Medical offices are bustling places, with patients coming and going, staff members hurrying to assist clients and, ideally, a waiting room full of people seeking care. Efficiency is the key to smooth operation for a medical practice, and not a moment of time or labor should be wasted. One of the best ways to keep up with the bustle is to hire a 24/7 medical answering service with agents trained in scheduling and HIPAA requirements. For any office looking to increase efficiency, here are the top four traits an answering service should offer.
It Must Be 24/7
Medical emergencies happen at all times of day, and a doctor’s office is a business that is expected to respond quickly. After all, it can be a truly life-or-death situation on the other end of the line. Here are some important reasons a medical answering service needs to operate around the clock:
- Medical emergencies are just as likely to happen in the evening as in the daytime.
- Thriving practices get phone calls from patients at all hours of the day, and many patients can’t call during regular business hours.
- Even when they are out of the office, medical professionals want to keep track of their cases using a remote method that is HIPAA complaint.
- The American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine reports that more patients are going to 24/7 urgent care clinics than ever. The medical professionals who treat patients in those clinics need to be in touch with patients’ primary care doctors for follow-ups or questions.
Maximize Your Office Staff
It is just good business to use one’s in-house office staff as efficiently as possible. In order to ensure the in-house staff members are working at the level of productivity that their higher pay warrants, managers can hire a medical answering service to handle the simpler tasks like scheduling. Here are some other benefits to efficiency:
- There are fewer distractions for both in-house and outsourced workers.
- Appointment setting is not a skilled task that requires a highly paid medical professional.
- According to PayScale.com, a medical office manager makes nearly $50,000 a year. Think of the savings to be achieved by hiring HIPAA-trained agents to answer the phones 24/7 instead.
Happy Customers Grow Your Business
Medical offices that want to grow their patient base need to keep their customers happy. Here’s how a medical answering service can make that happen:
- Patients get to talk to a real person every time they call.
- Satisfied customers not only return to the medical office, they recommend the office to family members and friends.
- Customers — patients in this case — routinely use online ranking systems such as Yelp to rate their doctor’s offices. The quality of those reviews could make or break a medical practice.
- Having an answering service means 24/7 availability, which establishes trust and shows patients the practice cares about their well-being and HIPAA-protected privacy.
Find a Partner, Not a Service
When it comes to finding the right medical answering service, one should be looking for a partner, not just a company. Here are some ways to ensure that’s the case:
- The service should care about supporting the success of the medical practice 24/7.
- All candidates should offer customized services tailor-made to the practice’s needs.
- The right partner will work to find possible improvements in efficiencies to make the office run more smoothly.
- Because the HIPAA compliance checklist is paramount, the best answering services take agent training and privacy concerns very seriously.
In a busy medical office, the company depends on having a reliable answering service partner in the same way that patients depend on having a reliable doctor. The relationship can be mutually beneficial to both if the right match is made.