Healthcare businesses are busy places that often need a great deal of help to ensure that patient care remains top-notch.

When there’s not more money in the budget for another full time employee, you may still be able to get the extra help you need with a medical answering service. These companies can provide many of the same services as non-medical office staff, but at a fraction of the cost of in-house employees. If your patients frequently call for assistance, a healthcare answering service may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

There are many reasons to work with a medical answering service, but note these key benefits:

Having live operators available for every call. When your patients call your office, it’s often for something mundane. But once in awhile they call because there’s a big problem and they need a voice they can trust. When they call your office and they get a voicemail in their time of despair, this sends a very specific message about your office.

Instead of giving your patients a cold machine to rely upon, provide them with a live operator who can empathize and even place a request for an emergency call back from one of your medical practitioners to help further calm those frazzled nerves. If you don’t have a regular on-call staffer after hours, your healthcare answering service live operators can send a message directly to the caller’s contact of choice using SMS or email so there’s no delay.

Providing a dedicated appointment setting team. Your office staff spends way too much of its day setting, changing and canceling appointments, but the team doesn’t have to any longer. If you had an answering service partner, your callers could speak to their appointment setting team directly, freeing up your in-house staff to handle patients who are in the office. Many appointment-setting services will easily integrate with the software you’re already using, allow you both to work on the same calendars in real-time. This way, you never have to worry about double-booking or accidentally letting a patient fall through the cracks.

Ensuring HIPAA and HITECH compliance. Hiring an answering service can bring distinct advantages to a healthcare service office, but not just any answering service will do: A medical answering service is one that’s also specially trained in HIPAA and HITECH compliance. These companies keep up with the latest legislation regarding patient health information so you don’t suffer the consequences. A HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant healthcare answering service protects your patients from misuse of their private information and guards you against hefty fines, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Working with a healthcare answering service can make a huge difference to your patient satisfaction and to your bottom line. By shuffling your in-house duties around a bit and utilizing your telephone team for those jobs that don’t require a physical presence, many healthcare companies can realize significant savings since their in-house staff will be more productive and their phone staff is only paid for the calls they actually take. Everybody benefits from a relationship with a healthcare answering service.