With the ever-growing roles of doctors and physicians, the medical industry has been forced to turn to call answering services for their communication needs. By partnering with professional virtual receptionists, medical organizations can give their patients valuable and appropriate undivided attention. These operators will answer patient calls, arrange medical appointments, and provide reminders, responsibilities that may seem impossible with the conventional receptionists.
Although, as a medical expert, you might feel that your healthcare organization has what it takes to handle calls during business hours, after hours, weekends, and holidays, you must be careful. A surge in calls even during the day can leave your patients frustrated because of the long holds they will experience. Also, you are likely to put a lot of pressure on your staff when they should be caring for or treating patients.
Instead of overburdening your employees and annoying your callers, The Best Call Center is here to streamline your operations and free up your employees to focus on giving patients a great experience through our answering services for doctors and physicians.
How do Doctors and Physicians Answering Services Work?
Virtual receptionists for doctors and physicians answer patient calls on your behalf when there is an increase in the volume of callers, during after hours, weekends, holidays, or when you are too busy to answer the phone. You must understand that when a patient rings your office, he or she expects to speak to a live professional representative who can help with the care they need. Sending the caller to voicemail or put them on hold is likely to make them feel frustrated and move on to call your competitor. An answering service is available to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Suppose you partner with Best Call Center’s medical answering services, whenever your office phone rings, the call will be rerouted to the answering service account. Once the call has been forwarded, a highly-trained call operator will answer the call on your behalf. And because the needs of each caller are unique, there are common questions our operator will answer and those that will be transferred to your employees. The fashion in which these calls will be answered is based on the type of healthcare practice and needs.
Medical records or information should be safeguarded because it’s confidential. We have to ensure we come up with a call workflow that ensures you get the information needed from a patient and handle their needs at the same time. We have an onboarding procedure on paper, which contains details of how you and your employees will be communicating with our call agents. Our operators will deliver patient messages through encrypted text or mail or web portal to ensure the details of the message are safeguarded.
The Best Call Center’s medical answering services will develop a bespoke script to be used to answer calls. Additionally, we work with your guidelines when it comes to emergencies. One of the critical reasons for working with virtual receptionists is to take care of emergencies. Remember, emergencies are never planned, and mostly, they occur when least expected or when people are least prepared. Also, not all patients know what an actual emergency is. You have to come up with guidelines and share them with our operators on how we should determine an emergency. That way, based on the nature of the emergency, we can request the patient to wait until morning to visit the hospital, connect him or her to an on-call doctor, or call 911.
Because your success is our success, during the onboarding process, we take time to train our operators about your medical practice to understand its needs and processes. That way, when we answer your call, the patient will feel like he or she is speaking to you or your medical employees.
What Other Services Do Medical Call Answering Services Offer Beyond Answering Calls?
Answering providers for doctors and physicians have additional services to provide beyond picking your calls. To make sure that patients show up for appointments and on time, we provide reminder services. We will also release your employees from the responsibility of arranging appointments through appointment scheduling services. Where patients have minor issues or needs, partnering with a doctor answering service can benefit you through nurse triage services. We have discussed these services in details below:
Appointment scheduling is a critical element in the success of your medical business, but without an adequate system in place, it is likely to cost your practice. Thankfully, with appointment scheduling answering providers from Best Call Center, you can ensure that scheduling appointments in your office are streamlined. You and your staff are freed up to focus on other activities like providing medical solutions or running the medical organization.
An answering service will save you from the stress of patients who call hoping to schedule an appointment for the same or following day. It also saves you from anxious patients who call booking an appointment right after opening the office.
Best Call Center answering providers schedule appointments around the clock. We understand that most people are free during the evening or night to schedule appointments. Our live appointment scheduling operators will be available 24 hours a day to answer calls from patients when it’s most expedient. By being able to accommodate the scheduling needs of your patients, you get to fill your schedule, which translates to more money for the healthcare organization. If you make proper use of our appointment scheduling answering services, we will establish a strong base of loyal clients who value your ability to schedule appointments around the clock.
Best Call Center can integrate with your appointment scheduling software. If you don’t have one, we will develop a fully customized online calendar that will accommodate all your scheduling needs. That way, when a time is booked or rescheduled, the updates will be forwarded to you or the relevant employee through email or text. Additionally, our bespoke online calendar will enable you to:
- Analyze daily schedules
- Allocate meetings to the appropriate staff
- Schedule, reschedule, or cancel meetings
- Block off vacation time
- Add or change the pricing or details of an appointment
- Get directions
- Rearrange your schedule
With the help of our appointment scheduling operators, we redeploy your employees enabling them to manage their time better, which enhances efficiency resulting in more revenue.
