Medical professionals can benefit greatly from the right answering service company, but they’re not all the same. If your physician answering service is doing its job well, you and your callers and patients will be the first to know.

Indicators and Performance Data

Although every answering service customer has different needs, you should be able to see a few general trends using data provided by your physician answering service, as well as your own office records.

To fully evaluate your physician answering service, you’ll want to ask these questions:

  • Am I booking appointments more effectively? Probably the best internal indicator that your physician answering service is doing a bang-up job is your appointment book.When appointments are being juggled more easily, patients say they’re glad they could book an appointment at their convenience and your in-office staff is more focused on the tasks at hand, that’s a success story. When appointment bookings increase because of the accessibility your answering service provides, that’s an even better sign!
  • Do I feel more rested? Although it’s not a concrete measure by any means, knowing that you’re not having to constantly worry that a patient may call after hours with a problem can reduce your anxiety and allow you to really rest in your off time. That assurance that someone is handling your patients like you would and will call you if there’s a major problem can help to fight physician burnout.
  • What does the data tell me? Your physician answering service can provide you with ample data on the calls that they’ve taken and how their operators are performing. You can use this data to see if things are getting better, staying the same or getting worse.Look for base KPIs (key performance indicators) like first call resolution and average handle time. You want to see that calls are resolved on the first try and that handle time is low, but not so low that your patients are obviously not getting the care they deserve.

A physician answering service should act like an extension of your own office, good services will expect that you want to know how things are going at some point. Periodic reviews can both help to keep your service on their toes and give you the assurance that the service is doing exactly what it was intended to do. The next time you wonder how your physician answering service is doing, you’ll be able to find out for certain with a little bit of effort.