Alliance Imaging is the largest provider of advanced outpatient diagnostic imaging services in the United States, focusing on MRI, PET/CT and CT services and supporting more than 1,000 hospitals in 46 states. Its contact centers schedule more than 600 appointments per day, managing multiple offerings and points of contact for each appointment.

A collaborative partnership proves the right ‘fit’
Alliance Imaging values being a customer-focused organization, and its primary mission is to provide exceptional patient care. Understanding the value of the contact center in customer satisfaction, Alliance Imaging sought to enhance its scheduling centers’ performance. For assistance, Alliance Imaging turned to West Monroe Partners.

"West Monroe’s proven contact-center capabilities, coupled with deep healthcare industry experience, convinced us that they were the right partner for the job," said Paula Harbert, Alliance Imaging’s Vice President of Patient Services. "Once the initial project was underway, it became clear that their collaborative approach was a solid fit with our culture and work style. Because of that ‘fit’ and the high quality work they consistently produce, we continue to partner with them on our strategic contact center initiatives."

Transformation—focusing on three key areas.
Following a comprehensive assessment of Alliance Imaging’s contact center strategy, people, processes, and technology, West Monroe partnered with Alliance Imaging to develop and implement three transformative initiatives. These initiatives focused on enabling high levels of performance in the scheduling centers. Staffing optimization:

  • Restructure the organization with additional levels of hierarchy and clear career paths
  • Set expectations with formal job descriptions
  • Streamline and standardize job functions

Contact center best practices:

  • Implement call recording and workforce management software
  • Design and implement overflow tiers to meet service levels
  • Enhance and enforce real-time monitoring of CMS data
  • Re-design and set expectations for AUX code usage, ACW and other call-related procedures
  • Improve callers’ menu options and re-configure skill-based routing

Performance management:

  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for each job role
  • Assess baseline data and set performance targets
  • Develop individual performance records, dashboards and management level reports that promote transparency and accountability
  • Design and implement a comprehensive quality audit program
  • Design and implement a quarterly incentive program driven by performance metrics

Compelling results—and it’s still early.

Almost immediately, Alliance Imaging’s contact centers showed significant performance improvements.

A re-emphasis on real-time monitoring of CMS data and weekly reviews of data trends allowed management to hold staff accountable for their performance. This dramatically impacted contact center metrics. Alliance Imaging saw a 35-percent improvement in calls answered within services levels, consistently meeting and surpassing targets. CMS data showed a 35-percent reduction in AUX time, meaning a 35-percent increase in staff availability to assist more customers. Productivity improvements meant that the scheduling centers could operate with fewer staff, resulting in $600,000 in annual savings from reduction in force through attrition.

Alliance Imaging realized these impressive results in the early phases of a long-term initiative. The company expects even greater results as it comes closer to completing its transformation to high performance contact centers.

West Monroe Partners continues to support Alliance Imaging in achieving this vision.

The bottom line.

  • 35% Improvement in calls answered with service levels
  • 91% Reduction in abandonment rate
  • 35% Reduction in AUX time
  • 81% Improvement in average speed of answer
  • 88% Reduction in maximum wait time
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