Nothing is more stressful to family members than realizing their loved one needs hospice or home care. The members could have concerns and questions that require a physician to handle with immediacy and competency. The last thing that a family member full of grief wants when they contact you for hospice caregiving services is being welcomed by an automated voice providing a list of unclear options. The automated message could amplify the frustration they already experience manifold. To satisfy distressed clients who call needing urgent home care services, you need the help of a call answering service.

At the Best Call Center, we fully comprehend the need for compassionate, personal, and professional attention required in an emergency. We’re dedicated to providing quality call receiving services and allow you to offer patients consistent and convenient healthcare attention. Our call receiving services could help you book and schedule patients’ appointments from any part of the nation.

Overview of Call Answering Services for Homecare Providers

The last days of a patient’s life are the most treasurable. By relieving pain and offering emotional and physical support, hospices and home care professionals help families face the most challenging and meaningful moments. These providers make sure that those moments are not interrupted.

Home care providers and hospice centers have a challenging and rewarding duty of assisting patients in managing pain by providing emotional support and creating an environment that’s as comfortable as possible. With these weighty duties that hospice caregivers already have on their shoulders, it’s unfortunate that other regular job aspects like call answering may frequently add stress to the office.

Do you sometimes find you’re getting tied down by responding to phone calls? Do you usually feel you cannot be far away from the telephone for a long enough period to assist your patients? Then you should consider using an answering service as a solution to all these questions.

An answering service will enable your clients to communicate with highly trained phone representatives conversant with the conditions surrounding hospice care requirements when you are busy and can’t return calls. The representatives will take messages from callers and forward them to you, which you will respond to at a convenient time. This way, you can be sure that you will never miss critical information from your clients.

How a Hospice and Home Care Answering Service Provider Works

Hospice care answering agents are experienced in handling hospice and home care calls. They pick your clients’ calls and connect them to you or your on-call staff per your guidelines.

Clients’ Call Reports

An answering service provider provides client call reports that show your clients’ call information. These reports display the caller’s information and his/her needs, the virtual receptionist who spoke to the patient, the criteria they were contacted using, and the response period. The reports are helpful when measuring the answering service’s performance and the extent of care to your clients. The reports may be available right away via your web portal, fax, text message, or email.

Web On-Call Scheduling

Specialized dispatch software for custom web reports, web on-call scheduling, and experienced hospice and home care answering service agents provide the best combination for your customers and staff.  An answering service provider may develop customized home care and hospice call center solutions to meet your specific needs. Whether you’ve clinics nationwide or just one office, a hospice and answering service will give you an advantage when it comes to competition with technology, people, and dedication to take yourself to a higher level.

What a Hospice and Home Health Care Answering Service Can Do

Call answering service providers employ experienced receptionists that are readily available to help 24/7. When your nursing home or home health care clients call you due to an emergency, they want a timely response. Typically, an answering service agent will respond within only three rings of the phone or even less.  You can rest easy knowing that an answering service has your callers well-covered regardless of the time they call. Whether the service is answering questions about Medicare and insurance coverage, adjusting for alterations in your on-call team, or conveying info on traveling nurses’ schedules, they got you covered.  Here‘s what a hospice answering service can do:

Providing 24/7 Live Answering Service

Because of home health and hospice care’s unpredictable nature, you cannot tell when your patient may need your services. Health crises do not always happen during the convenient 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timetable. By working closely with an answering service, you will feel relaxed knowing that several issues will be resolved 24/7 and all-around the year.

Bilingual Support

Since the Hispanic population continues to expand across the United States, your answering service provider must provide services in Spanish and English languages. Most providers have bilingual answering service agents that can take good care of your diverse clients, whatever their requirements may be.

Scheduling Appointments & Visits

Apart from the routinely scheduled visits, we have times, usually of high anxiety, where your services are required right away. In a situation like this, an answering service agent can link with your online calendar so that he/she does not only schedule recurring appointments but also route the call to you immediately when the situation at hand is more urgent.

Hospice and Home Care Location Services

Whereas most hospice centers are privately-owned, we have those that are government-licensed. An answering service can manage the phone calls coming to your primary contact line and act as a corporate answering service for persons trying to find the closest facility. 

