Why a Medical Answering Service Can Be a Lifeline for Patients Needing Immediate Care
It is not always possible that a patient’s medical emergency coincides with the working hours of the doctor’s office. Being available to your patients is an intrinsic part of being a good doctor or medical establishment.
By making use of a medical answering service, doctors can be sure that their patients are attended to even after work hours and on weekends. Quite simply, a medical answering service is similar to having a 24×7 live receptionist who can route calls and keep up with your patients’ queries.
Depending on your requirements, you can opt for the answering service to transfer calls directly to you or to go through a process of pre-defined questions to determine how a patient’s case needs to be handled. For most patients, just having a human voice at the other end of the line to give reassurance and information during a crisis is a huge comfort and reaffirms faith in their doctor.
Handling medical queries is a complex task and requires trained personnel. While choosing a medical answering service, it’s best to investigate if the companies comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and have the necessary guidelines and protocols in place to protect sensitive patient information. It is also important for patients to be assured that although a third party might be processing their calls, all information shared by them is kept confidential.
In some situations, appointments are scheduled months ahead. A medical answering service can deal with rescheduling appointments, reminding patients of appointments and ensuring they bring necessary insurance documentation and paperwork before arriving at the doctor’s office. Patients will be thankful that they do not have to make multiple visits and are fully informed of processes before each visit.
For doctors who work in emergency care, a medical answering service is all the more critical to ensuring that no patient goes unattended. Even if you have a receptionist dedicated to taking calls, an answering service can act as an initial filter and transfer calls to the right department, thus saving on time and effort. Furthermore, having a full-time employee just to answer or transfer calls might prove to be more expensive in the long-term.
Lastly, like most other sectors, the medical sector is competitive and fast-paced. Doctors’ offices are typically busy but a doctor’s reputation rests on how patients review his or her services.
Today, it’s far too easy for an unsatisfied patient to provide unflattering feedback online for everyone to see. Retaining patients and ensuring that you remain a top preference for them is possible by going that extra mile to show them that you care no matter what hour of the day they seek your assistance.