This is part two in a two-part series. Part one is here.

In part one of this two-part series on choosing a medical answering service for your practice, we discussed several important questions to ask before hiring a business phone service.

Those questions will be helpful to guide your choice, but there are other features you need to ensure your new business partner can offer before you sign on the dotted line. Remember, it’s especially important in the medical field to hire the right service, not just the service that’s cheapest or right in front of you in the moment.

An ideal medical answering service will be able to demonstrate these key characteristics and options:

Fully Customizable Services. Every medical office is different, so being able to customize your options is vital to delivering the perfect service to your patients. Whether you’re an orthodontist or an oncologist, your medical answering service needs to work with you to develop a plan that makes your patients feel like you’re just one call away.

Accuracy. Although accuracy is vital in every type of business, it can literally mean life or death when it comes to the medical industry. Knowing that Mr. Thompson called instead of Mr. Thomas could seriously change the course of action you advise the patient to take in light of his or her symptoms. Even when it’s not an emergency call, it’s best to always know who you’re dealing with and for what reason – without feeling the need to second guess your answering service.

Emergency Services Dispatching. Medical answering services that really know their stuff can be instructed to dispatch the appropriate emergency service in case a customer in real trouble calls. Your stress level will drop dramatically knowing that your answering service will send an ambulance for your patient before they call you with the message about his chest pain.

Call Overflow Capability. Medical offices are busy and sometimes the phones ring all day long. It’s great to know that your after-hours answering service can also be your overflow answering service when the telephones are jumping off their hooks in your office. After all, your medical telephone answering team is a lot less expensive and efficient than hiring another employee (or more) to take peak time calls. You can also feel secure knowing they’ve already got the training you need to deliver your patients the best service available.

When hiring a medical answering team, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. By asking all the right questions and keeping your patients’ needs in mind, though, you’ll be able to navigate the many medical answering services to find the one that fits your business needs perfectly.