Call-Out Protocols

Absenteeism is an issue in the hospice and home care business. When a worker calls out, it will fall directly on you. If an answering service can create call-out protocols, it would be difficult for any staff member to call off sick. It is to call off duty to an answering service or voicemail. At Best Call Center, many of our clients benefit from the direct to staff call out. When an employee calls off duty, our agents will gather the info, ask the employee to hold, then dispatch the call directly to your staff. Being aware that they’ll talk to a live person within the company, workers will be less likely to call out. 

Emergency Hotlines

Answering service agents can screen phone calls depending on the criteria you provide and distinguish between emergency and routine situations. Adhering to your protocols, the agents will direct the calls to your employees, depending on the info they have received from the callers. On-call employees can be contacted through email, text, pager, or phone. Do not miss another phone call or an opportunity to assist a patient that’s in need.

HIPAA Compliant Hospice and Home Care Answering Service Intended for Full Confidentiality

HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted in 1996. It outlines the rights of patient privacy and the procedures for safeguarding sensitive healthcare data. All hospice and home care answering services must be HIPAA compliant since they deal with patients’ data. They should use the most progressive privacy rules to ensure HIPAA compliance.

If patient data leak or is breached in violation of HIPAA rules and regulations, the impending loss of trust and fines are the severe consequences you will face.  An answering service provider you are partnering with should handle sensitive data from the patients and safeguard it with confidence. An ideal service provider will make sure they got you covered as far as HIPAA rules and regulations are concerned.

Answering services must prioritize HIPAA compliance, whether offering Comprehensive, 24/7 call center solutions or after-hours support. By working with an answering service, you will offload the weight of responding to calls throughout the day, outsourcing the responsibilities to well-trained answering agents instead. This allows your staff to focus on the most critical tasks and gives you the chance to avoid bothersome or unnecessary calls during your work. 

Answering services for home care and hospice should be designed with security and privacy in mind. Patient data protection is critical in this digital era, and answering agents must keep up with the continually evolving industry’s best practices.

Choosing the Best Hospice and Home Care Answering Service

The primary aim of a hospice center or home health care facility is to take care of the patients in need. Whereas this may seem like an easy mission, the patient experience could be complicated by expensive medications or wait times. When you want to streamline customer service in your hospice and home care center, seek an answering service for support. They are a critical resource for busy hospice and home care providers that are hoping to maintain contact with their patients and, at the same time, still focusing on the day to day operations.

If you are considering working with an answering service, you are making the right decision, since several advantages come with it. But not all the service providers are equal. Since there are concerns about sensitive data and patients’ wellbeing in question, you cannot trust just anybody with your phone calls. Here is what you need to consider in a hospice and health care answering service:

HIPAA Compliance is Non-Negotiable

Your administrative team understands the significance of complying with the HIPAA regulations. As mentioned earlier, HIPAA outlines patients' privacy rights and procedures for safeguarding sensitive patient data. When looking to hire an answering service, ensure that HIPAA compliance is a priority.

Consider your business’s existing procedures and policies for HIPAA compliance. It could be that you use a protected messaging system to talk to your patients through email then store the data in a cloud database with additional protection layers. If this is the case, your answering service has to do just that. Failure to meet the HIPAA standards could land your business in serious legal trouble. Thus, make this your top priority when choosing your new administrative partner.

Customization and Collaboration Are Key

Choosing an answering service is not like selecting vegetables off the stalls in the market. Considering the sensitivity of the phone calls that you need help with, you will want to work with a person who understands elements of patients'home care customer services. A one-size-fits-all methodology will not work for these critical calls. When you are hunting for the ideal answering service, first investigate how cooperative the provider is.

You should work closely with your preferred provider to form a customized strategy designed to satisfy your needs. All hospice and home care centers are not the same. Therefore, your answering service provider should treat your business as unique as it is. The provider you choose to partner with should be able to offer customized call scripts, which permit you to have control of the messaging. A tool like this will enable you to establish the tone for each call and make sure the conversation matches your business’s customer care policies.

Flexibility for Strengths and Weaknesses

Every business has its strengths and weaknesses. It may be easy to predict some weaknesses or strengths, but others cannot be foreseen. Healthcare doesn’t have a particularly slow or busy season. That’s why it’s usually tricky to anticipate precisely how much support you will need in a particular month. You can’t know when a bug will occur in your place of work, either. By working with a provider that offers flexible availability and hours, you can boost your support in the course of busy periods then scale down during slow seasons.

