Work overload and low job satisfaction are among the top challenges facing doctors, dentists, therapists, and other medical specialists. To better address these issues and provide healthcare professionals with more quality time at work, physician’s offices, pharmacies, and hospitals are retaining specialist answering services. This has become quite a commonplace practice, yet still, many organizations continue to underestimate the benefits of after-hours medical services.
If you’re still unsure whether to outsource call handling to a medical answering services provider, these seven facts might help you make up your mind:
1. Call Agents That Professionally Speak to Patients
The goal of medical answering services is to take calls on behalf of your medical facility in a way that’s positive to the caller. For call agents to represent your practice properly, they must undergo training in medical terminology, phone etiquette, and HIPAA compliance (read more on this subject here). Thanks to such a combination of skills, your patients will always receive a positive call experience that is handled with care and professionalism.
2. Answering Services for Doctors Help Assure Regulatory Compliance
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) imposes a series of measures to protect patient identity and privacy, not only on healthcare facilities but also on their associated services provider. A compliant medical answering provider will help you prove your commitment to enhancing patient data security.
To properly safeguard healthcare information, specialist answering services companies use encrypted web portals and secure messaging platforms to collect and relay patient calls. They also invest in recurrent regulatory training to ensure all employees are up-to-date with the latest compliance procedures.
3. A Simple Monthly Plan Costs Less Than a Day of a Receptionist’s Work
The price factor is a frequent concern for healthcare facilities considering outsourcing their calls. Especially smaller, more cost-conscious physician’s practices may see it as a major hurdle in seeking live answering services assistance. However, smart, customer-centric pricing plans are tailored to suit medical businesses of all sizes, with tiers dependent on the monthly call volume and the total call duration.
Possibly the most surprising fact to acknowledge about medical answering services is that retaining a 24/7 call answering provider is much more cost-effective than hiring a receptionist who only works eight hours a day.
4. The Best Specialist Answering Services Focus Solely on Healthcare Customers
As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” As opposed to a general-purpose call answering company, a healthcare-only answering service provider serves the medical community exclusively. Thanks to the niche specialization, the agents understand the challenges medical professionals face every day, as they interact only with specialists in the healthcare industry. As a result, they provide higher-quality, patient-focused services to your callers.
5. Medical Answering Services Improve Patient Satisfaction and Retention
Given the variety of healthcare services facilities at hand, patients are constantly sizing up different medical providers to find the most reliable one. The increasing competition makes retaining patients increasingly difficult.
By taking care of all incoming calls in your office or hospital, medical answering services allow doctors to fully focus on their patients and provide them with more valuable face time. Improved relationship with the patients, round-the-clock availability, and excellent customer support skills all contribute to enhanced patient retention rates. Especially as 44% of customers are inclined to switch vendor following poor customer service.
6. You Get a FREE Trial to Test Medical Answering Services
While you may feel a bit apprehensive about retaining a healthcare answering services company to provide 24/7 access to your medical business, it’s worth knowing that you may always run a free, no-obligation trial. Without any contract or deposit fee, you will receive exactly the same level of services as if you were a customer. This includes 24/7 call handling, HIPAA-compliant messaging, cover for busy office call overflow, access to an online portal, and other features.
The activation takes only a few minutes, and you will be able to see what difference the call answering service makes to your business.
7. Every Call Is Handled According to Your Protocols
As professional answering services are an extension to your healthcare facility, it’s critical that all calls are processed in a consistent way that’s well-aligned with your business.
The role of scripting is to assure a steady level of service on each call. Before the first call is ever taken, you provide the answering service company with detailed instructions on how to process each type of query. The highly trained staff can then answer your practice’s calls per your exact instructions to ensure a positive patient experience and resolve the caller’s issue in the shortest possible time.
The Bottom Line
With the advances of technology and the increasing importance of customer experience, call answering services can benefit your healthcare facility in more ways than you might think.
They offer significant cost savings as a replacement or supplement to a traditional, in-house receptionist, and make a healthcare business more accessible to all patients. We hope that the above seven facts about these services will convince you that retaining a call answering company is a step in the right direction for your facility, office, or hospital.