You want what’s best for your patients, of course you do, but when you’re running a busy medical office, it can be difficult to give all your patients the care and attention they seek.
Hiring more help could be an option, but if your busy times tend to come in intense, but limited, bursts or are extremely sporadic, it’s a big expense to take another person on for a “maybe.” Another way you could improve your patient care is to contract with a medical answering service.
Medical answering services give you all the benefits of working with an HIPAA-compliant partner, but with a cost that’s far lower than hiring another staff member. Instead of paying a salary, you only pay for the calls your answering service takes, making it a cost-efficient option for even the smallest medical practice.
How An Answering Service Can Improve Patient Care
Answering the phone may seem like such a little thing, but it’s a task that can literally tie employees up all day. When they’re busy trying to juggle the telephone and in-office patients, it can become a real challenge to keep up with everyone’s needs — either in-office patient care suffers or the patient on the phone is given less attention than they deserve. Neither are great options, but your medical answering service can solve these problems.
These are just three ways that a medical answering service can help your medical practice better help your patients:
Faster response time to calls during business hours. When your patients call, they’re often sick or calling for a family member or friend who is — they don’t feel like they have any time to spare. When you enable overflow calling with your answering service, your callers never have to worry that no one will pick up. Your answering service can also handle appointment booking, giving your patients full-service scheduling even when your office is packed with patients.
Better access to human operators after-hours. Patients calling after-hours are doing it because they’re deeply concerned about a medical issue, otherwise they’d wait for your office to open in the morning. With an after-hours answering service, they don’t have to wait for help — you can train your answering service to ask your callers some basic questions to determine the severity of their illnesses and allow those patients to pass messages to you about their conditions.
Emergency access in times of need. Once in a while, an after-hours caller is in real need and can’t wait for the morning to speak to you. When you define how to determine what is an emergency call for your answering service, they know which calls to route directly to you or the on-call doctor. Patients want to be heard, especially when they’re not feeling well — even if your advice is to head to the Emergency Room.
Running a medical office can be a difficult line to walk, especially when it comes to callers. When you contract with a HIPAA-compliant medical answering service, you’ll make it easier for your patients to get the information they need and improve their care level dramatically.