You would also want to choose a provider that provides 24/7 availability. Even when you have traditionally restricted your phone calls to office hours, increasing availability isn’t a bad idea. Busy parents, shift workers, and anybody with a lot happening in the day will be happy to have the opportunity to call you after office hours or during the weekend. Increased availability allows you to expand your business. 

Bilingual Services for Clients

The general U.S population appears and sounds very different compared to how it did twenty years before. For you to reflect on the changing demographics, it is critical to provide bilingual customer support. It is crucial to talk to potential and existing customers in the language they prefer when they contact you. Choose a service that provides bilingual support as it is necessary for businesses to remain relevant and expand their services to all populations.

An Answering Service That’s Tailored to Your Needs

You want to go for a provider that understands your business deeply and your needs and tailor the entire services to your requirements. This helps your patients to receive a helpful and personalized call experience. An answering service ought to be proficient enough when it comes to your hospice or home care center’s operations so that the callers never realize they’ve talked to an answering agent.  For you to monitor the provider’s effectiveness, you should be able to access their call management tools plus other advanced means of data tracking so you can fairly assess how well they are doing.

Answering agents should also share your passion for patient care and should be committed to offering quality customer service. They should also be able to work with you behind the scenes towards achieving your main goal.

The Benefits of Hiring a Hospice and Home Health Care Answering Service

Hospice and home care services have three main required communication characteristics: accuracy, promptness, and sensitivity. You and your staff should portray all these elements at all times, especially weekends and nights. As we mentioned earlier, an answering service helps by responding to the calls that are being delayed or missed. By hiring one, you will have the following advantages:

Professional Representation

Calls to a home care or hospice facility are not that easy. Presenting a professional image goes a long way to assuaging the issues family members have concerning the extent of care that they and the patient will get during their hour of need. Answering agents respond to all your callers with compassion, care, and courtesy.

Technological Excellence

As far as any business is concerned, technology is advancing rapidly, and keeping up is time-consuming and expensive. When it comes to hospice and home care business, your priority is your patients. You shouldn’t worry about keeping up with technology since an answering service will have you covered. Once you hire one, there’s no further equipment you will be required to maintain or purchase. Answering services work with the latest up-to-date technology, which guarantees high-quality care for your clients.

No Additional Staff Required

The general cost of hospice and medical care is continually increasing. An answering service provides affordable solutions that you can use to contain your business administrative charges and allocate the scarce resources to employees working with your patients and their family members directly.

You Will Never Miss a Phone Call or a Message

An answering service will work for you the twenty-four hours of a day, seven days of a week. With it, your patients will receive all the necessary comfort when they want to talk to a live agent, instead of a recording. Live answering service agents underwent thorough training on taking detailed messages from the callers and passing them to the relevant personnel.

Be an Addition to Your Staff

You cannot have hardworking employees working twenty-four hours a day. If you have a live answering service, your callers will, at any time, receive professional, friendly responses they deserve. They will not even be aware that they aren’t talking with your office employees. Our answering agents are committed to offering your callers with the best customer experience possible.

It Will Help You Retain Patients

In case patients call, and their calls go to voicemail, they may easily get exasperated that they couldn’t connect with a live agent. When clients become frustrated, they will more likely find another service provider. Using a live answering service will solve this by ensuring your callers are greeted by a professional and friendly live agent on the other end of the line irrespective of when they’re calling.

Clients and Their Families Will Be Able to Keep in Touch

Using a call answering service to handle calls after-hours or during overflows could keep families and clients connected. Non-emergency dialers are looking to find info that the answering agent can give or take a message and forward it to the ideal personnel. When it comes to serious problems that must be solved urgently, an answering agent will gather the caller’s info and contact the on-call nurse or otherwise connect the caller to the nurse.

Calls must be responded to quickly, critical situations must be addressed immediately, and all clients must be treated sensitively. By hiring a live answering service, not only will you be benefiting your company, but you will also benefit your clients.

Hire a Hospice and Home Care Answering Service Near Me

The Best Call Center has been a leading hospice answering service provider for several years. Serving clients across the U.S, our virtual receptionists are thoroughly trained and are passionate about customer service and care. We offer all the mentioned must-haves for hospice & home care answering services plus much more. Call us at 800-385-4656 today to provide your patients and clients with excellent hospice and home care answering experience that is right for your business.