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Survey finds providers 'dissatisfied' with outsourcing

Fifty-six percent of healthcare organizations are "substantially dissatisfied" with their business processing outsource companies, according to a new survey.

The American Society for Quality, based in Milwaukee, Wis., surveyed more than 300 members in various industries in October. According to the ASQ, among healthcare organizations, 40 percent said they are outsourcing back office services such as accounting, compliance and IT, 36 percent are outsourcing facilities services and security, 12 percent are outsourcing quality assurance/management and 8 percent are outsourcing front office services such as customer service and marketing.

According to the ASQ, healthcare organizations said their outsourcing companies are falling short in providing good value (40 percent), assigning quality people for projects (28 percent), meeting performance metrics (24 percent) and retaining key people assigned to projects (20 percent).

"While low cost gets a provider in the door, it's clear that those who innovate and provide best-in-class core processes that deliver superior value will be positioned for long-term success," said Jean Harvey, ASQ's business process outsourcing expert.

When asked what would improve satisfaction with their business processing outsourcing companies, healthcare providers most often named:

  • Increasing the communication flow between provider and client;

  • Provideing better staff training to avoid common turnover problems;

  • Implementing or upgradeing quality processes to improve service;

  • Allowing for more innovation and creativity;

  • Meeting expectations/deadlines more efficiently.

Of those who outsource quality assurance/management functions, industries including healthcare most often requested improvement in quality and technical knowledge (24 percent), followed by better understanding of business objectives (18 percent) and improvement in relationships with in-house management teams (18 percent).

Healthcare organizations surveyed by ASQ said their top three objectives for outsourcing business process operations are to reduce costs, establish a flexible workforce and improve efficiency.