5 Ways Doctors Benefit from a Medical Answering Service
Irrefutable reasons why a doctor should use a telephone answering service
Your office is busy. Could you save precious time and money by using a telephone answering service for doctors? Find out how we can help here.
Improving your bedside manner doesn’t have to end in the exam room.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the uncertainty surrounding its future, meeting the goals and maintaining the procedures for your practice may seem like a daunting task.
If call volumes have increased along with insurance coverage, outsourcing your phone lines to a call center might prove not only beneficial but cost effective as well.
By using a medical answering service in your practice you can increase patient satisfaction without making sacrifices to your service.
Benefits of a telephone answering service
Automated messaging systems are the bane of every caller’s existence.
The process of waiting to hear the correct option combined with the impersonal nature sends your patients the wrong message – you don’t have the time or the resources to address their issues.
It doesn’t take long for their patience to wear thin and pushing zero to speak with a living human being doesn’t always bring your call to someone able to help.
By using a telephone answering service:
- Patients will have the benefit of speaking to an actual person, not an automated voice messaging system.
- Using a telephone answering service allows you to focus on improving your practice.
- Patients will see your dedication to service by providing support 24/7.
- Increase availability to your patients by receiving important messages.
- Allow current employees to focus on critical tasks rather than constantly taking calls.
The benefits of using such services don’t end there, however.
Continue reading to discover additional ways a telephone answering service can improve the overall health of your practice.
Avoid 24-hour patient support
No private practice has the time or the resources to provide the 24-hour support that your patients have come to expect.
Staffing costs are already eating away at the overhead, and your employees have more urgent matters to attend to. By utilizing a telephone answering service, patients will have access to your practice even when the doors are closed for the day.
Keeping your operation running smoothly requires the help of professionals trained in the medical field, and answering service can provide the solution your patients (and your practice) require.
Receive urgent messages
Sometimes the call can’t wait. At least, not from the perspective of the patient.
Their Google search has diagnosed them with a terminal illness, but the symptoms aren’t quite severe enough to warrant an emergency call.
They want to speak with their healthcare provider and find some real answers or at least set up an appointment to discover what that mole or molar is really up to.
With the support of a telephone answering service, your practice’s doctors and nurses will receive messages deemed urgent by trained medical call center professionals.
Your patients will be impressed with the promptness of your response.
But, if you’re trying to enjoy a rare day off, call centers can provide extra assistance by connecting the patient to a doctor or nurse to service their needs while you take care of yours.
Night and weekend calls
Following the importance of receiving urgent messages after hours, patients want to be able to reach your office outside normal operating hours.
Their lives are busy, and so is your practice. But how do you ensure that their calls and messages are responded to promptly?
With a telephone answering service, your practice is never out of your patient’s reach.
Relay messages to doctors and nurses in real time
Trained call center professionals will evaluate the urgency of the incoming calls.
Rather than direct them to a local emergency room (in the event the call is not indeed an emergency), which can be costly, answering services can forward the call to trained health professionals.
Patients will receive feedback from actual doctors and nurses, bolstering their confidence in your practice.
Medical telephone answering services are also flexible and can provide support for a variety of practices, including dental, surgical, chiropractic, and other types as well.
Medical telephone answering services utilize trained staff and computer software that ensures your practice remains HIPPA compliant, even outside business hours.
Communicating confidential medical information through a third party is often necessary, even when not using a call center.
Medical call center staff are trained in how to handle Patient Health Information, ensuring that your practice provides the protection required by federal law.
Maintaining a full and properly trained staff is costly, and hiring additional staff to answer incoming calls only increases spending.
By utilizing trained call center professionals, your practice can avoid the sometimes extraneous costs of paid time off, technical support, insurance coverage, among others.
Call center professionals are just that – professionals. They are well versed in the field of medicine and often don’t require additional training from your practice.
By outsourcing call support, your current staff will be more focused on high-priority tasks, further reducing staffing costs while increasing employee efficiency (not to mention morale).
But even if your practice has the staff to handle incoming calls, there will be busier days than others.
Utilizing a call center not only guarantees calls will be received after hours (and answered by an actual human, no less), but it ensures overflow support as well.
When your receptionists are receiving high call volumes, the call center will step in provide relief – to both your staff and your patients.
Your patients don’t want to be placed on hold, and with call center support, there’s no reason you’ll ever have to.
Appointment reminders and reduced no shows
Appointment schedules keep your practice operating at peak efficiency and no call no shows can be expensive.
Many answering services also provide appointment reminder services. Your office will no longer be tasked with calling patients to confirm that they will, in fact, show up to their scheduled appointment.
Often these reminders can be customized depending on the appointment. For example, a routine checkup will only require one reminder.
A surgical appointment, on the other hand, may require multiple reminders to ensure the patient comes to your office prepared for the procedure.
Furthermore, the patient will receive their reminder from trained professional rather than an another automated message.
By using trained staff rather than recordings, your practice is able to verify that the patient has been contacted and that they received the message in its entirety.
Are call centers right for your practice?
Are you interested in providing your patients with increased support around-the-clock?
We can help. Contact us today to receive a quote.