CX in the hospital – excessive luxury or dire necessity?


When a patient contacts a hospital to make an appointment, may they expect to be treated as a customer of a reputable company? To be served quickly and efficiently? Of course! 

And yet, unfortunately, in many cases this is not yet the case. The waiting times for making an appointment ​​by telephone are not seldom long, and there’s often a lack of coordination when making appointments at multiple outpatient clinics.

The reachability of the outpatient clinics at Rijnstate hospital also provided room for improvement, which was not only inconvenient for patients but most definitely for the staff as well. Especially phone calls about making a simple appointment had a disruptive effect. The need grew for a more efficient way of working. Something had to change.

The right investment

As one of the first hospitals in the Netherlands, Rijnstate chose to invest in a central contact centre that would take over all calls related to making appointments. A deliberate choice was made to hire employees with no medical background. People coming from the world of customer contact, a bit more business-like than most hospital employees.

The results of the pilot were astonishing: much better reachability, less disruption in the outpatient clinics, and a much more efficient way of working. Soon almost all departments of the hospital were connected to the contact centre. The existing telephone numbers of the various departments remained, but callers are now offered a simple menu of options – 1 for making an appointment, 2 for medical questions. In the first case, they are connected with the contact centre, in the second with the outpatient clinic.

Knowledge = skill

Thanks to a smart knowledge management solution, contact centre employees immediately see a script about the relevant department. In addition, they have access to the patient portal as well as the calendars of all outpatient clinics, so appointments for the same patient can easily be coordinated. Super-efficient! Patients can now also autonomously schedule their appointments via the patient portal. The helpdesk for this portal, both via email and telephone, is also covered by the contact centre.

In addition. the contact centre has provided another advantage for the hospital. It has uncovered inconsistent patient contact procedures that have been standardised as a result.

Initially, the employees of the outpatient clinics were rather sceptical about the contact centre initiative. Would it have a negative impact on their job or work? This turned out to be unwarranted, as they remained desperately needed to answer the medical-related conversations. The big difference was that the telephone queue disappeared, allowing patients to be served much faster.

Working together works

DDM Consulting’s experts created a great deal of autonomy in the contact centre. The team can now independently make changes to the platform, without first consulting DDM Consulting or the Rijnstate telephony team. For example, we implemented a real-time traffic tool that provides insight into current service levels. This has made it possible to make immediate adjustments where necessary.

In addition, senior contact centre employees can adjust the Q&A matrix of the knowledge management tool on an ad hoc basis when new questions arise to which the employees do not know the answer. For example, this happened regularly during the corona pandemic.

The cooperation with the DDM Consulting team is certainly appreciated by Rijnstate. Angelique Vierwind, Head of the Outpatient Clinic for Pulmonary Medicine/Lung Function and Head of the Customer Contact Centre: “The skilled professionals of DDM Consulting have implemented solutions that deliver valuable benefits for both patients and employees. In addition, the lines of communication with DDM Consulting are short, both with our contact centre team and our telephony department, which means that action can be taken very quickly when needed. We really appreciate that!”

Want to know more?

Are you also looking for a solution that provides much more efficiency in your organisation? For a tool with which customer contact employees immediately have the necessary knowledge at their fingertips, without the need for lengthy training upfront or each time new procedures, products or services are introduced? For a way in which customers are helped more quickly and employees outside the contact centre can once again focus on their field of expertise?

We are happy to help! Whether it concerns a piece of customisation that meets your specific challenges, or a – more or less – standard solution. You can reach us via

Download our whitepaper here

About DDM

At DDM Consulting we believe that our customers benefit most from tailor-made advice, without preference for a particular product or specific supplier. That is why we offer a wide range of intelligent omnichannel contact centre solutions, delivered by renowned partners who are all specialists in their field. This approach makes us flexible in finding the solution that best suits our customers’ specific needs and ambitions.

We guarantee a successful implementation, ensure integration with all existing back-end systems, and take care of managing and maintaining the platform. Our clients come from a wide range of sectors, from major financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, to telecom operators, healthcare institutions, government agencies, retail, and media. We are especially known for delivering customised solutions for corporate clients with complex structures, such as customer-specific integrations with back-end systems and the development of add-ons. Sometimes we even build a completely new product! That is how we ensure that the chosen contact centre solution exactly matches our customer’s wishes, needs and business processes.

We have grown into a team of about 30 contact centre experts and are mainly active in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.