A Medical Answering Service is another name for answering services or virtual receptionists that specialize or are well accustom with medical offices.
When you choose to hire a Medical Answering Service like AnswerFirst, you are employing the experience of an answering specialist familiar with the medical industry and its terminology. Most importantly, our etiquette and customer experience is superb.
Our Custom Service Professionals answer your calls, manage appointments, meeting schedules, requests and cancellations. We can also provide customer service that your customers will leave the conversation with a nice warm feeling that transfers to you whenever they speak with you.
Here are some things to look for when considering an answering service for your medical facility.
- Answering calls
- Promptness in managing appointments and scheduling
- Experienced customer service
- Email communications
- Screening calls
- Transferring calls
- HIPAA compliance
Many medical offices across the country are simply not large enough to justify having a full-time receptionist. So, they employ medical answering services. Often, they find it difficult to find virtual receptionists qualified enough to meet the needs mentioned earlier. All of these factors make finding the right company difficult.
One reason for the difficulty is the large amount of information about any topic online. That information is simply hard to qualify as valid or trustworthy. Another problem, is that there are many answering companies based in foreign countries. This presents several problems. The first may be the great language barrier. Some representatives may not be capable of speaking fluent English or have a native language that is not spoken in the United States. Medically, this can be a disaster.
Operating a clinic or medical office means you take care of everyone who comes to you. That includes patients who arrive in person (both those with appointments and those who have an emergency) and those on the phone.
What happens when you’re busy managing your office and don’t have time to handle every phone call? Or when multiple calls are coming in at the same time?
You need the help of a medical answering service with professionals who know how to address these sensitive situations. They also must know how to help your office run effectively.
Learn more about what qualities to look for in these service providers and see how they can make life easier for you and your patients.
Figure Out What Type of Services You Need, Including Emergency Calls
Think about the type of medical office you run, and what services are needed. Consider factors such as:
- How many doctors are in the office
- How busy the office can get
- Types of medical situations handled frequently
- What emergency situations you’ve had in the past
If your office is for an eye doctor, it’s not likely you’re running into many emergency situations. If your office is for an OB/GYN, those needs change and emergencies can come up.
In these cases, it’s important to have a medical answering service equipped to handle emergencies. Make sure the service you choose has experience doing this, so you can rest in confidence when helping your patients.
Ensure the Medical Answering Service Company is HIPPA Compliant
Before you decide on a service to help you handle calls, you need to confirm that the company you’ve chosen is HIPPA compliant. In the medical profession, there is a frequent exchange of information. This helps patients meet their needs, particularly in emergencies.
Hiring a medical answering service that is HIPPA compliant ensures that your patients stay protected. This means they feel comfortable using your office, no matter what comes up.
Make sure the answering service has policies in place regarding how HIPPA information is handled. Look for companies with secure messaging and staff that has experience handling these types of calls and information.
If you ever feel uncomfortable with a company’s lack of HIPPA practices, walk away. Your patients deserve the utmost privacy and care when it comes to addressing their medical needs.
Can the Service Help You With Overflow?
One issue that many medical practices deal with is being able to service their patients in an effective and timely manner. When deciding on a medical answering service, find out if they have skills in helping with excess calls that come in.
Certain days of the week, month, or even year can prove busier than usual for your practice. Although you’re staffed to help patients with anything that comes up, it doesn’t hurt to cover your bases with an answering service.
Consider busy occasions such as:
- Peak days of the week (if you have them)
You may notice that there are times you have a great patient need, yet not enough intake staff to help with this issue. That is when an answering service skilled in medical needs can help the most.
Try to pick a service that has plenty of experience in dealing with individuals who are sick, in pain, or otherwise need help as soon as possible. That’s how you’ll get the type of help you need to assist your customers well.
Learn more about the benefits of providing patients with help that addresses their needs quickly in this blog post.
How Accurate and Customizable is the Medical Answering Service?
As technology changes life and makes things more effective for all types of businesses, medical practices join in these digital transformations. One of the most important ways you can help patients feel comfortable in your practice is to reassure them that you’re accessible.
Regardless of what type of medical office you run, there are a few things to do in order to help patients feel as though they can reach you quickly if they need to. Look for a medical answering service that:
- Works with you to determine which situations are emergencies and which ones can wait
- Is skilled at getting the information you’ll need from patients before you call them back
- Knows exactly how to convey what the patient’s needs and questions are before ending the call
Working together, you should develop a system that allows you to help patients based on a few different factors. Emergencies, who called first, and what the situation is.
A quality answering service is also aware that different types of medical practices vary in terms of emergency situations. They should know how to help you with the management of your patients in this manner.
The end result is people feel comfortable to call your practice when there is a problem, knowing they won’t be forgotten. Making sure you attend to everyone in a timely manner is a delicate balance, but can be achieved with a knowledgeable answering service.
If you need extra help and aren’t sure what qualities to look for when seeking a medical answering service, keep the following in mind. They should have a dedication to privacy.
You want to make every patient feel valued, and work with you to develop a plan formulated to the population you serve.
If you’re ready to seek outside help that knows how to help medical practices, let us help. Contact us, and see how we can start helping you today.
We believe the key to a quality medical establishment is helping your patients feel heard, no matter what their needs are. We can help you make sure that happens for each and every caller, no matter how busy you are.