Our call center, two years later: Take a look behind the scenes

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Sophia Guida

Our call center, two years later: Take a look behind the scenes

March 31, 2022

The Institute’s call center in New Paltz, NY, serves as a centralized point of contact for patients from across our network of health centers. The call center was renovated and expanded in March 2020–the same month when the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Since then, the call center has expanded to a team of 43 staff serving 17 Institute sites and offering not only appointments but also expanded services like prescription refills, assistance with referrals, nurse triage, and more.

The call center team consists of 32 patient services representatives, four nurses, three clinicians, and four leadership team members. Call center staff receive between 2,000-3,000 calls on a typical day, but busier days can see upwards of 10,000 calls. In 2021, the call center handled close to 800,000 calls in total.

“Our goal for the call center has always been to meet the needs of our patients. When we can’t assist patients internally in the call center, our goal is to connect them efficiently to their health care providers and team,” said Erica Caliendo, the Institute’s associate program director of practice administration and the head of the call center’s leadership team. “In addition to greater access to appointments and streamlined communication between the health centers and sites we support, we are pleased to offer same-day telehealth appointments to assist with immediate health needs—a service proven vital throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The call center has played a vital role in expanding telehealth at the Institute. Through the collaboration of the nursing team and the call center clinicians, patients can request same-day telehealth visits with a call center clinician. Call center leadership is working to further expand this service with support from a HRSA grant to optimize virtual care. With those funds, the Institute will build on strategies adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and scale them within the communities we serve to ensure health equity.

The Institute’s call center is open from 8:00 am –  6:00 pm, 7 days a week. Contact the call center at (844) 434-2778 or (844) IFH-APPT.