Everything You Need to Know About Medical Answering Services

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As a healthcare professional, you are no stranger to the busy phonelines and the constant ringing of phones, even during non-business hours. It can be a huge task to keep up with high call volumes round the clock. In fact, incessant calls during business hours can interrupt patient care and make your office look chaotic.

To avoid being stuck in such a situation, many healthcare providers hire Medical Practice Answering Service to work as an extension of your business and help them streamline their internal processes. In this article, we will understand all there is to know about these services to help you make an informed decision.

What is a call answering service?
A call answering service is a telephone service that acts as a face of your company. They manage incoming calls and relay all messages via email, text, recording, and live. All kinds of businesses these days outsource their calling services to these service providers as it helps them stay in control of their call volumes and also free up their in-house employees to do handle more core activities. Apart from managing your calls, your service provider can also schedule appointments, respond to emails, reply to text messages, transfer calls, answer general questions etc.

How do medical call answering services work?
Medical answering services is like a secret weapon that is employed by many healthcare offices to solve problems and improve the level of care that they are able to provide to the patients.

When you hire their services, these service providers will configure their phone systems to route all your incoming calls to their centre so that each and every call gets answered. They not only lend 24/7 feature to your business but also gives you patients a live agent to talk to. This can be especially helpful during stressful times when they need immediate help.

Benefits of medical answering service
One of the most common question or concern that businesses ask when considering medical answering service is the cost of hiring. Although it may seem like an added cost, they actually turn out to be more affordable by adding tremendous value to your business.

Here are some of the ways that a medical answering service can add value to your business:

-They free up your internal resources that can be used for other business expansion activities. Additionally, it also frees up doctor or nurse’s time by automatically routing all the calls to the call centre after business hours.
-No need to hire additional resources and bear their labour cost as well as overhead expenses. You can transfer all your non-core duties to these service providers.
-They can handle your after-hour calls and also provide emergency assistance to your customers.

Cost of medical answering service
Medical answering services are highly sought after by the businesses because of its affordability and added value. They can easily manage high call volumes and also provide service add-ons such as SMS relay, email relay, free local number, online portal access etc.

Additionally, you can share your needs as well as budget constraints with these service providers. A reputed and experienced company will be able to provide you with customized services that fits your business requirements and budget. They may also offer you multiple pricing options. However, no matter what you choose, always make sure that you are getting the following in the price:

-HIPAA Compliance: All medical professionals and their associates must strictly follow the compliance guidelines to ensure privacy of patient data as well as their personal health information. This means that the company you eventually choose to work with should be HIPAA compliant as well. Not adhering to this rule can result in expensive lawsuits.
-Message relay: The live agents provided by the service provider should be trained to handle all the product and service related questions. They should also have a protocol to determine emergency and handle it the proper way. This helps doctors and managers to prioritize patients and respond to them appropriately.
-Emergency protocol: Emergencies can happen at any time, in and outside of business hours. However, regardless of the timing, medical offices should be available to help their clients when they need them. A medical answering service should be able to fulfil this requirement and make sure that all the incoming calls are answered promptly. You must define a proper emergency protocol so that the agents can act in accordance with it.
-Appointment scheduling: A medical answering service should be able to manage your appointments by making it easier for the caller to change or cancel.

This article is by no means exhaustive but can be used as a starting point to help you choose the right service provider.