Patients have a tendency to schedule appointments, but due to other commitments, they end up forgetting or show up late. This can significantly lower your efficiency and reduce productiveness. However, with our reminder services for appointments, patients will show up on time, which will keep your schedule full and enhance efficacy in your operations. Also, reminder services save time and money for your organization because employees won’t focus on sending emails or text messages to remind them of their appointments. Instead, they are freed up to focus on what’s more important for the success of the organization.
Some of the conventional methods we use for our appointment reminder services include:
- Text Message Reminders – various studies have proven that the most efficient method of scheduling an appointment is through text message. Best Call Center will ensure that we use this preferred mode of communication to remind and confirm appointments quickly.
- Email Reminders – our operators can also send patients who have scheduled appointments an email with your healthcare organization’s branding. When these patients receive the email, they can confirm attendance by clicking on a link in the email. The confirmation then by design updates on your web portal so that those concerned can get real-time updates.
- Smartphone App Reminders – applications for iPhone and Android phones are available. The applications remind your patients through a push notification about the forthcoming appointment. A patient can also add the date of the appointment on their Smartphone calendar, so they do not forget.
- Telephone Reminders - our appointment scheduling operators can work together with your staff to develop a bespoke, coherent, and professional recorded message. And because our receptionists are bilingual, we can make sure these messages are recorded in various languages to reach the target demographic.
What you are required to do as a doctor or physician is to list the names and details of appointments you have scheduled with patients and upload them on our web portal. When uploading, you must choose the mode of appointment reminder your patients prefer. Upon confirmation or rescheduling, you will receive real-time updates on the portal. With our appointment reminder services, you can get daily reports on the schedule of your staff, fill rescheduled appointments, and make changes on your calendar.
Nurse Triage Services
Sometimes patients call in need of healthcare advice. If an operator doesn’t have in-depth knowledge of the medical field, he or she might not understand the patient’s problem. A triage answering service will make a difference and give a physician or doctor an advantage over competitors. Our triage nurses are URAC accredited and will speak with the patient who needs medical advice to determine their needs. These nurses will then use the administrative procedures you have put in place in your healthcare organization to connect with a doctor or physician if the needs of the patients are critical. With this service, you can go through the daily triage answering service report and check your medical practice portal for call volume and know the kind of help these patients needed.
Reasons Why Every Physician and Doctor Needs a Medical Answering Service
As a practitioner in the medical field, you understand that your work doesn’t stop when you leave the office. During holidays, weekends or nights, patients will turn to the phone to call with an emergency or for help. Perhaps you will pick the calls that you can, and the rest will go directly to voicemail. Others will call for four to five times without response and hang up without leaving a message. Your staff will have to deal with all the voicemails when they report to work. Balancing between their duties and going through these voicemails during a busy day may result in loss of billable hours.
Although you would like to give all your patients adequate time and personal experience of your services, sometimes it’s not possible to handle all calls from patients. Thankfully, Best Call Center’s doctors and physicians answering services will eliminate the need to pick the patients to help and increase the quality of your customer service. By enlisting our services, you can be guaranteed of a streamlined and customized call answering service. Discussed below are some of the reasons you should consider our medical answering services:
With an answering service, you are going to realize a significant reduction in cost compared to hiring in-house receptionists. It’s worth noting that every billable minute that your staff spends answering a phone call is lost money to your organization. Your staff should be focused on attending to walk-in patients. Even though you have an option to hire receptionists to answer patient’s calls, the cost of recruiting and maintaining these employees is significantly high. Instead, you should opt for Best Call Center’s answering services for doctors and physicians.
Because we are HIPAA compliant and meet other government requirements, we can protect your organization from medical liabilities. By decreasing liabilities, we help save your organization thousands of dollars. Also, the fact that you outsource our services means you don’t need to hire more employees. Reduced employees in an organization mean less money is spent on salaries, training, insurance, and equipment.
Remember, with conventional receptionists; you will be paying them whether they are answering calls or not. However, with our virtual receptionists, you only pay for the time we are taking or making calls. For every minute we spend on a call, we charge $0.80 per call, which saves you a lot of money compared to having in-house receptionists.
Meet HIPAA Requirements
Protecting a patient’s health information or records should be a priority for every doctor, physician, or hospital. The government strictly regulates the Patient’s Health Information through HIPAA. As per the United States Department of Health & Human Services, a healthcare organization that engages a medical answering service to help with some of the administrative duties and medical activities must have a written agreement. The contract should contain the kind of services you have hired the virtual receptionists to perform. HIPAA also has regulations that answering services must meet.
