If the phones at your dental practice are ringing faster than your staff can answer them, chances are that you are missing out on business and upsetting some of your current patients. When someone wants to schedule an appointment, or needs immediate assistance in an emergency, they do not want to be send to voicemail or placed on a long hold. If this is a challenge that your office is currently dealing with, the good news is that a dental answering service can help!

What should I consider before hiring a dental answering service?

Before partnering with a dental answering service, consider the points that we discuss below. Answering these questions will help you to figure out exactly what your needs are, and from there you can choose the best answering service for your practice.

  • What types of tasks do I need help with?
  • Are they a HIPAA-compliant answering service?
  • Does my office need a bilingual virtual receptionist?
  • Do I need coverage on nights, weekends, and holidays?

What types of tasks do I need help with?

The first step is to ask yourself why you are outsourcing to a dental answering service in the first place. Is it because your staff cannot handle the additional load the phone adds to their work? Does your appointment book look like an unorganized mess? Do you need to be doing a better job of following up with patients?

Here at Answering Service Care, our virtual receptionists do so much more than just answer phones. They can help with tasks like appointment setting, email marketing, replying to customers via text message, answering general questions, relaying messages, and routing calls.

Are they a HIPAA-compliant answering service?

This is an especially important thing to consider, as the penalties for not complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can be quite costly. By law, dentists covered under HIPAA must work with a HIPAA-compliant medical answering service.

When your practice partners with a dental answering service that’s HIPAA-compliant, you can rest easier knowing that your patients’ health information will remain confidential. The virtual receptionists assisting your patients are proficient in all HIPAA requirements, and they receive ongoing training on how to keep patient data protected.

Does my office need a bilingual virtual receptionist?

If your practice serves a large number of Spanish-speakers, it would be wise to partner with a bilingual answering service. Having a bilingual virtual receptionist assist your Spanish-speaking patients can offer value in a variety of ways:

  • It shows these patients that you are dedicated to providing them with the best care possible.
  • Being able to effectively speak with Spanish-speaking patients means less missed appointments due to communication errors.
  • It allows you to grow your client roster by tapping into a new market of Spanish-speaking patients.

Do I need coverage on nights, weekends, and holidays?

Toothaches and other dental emergencies can happen any time, and it’s important to be there for your patients when they need you. If you and your staff would like your nights, weekends, and holidays to yourselves, a dental answering service has you covered! Your virtual receptionist will ask the right questions to identify a true emergency, and only reach out to you if it’s urgent.