC’s 2010 multi-industry study (about 70 percent) and a key cost driver.
  • 35 percent monitor social media – This is significantly below the 80 percent of companies in COPC’s 2010 multi-industry benchmark findings. Given the healthcare industry transition to a retail model, this is a critical area requiring focus.