As an organization, you must ensure the answering service you partner with meets these regulations. If they don’t, you will be legally liable. However, an answering service can be directly liable for failing to comply with these regulations under specific circumstances. At the Best Call Center, our answering services for doctors are HIPAA compliant, meaning you can trust us to guard and monitor your patient records closely.
The reason you need an answering service that meets all HIPAA regulations is that most of the time, patient information is uploaded on the web portal for real-time updates. Since this information is protected, the portal should have all the security features to safeguard the data from leaking. If the data is well- protected, you will worry less of hefty fines and loss of integrity, consequences that stem from HIPAA data breach, or leaks.
Similarly, the patient’s health information is not only at risk when it’s being transmitted. When it’s stored or at rest on a drive or cloud storage, it is still at risk of being hacked or lost. An answering service that is compliant with HIPAA standards will make sure that such data is encrypted as an indication a legal organization protects it.
Protect your Personal Time and Privacy
As a doctor, you have a life outside your medical facility. You need time to spend with your family, relax or recover. In most cases, you will take weekends, holidays, or nights off. However, during these times, when you are off work, emergencies occur a lot, and you might receive calls from your patients, requiring help.
Fortunately, with our medical answering service, you can enjoy your time without worrying about your callers. Our triage answering services and live operators with knowledge in the medical field will handle these calls when you aren’t available. We will offer advice and support to patients where possible, and cases that require specialized care from a physician or doctor will be transferred to you. You and your staff can protect their contacts and enjoy their personal time more, without neglecting the needs of patients.
Disaster can strike any time, and what matters most is that healthcare organizations can stay operational and help the victims of a disaster. Currently, the whole world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Some medical facilities had to close doors and help patients through phone lines. Outsourcing an answering service for doctors and physicians at this time can benefit your organization a lot. If a patient calls with an emergency, our live operators can advise them to call 911 or transfer the patient to a physician for advice.
Also, during times of unexpected disasters like hurricanes and floods, our call agents will be available to speak to your patients and provide solutions. We can even incorporate an emergency alert system as an additional communication feature to inform your employees or patients of an emergency through a bunch of pre-coded text or voice messages.
Increases Call Responsiveness
Patients take time off their schedules to make a call to your healthcare facility. Same as you, your medical practice is busy all day handling patient needs. For this reason, however much you wanted to help your patients, you can’t answer every incoming call at once. You will have to put some callers on hold. Thankfully, with an answering service, there will be a reduction in hold time. Call screening and filtering will help redirect calls that are not critical to the answering service.
Our call agents will use simple scripts to respond to these calls making us look like an extension of your office. Additionally, we will use the latest software to download the caller’s data so that as we speak to the patient, we don’t begin asking questions whose answers are in your medical records. By partnering with Best Call Center, you can be sure your patient needs will be addressed in a timely and efficient manner, building your credibility.
Enhance Patient Satisfaction
An answering service will free up your medical staff and streamline operations. Your physicians are busy attending to patients and not answering calls; patients will spend less time waiting for an appointment. Also, when patients call to book an appointment or get medical advice, someone will be available around the clock to respond to the call. All these help improve patient satisfaction, which results in more return patients for your organization and increased referrals.
Can an Answering Service Support your Unique Medical Practice?
The needs of your practice are unique, and not every answering service for doctors and physicians out there can help you enjoy the benefits discussed above. An excellent medical answering service is one that will adapt to the particular needs of your medical organization. Unfortunately, not everyone out in the market is flexible to meet your unique needs. To tell if an answering service can meet your specific needs, look for the following signs:
Unbiased Recognition of Excellence
Reading online reviews on an answering service’s website is not enough to tell if a service is reputable. However, if it has received an ATSI Award of Excellence, it’s enough evidence they will meet your standards.
You will need to integrate your management software with the web portal of the answering service. The integration is essential for seminars and registration. If software integration is part of your needs, you will need an answering service that can integrate with your platform.
As a physician or doctor, you need to retrieve messages from any device, keep your on-call schedule up to date, review reports, and view updates. As such, you will need an answering service with a comprehensive web portal to make information retrieval easy and efficient.
Find a Call Answering Service for Medical Providers Near Me
The objective of every healthcare organization nationwide is to provide high-level medical services to customers and improve the bottom line. At Best Call Center, we provide answering services for doctors and physicians nationwide at affordable costs. Reach out to us at 800-385-4656 to arrange a free trial or discuss your practice needs.