What Does a Doctors Answering Service Do?
Are you wondering what a doctors answering service does? If you are not really sure, read on to find out.
There are many things that can stress people out about being at the doctor. The number one thing has been found to be the wait.
Along with several elements you think might be impossible to change, a doctors answering service can fix this. You might be surprised by all of the services that an answering service can offer. Plus, how different life in your office can be because of them.
Here are four of the biggest benefits to hiring an answering service.
1. Coverage During Office Hours
While you might think of a phone answering service as something you only use when an office is closed, it actually serves a purpose when an office is open. Since a number of your calls will only be concerned with practical questions about your location, open hours, or to a specific doctor, you can save time. Answer those questions before bothering your receptionist or offer better patient service by sending them where they need to go.
Taking away the annoyance of a constantly ringing telephone from your waiting room will make your office more peaceful. You’ll find your staff is more productive and your office is a kinder and gentler place to be in.
The patients who are sitting in your office should be your number one concern. When you take time away from them, you hurt your reputation. Thankfully a medical answering service can help you focus on them.
An answering service is also great for covering during breaks, meetings, or lunches. If you need to quiet down your busy office so that you can all focus on a group task, your answering service can cover for you. If you’re not ready to send all of your daily office-hours calls to them, try just using them to calm down the office while your receptionist is at lunch.
2. Use The Service for Scheduling
While you might think of an answering service as merely a human answering machine, they can give you as much service as you pay them to give you. Rather than having your reception desk handling patient check-in and all of the calls that come in for scheduling, free them to focus on customer service. Have your answering service work with your schedule and call your patients for reminders.
Every day, you leave the office with gaps in your schedule for tomorrow or for the following week. When you come back to the office in the morning, either you have to juggle a whole bunch of messages from patients or your schedule is still open.
Rather than leaving gaps, why not have your answering service juggle your schedule during the hours your office is closed.
On top of that, you can lower the number of missed appointments and maintain a steady number of billable hours throughout the day. The service can call up patients who may have scheduled their appointment months before and could have easily forgotten. You won’t have to fret about any lost revenue or think about the possibility of leaving any customers underserved.
While you might think of your answering service as working only over the phone, if you authorize them, they may be able to offer digital services. They could be emailing or texting your patients about upcoming appointments to get them to remember their commitments.
Look into what’s available before you decide on a service.
3. Nurse Triage Over The Phone
While your reception desk certainly gets a lot of phone traffic, your nurses could be juggling calls just the same. When a patient has a need, they’ll interrupt nurses in the middle of whatever task they’re doing with a phone call. While this can appease one patient, it will very often upset another.
Most medical answering services will be able to offer services like this. Whether by simply offering over-the-counter remedies, sending patients to the ER, or directing them back to the office, they can offer some expertise. Often just hearing the concerns of the caller is enough and if a trained professional is available, they could offer an important service.
Your answering service should be able to identify the needs of your patients and give them the expertise they’d expect of a credentialed nurse. With trained medical professionals on the phone, you can be assured that they will follow the standard medical triage protocol.
4. Registration and Follow-Up
One of the more time-consuming things on any first visit for a patient is registering with the system unique to the office they’re entering. With all kinds of paperwork, personal questions, and medical history, this process can eat up an entire half an hour on their first visit. If you don’t want to back everyone up and want your customer to feel like you already know them, get your phone service to handle that.
When you take patient registration from the shoulders of your office staff, you can give them the opportunity to handle other things. Your office will work more efficiently and your patients will be less stressed out from having to arrive early.
After the patient has left, your phone service can follow up with them. If there are additional questions, they can be easily connected to a nurse for more information. And then if there’s a follow-up meeting needed, they can schedule that over the phone with your phone answering service.
A Doctors Answering Service Offers Major Benefits
Along with the benefits that a doctors answering service can offer you, you could get simple peace of mind. Subtracting a ringing telephone could do wonders for the environment inside your office. Your patients will notice and thank you as well.
If you’re thinking of adding an answering service to your office, contact us for tips on where to start.