Medical answering services are one of those things that we take for granted in our day-to -day business, like cell phones and electric lighting.

They operate flawlessly behind the scenes when we have the right one in place, but if someone has never used one before they might think they’re doing just fine without. Luckily, doctors everywhere are beginning to realize just what they’re missing out on without having a medical answering service in place. From increasing patient satisfaction to answering the phones after-hours to simply allowing a small medical practice to take a break from answering the phone, there are lots of reasons that doctors use answering services, but these are among the top:

Increasing doctor availability without increasing workload. Being a doctor has always meant being on call for the needs of the community, but it can seriously interfere with having anything like a normal life. Having multiple doctors trade on-call nights can help a lot, but medical answering services take it one step further and give you the night off from worrying if someone will call.

Providing help to troubled patients right away. Patients in distress call all hours of the day and night, but with the help of a medical answering service taking both overflow and overnight calls, you can be certain that they get a human right away. After all, it can be frightening for a patient to be very sick or injured and finding a friendly voice on the other end of the phone can make all the difference.

If someone in serious trouble does call, you can leave specific instructions with the answering service to connect them to 9-1-1, another service like your nurse on call or to patch them directly to your cell phone. The last thing any doctor wants is to leave patients alone when they’re under duress.

Saving money over hiring full-time help. Hiring a full-time person to answer the phones after-hours or to help fill in the gaps during busy parts of the day can be seriously expensive, especially when those calls are few and far between. You want to be available for your patients, but you simply can’t break the practice by hiring employees who are rarely needed.

Instead of paying for a salary, benefits, lighting, space and other overhead for the occasional phone call or help with overflow, you can hire a medical answering service and pay one small fee. Most medical answering services are hired by the call or by the minute, so you’ll only pay for what time you use instead of hoping that your extra employee will actually be helpful once in a while.

Doctors hire medical answering services for a myriad of reasons, but most of the time it comes down to a need to provide the best medical care and customer service to their patients for the least amount of money. Answering services can be real money savers if you’re running a small office and only need part time help at unpredictable times of the day and night. The cash you save on full-time employees and lost customers will more than cover the costs of an extra hand on demand.