A Guide To Finding The Right Live Medical Answering Service For Your Office
Clinics are perhaps the most important businesses to work with answering services. Patients and other medical professionals highly value the benefit of getting in touch with an office after-hours. Here’s what you need to know and how to find a live medical answering service for your practice.
Are you tired of getting calls in the middle of the night? As a medical practitioner, you want to offer the best service to your patients. But, in order to be at the top of your game, you’ve got to get a good night’s rest.
Luckily, you can hire a medical answering service to help meet both yours and your patients’ needs.
There are many benefits to using a live answering service. For one thing, your patients will have someone to contact, even if you aren’t available. They’ll also vet the not-so-serious calls so you don’t have to get up if you don’t need to.
But how do you choose an answering service?
To help you in your decision, we’ve created this guide to choosing a live medical answering service. Read on to learn about some of the things you should consider when choosing which company to work with.
Ensure HIPAA Compliant Answering Services
You need to make sure the live answering service you choose is in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Why? The people working for this service will have access to important, private information.
Whatever company you go with, they will have to abide by the same privacy and security rules that your office is required to follow. They’ll also need to be trained to handle electronic patient health information properly.
Never choose an answering service that isn’t HIPAA compliant!
Make Sure Calls are Recorded
To help provide extra security for your practice, choose a live answering service that records each call. These recordings will be saved for a predetermined period of time.
Why do you want to store recorded calls? You’ll want them on hand just in case any legal issues arise in the future.
Suppose someone brings a harassment suit against you. You’ll be able to use these recordings to prove what really happened.
Consider Call Center Pricing
Before jumping into an agreement with an answering service, make sure you understand the terms of your agreement. Specifically, make sure you know what you’ll owe them for their services.
Some answering services charge by the minute. Other charges by unit. If you’re charged by the minute, that means you’ll pay more for longer calls. If you pay by unit, you’ll pay more if more calls come in.
Know What Services They Provide
There are many live answering services and they won’t all offer the exact same thing. Make sure you understand what each company offers, then compare them to each other.
Will they set appointments for you? Do they offer multilingual support or only English? What sort of online access will you have to your account with them?
Quality Training From Your Answering Service
While you’re comparing companies, look at how they train their employees. These are the people your patients will be talking to. You want only the best on the other end of the phone when a patient calls in.
Are the employees professional trained? What performance standards are they held to?
If you can’t find information of this kind, contact the company directly. You deserve to know what quality of service they offer before signing a contract. So make sure you find out!
If you don’t like their style or anything else about the way they handle phone calls, go with someone else. If you do like what you find, keep them on your consideration list.
Look for 24 Hour Virtual Receptionists
The point of having an answering service is to make sure your patients have access to help outside of regular business hours. So in your search, make sure you choose a company that offers 24-hour support, 7 days a week.
As a practitioner, you want the best for your patients. And, you want to have the best relationship with them possible. Having a 24-hour answering service will help with both of these.
By choosing a service that’s available 24/7, you’ll provide peace of mind for your patients. They’ll know someone is always available if they need it. And you’ll be able to keep up a relationship with them by responding personally when needed.
Make Sure Coverage is Adequate
If someone’s making a medical call in the middle of the night, there’s probably an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. Whether it’s a real problem or just an overly-anxious parent, you want the issue addressed as quickly as possible.
Becuase of this, you need to consider how each answering service is staffed. Do they have enough people to answer quickly enough? If your patients have to wait, you want that wait to only be a few minutes long.
Don’t be afraid to get the details from each company you consider. Make sure they have enough staff and that they respond as quickly as possible.
Either option can be beneficial. Make sure you understand all the terms and implications involved before you decide on an answering service. You want a company that understands these aren’t just regular calls.
Choose a Medical Answering Service Today
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a medical answering service, but the choice shouldn’t be difficult. Explore your options and compare the companies you like. Follow your gut and go with what feels best.
Keep your specific needs in mind, as well as the needs of your patients. Once you’ve found a company you’re happy with, you’ll be on your way to better communication, and more sleep!
We’d love to help you find the perfect answering service. Head to our website to find options today!