The Hidden Benefits of Answering Services for Medical Practices
Medical practices can benefit greatly from implementing answering services into their operations. While some may see answering services as an unnecessary expense, the benefits they provide can outweigh the cost. In this blog, we will explore the hidden benefits of answering services for medical practices, including improved patient satisfaction, increased productivity, and cost savings.
Improved Patient Satisfaction
First and foremost, medical answering services can greatly improve patient satisfaction. Patients expect prompt and efficient communication from their healthcare providers, and answering services can help practices deliver on this expectation. By having a trained professional answering the phone, patients are less likely to experience long hold times or unanswered calls, which can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Additionally, answering services can provide patients with after-hours support, ensuring that urgent medical concerns are addressed promptly.
Some of the most important tasks answering services can assist with include:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Collecting patient information
- Answering questions about services offered
- Handling billing inquiries
Taking messages for doctors or other staff membersIncreased Productivity
Answering services can also increase productivity within medical practices. With a dedicated team managing phone calls and scheduling, medical staff can focus on providing high-quality patient care. Answering services can also reduce the number of interruptions and distractions that staff members experience throughout the day, allowing them to stay focused on their tasks and maintain their workflow.
While some may see answering services as an added expense, they can actually lead to cost savings in the long run. By outsourcing phone management to a third-party provider, medical practices can save on the cost of hiring and training additional staff members. Additionally, answering services can help reduce the number of missed appointments, which can result in lost revenue for the practice.
Cost and Use of Answering Services
The cost of answering services for medical practices can vary depending on the provider and the level of service required. Basic answering services, which include calling answering and message taking, may cost as little as a few hundred dollars per month. More advanced services, such as appointment scheduling and patient triage, may cost upwards of a few thousand dollars per month.
- Basic answering services cost between $300 to $500 per month, depending on the provider and the level of service required.
- Advanced services may range from around $1,000 to $2,500 per month.
- While some answering services charge a flat fee others will charge per minute which can range from $0.80 to $2.50 per minute.
When determining the use of answering services, medical practices should consider the needs of their patients and staff. If the practice experiences a high volume of phone calls or has limited staff resources, answering services can help manage the workload and ensure that patients receive timely and efficient service. Practices with after-hours or emergency services may also benefit from 24/7 support.
Answering services can provide medical practices with a range of benefits, including improved patient satisfaction, increased productivity, and cost savings. While the cost of answering services may seem like an added expense, the benefits they provide can lead to long-term cost savings and improved operational efficiency. As such, medical practices should consider implementing answering services into their operations to enhance patient care and streamline their operations.
What to Look for in an Answering Service for Medical Practices
When choosing an answering service for a medical practice, it is important to select a provider that meets the specific needs of the practice and its patients. In this blog, we will explore what to look for in answering services for medical practices, including professionalism, availability, and expertise.
First and foremost, medical practices should look for answering services that provide a high level of professionalism. The answering service should have well-trained operators who are knowledgeable about medical terminology and protocols. They should also have excellent communication skills, including the ability to handle difficult patients and sensitive information with tact and empathy. In addition, the answering service should have a system in place to ensure that all patient information is kept confidential and secure.
Medical practices should also consider the availability of the answering service. Ideally, the service should be available 24/7 to ensure that patients can access support when they need it, even outside of normal business hours. Additionally, the answering service should be able to handle a high volume of calls, ensuring that patients are not kept on hold for extended periods of time.
Finally, medical practices should look for answering services with expertise in medical call handling. The service should have experience working with medical practices and be familiar with the unique needs of healthcare providers. This includes understanding medical terminology, scheduling protocols, and the importance of patient confidentiality. The answering service should also have the ability to triage calls and prioritize urgent medical concerns, ensuring that patients receive the appropriate level of care.
While cost is an important consideration, it should not be the only factor in choosing an answering service for a medical practice. It is important to find a provider that offers the necessary level of professionalism, availability, and expertise, even if it means paying a higher fee.
Depending on the patient population, medical practices may also benefit from answering services that provide bilingual answering service operators. This can be especially helpful when dealing with international patients or those who rely on English as a second language. Having access to bilingual operators can ensure that all patients receive efficient and accurate service, regardless of their language proficiency.
In conclusion, medical practices should choose an answering service that provides a high level of professionalism, availability, and expertise. The answering service should have well-trained operators who are knowledgeable about medical terminology and protocols, be available 24/7, and have experience working with medical practices. While cost is an important consideration, it should not be the only factor in choosing an answering service. By selecting the right provider, medical practices can ensure that their patients receive the highest level of care and support, even outside of normal business hours.