Positive patient outcomes are the goal of any medical practice, but achieving this goal is not done through medical services alone. Let’s face it, technology has changed how much of the world operates, and for the most part, technology has made aspects of our lives easier. Why should this be any different for medical professionals and their patients?
If you are a decision maker in a medical office—whether a doctor, a nurse practitioner or some other role—you know there are a great many responsibilities at hand. What you might not be aware of is how much an automated phone system for doctors can be helpful.
For starters, a doctor’s office answering service is not merely about phone calls. It is about improving customer service and making the lives of doctors easier, as well as improving patient outcomes. That’s right, with the right answering service for doctors, you can actually help your patients see better outcomes. So, how does one lead to the other?
Read on to better understand the ways that an answering service for a doctor’s office can help everyone involved.
There is no question that appointment scheduling is not at the top of your “fun” list. However, it is extremely necessary for any medical professional. And appointment scheduling for a medical practice is more involved than scheduling a haircut, for example.
For starters, regardless of what type of medical practice you operate, or work in, there are HIPAA regulations that you need to be aware of. Whether you know it or not, answering services for doctors are HIPAA compliant. This makes the choice for many doctors easier since it was not something they were aware of in the first place.
But this makes patients more comfortable as well. When there is a dedicated doctor answering service in place, calls don’t fall through the cracks. Incoming calls are always answered, and they can be handled with the level of privacy and professionalism that you would have yourself if you were answering the phone.
Additionally, sometimes a patient has a specific note for the doctor, or a particular concern they want to be addressed when scheduling an appointment. A medical answering service will make sure all of this information is relayed properly, safely, and timely.
With this type of service, a patient feels comfortable making an appointment and is more likely to keep it. It is different from filling out a form on a website or leaving a voicemail. Knowing they are heard and their concern is going to be addressed, patients feel confident about scheduling an appointment with your medical practice.
Patients call medical practices for all kinds of reasons aside from scheduling an appointment for a future visit. Sometimes they might have a question for the doctor, or perhaps they might have a question about billing. Whatever the question, concern, or comment is, it is crucial that the patient feels like their call is being taken seriously.
An answering service for a doctor’s office will make sure the call gets routed where it needs to, in a timeframe that equates to the level of emergency. After all, if there is an emergency, then it is necessary that someone be able to answer the phone, day or night. An answering service for doctors will ensure this is the case.
Routing calls needs to happen in a timely manner, and a medical answering service needs to know where to route these calls. Only with professional doctor’s office answering services can this precision be achieved.
And you might be thinking that routing calls is not that difficult, and that anyone who answers the phone can fulfill such a task. The reality is that this task can get muddled if the phone operator has a bunch of additional tasks on their plate. If you just have anyone answering your phones in your office, then they likely have additional tasks as well.
However, by partnering with a dedicated answering service for your doctor’s office, you can rest assured that calls will be routed with precision, and this means taking messages and relaying those if need be.
The biggest benefit for a patient when it comes to partnering with a doctor’s office answering service is that the lines of communication do not close. Whether a patient has a question or an emergency, they want someone to answer the phone if they call.
Patients want to trust the professionals at their medical practice, and they will keep coming back if they do. Part of this trust is rooted in the fact that lines of communication stay open. If a patient feels like they are being heard, then they are likely to have a better outcome with each visit overall.
Not everything is linked to a landline anymore, and for good reason. Your patients are not calling from one, and depending on the structure of your medical practice, your automated phone system for your doctor’s office might not be answering on one. But mobile means more than the ability to communicate on the go.
Telemedicine has become a prominent avenue for many patients and doctors, especially in recent years since the pandemic. Telemedicine means that a patient can speak to their doctor (usually face-to-face) through a HIPAA-compliant platform. Since not every visit to the doctor needs to happen in person, it is clear to see the benefits of such technology.
And these benefits are improving patient outcomes because patients feel more in control of their visits, as well as more flexible in their situation. And this goes beyond not having to sit in the waiting room. For example, you might have an elderly patient who relies on a wheelchair for mobility. If there happens to be a blizzard outside, and your appointment can be managed over the phone, then why not offer this as a solution to the patient?
This type of technology has made it so that doctors can see more patients, and patients have more opportunities to see their doctors as well. It has benefitted the entire system, and doctors office answering services can facilitate this type of scenario.
Reach out to the professionals at Answering Service Care, and partner with a doctor answering service that meets your operational needs, as well as improves patient outcomes.