Illness rarely arrives with convenient timing, and your patients’ medical questions will not always come during business hours. Unless your medical practice is open 24/7, you might think you have little choice but to leave some patients hanging when you are closed. However, there is a way to provide exemplary service all through the night. By hiring a physician answering service, you can keep in touch with patients and stay abreast of vital updates.
People, Not Voicemail
Patients do not call your office to listen to recordings; they call to hear a compassionate voice offering useful information. Show you care by putting a person on the other end of the line, no matter what time of day it is. When you have someone available to speak to patients and offer reassurance that their needs will be met, it can go a long way toward improving morale and building loyalty. Patients who are particularly pleased about speaking to your physician answering service may even refer their friends and family to your practice.
Depend on Privacy
As a physician, you know how important it is to uphold the privacy of your patients. HIPAA compliance is hugely important, but it can be difficult to enforce it with regular answering staff. However, if you hire an answering service, you can choose one whose staff members are trained stringently and updated regularly on HIPAA regulations. This lets you breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your patients are protected.
One of the worst parts about not having 24/7 answering available is that patients sometimes call in emergency situations. With a physician answering service, you can minimize the possibility that patients in severe distress will go unattended. Call staff members can be trained to handle emergencies in the method of your choosing. For example, you can have them connect your patients to your on-call colleagues, or you may request to have patients forwarded to your personal line. In extremely urgent circumstances, operators can even dispatch emergency services.
Part of offering great service to your patients is having flexibility behind the scenes. You should be able to customize your physician answering service to your preferences. Some options to look for:
– Following your predetermined script and protocol
– Remote account management
– Message delivery method of your choosing
– Custom and vanity numbers available
According to Pew Research Center data, Spanish is now the most commonly spoken non-English language in the United States. As it becomes more likely that some of your patients will prefer to speak Spanish, it becomes more important to have communication options available for them. By choosing a bilingual answering service, you can treat a broader population to exemplary care.
Lower Rates, Better Service
When you hire a professional physician answering service to field your after-hours calls, the benefits are not limited to the immediate satisfaction of your patients. It is often less expensive to hire an answering service than it is to pay overtime wages and overhead for keeping your office open longer. Saving money with an answering service not only enables you to meet your patients’ short-term needs, but it also frees up funds for important purchases such as office amenities and medical equipment.
Offer the Best
You are an expert in your field. You do everything you can to give your patients the treatment they deserve, and that should not stop when your lights go out for the night. When you hire a medical answering service, you can continue to ensure that every aspect of your office is handled by experts. Your patients will feel safe knowing that their calls will be handled with respect and discretion every time, and you can take pride in heading a practice that is professional through and through.