Five ways an answering service can help with patient care

Peyton Duplechien • 08 May 2019 • 3 min read

Anyone working in the medical industry knows that time is an incredibly precious resource. One that always seems to disappear as soon as you have it. And as much as it would be nice for your patients if you could be available 24/7, this simply isn’t possible.

However, by supplementing your practice’s staff with a professional Live Answering Service, You can at least ensure that you have someone on hand at all times to answer any calls your patients may have.

In fact, to show you just how useful such a system can be, here are five ways a Live Answering Service and Virtual Receptionist can strengthen your practice and aid you in delivering first-class patient care.

1. Improved availability

Most medical practices close after regular business hours, but as we all know too well, people can get sick 24/7. Which means if your patients call your office, only to be met with a recording telling them to call back later, they’ll feel more like products than people. And this desperate feeling could translate into dissatisfaction with your practice.

However, with a medical answering service in your arsenal, you’ll have receptionists at hand and ready to pick up the phone at any time of day. Some services can even dispatch emergency personnel or notify you of urgent situations, so your patients can always get help when they need it most.

2. Ensuring HIPAA compliance

While a great number of communication options available today may seem to improve your availability, they can also jeopardize your patients’ privacy. When choosing an answering service, you need to be sure that its staff adhere to HIPAA regulations, because observing these rules is a fundamental part of patient care.

Fortunately, when you have a medically orientated answering service, your answering staff will receive frequent training updates so they can comply with HIPAA regulations at all times. This includes training in the following areas:

  • Using encrypted files to transmit sensitive information
  • Reaching you through HIPAA-approved communication platforms
  • Awareness that sharing or selling confidential information is illegal

Once your 24/7 answering staff is HIPAA trained, you’ll not only be able to provide better service to your patients, but you’ll also decrease the likelihood of incurring penalties and investigations that could cripple your practice.

3. Organizing appointments

One big thing that a medical answering service can do is handle the booking of patient appointments, which can in turn improve performance and organization across your entire practice.

Patients who do not receive appointment reminders are more likely to forget they were scheduled and to fail to show up. And while other patients do leave voicemails to cancel their appointments, these messages are often not heard in time to finalize the cancellations.

However, with a medical answering service, you’ll have staff available who can pick up these calls, send out appointment reminders, and update you on any voicemails left behind, allowing you to distribute your resources efficiently and serve more people.

4. Divide and conquer

As we’re sure you’re aware, patients can and will call your office for all kinds of reasons, from scheduling conflicts to prescription questions. And while some of these issues require medical knowledge, many others can be delegated to outside parties.

Hiring a medical answering service to settle some calls and forward others to you is an excellent way to provide better service. Patients with administrative questions can have their issues resolved promptly, leaving your other staff free to handle more specialized queries.

5. Providing perfect etiquette

Lastly, by opting for a 24/7, 365-day-a-year answering service, you’ll get a team that knows how to seamlessly represent your practice in a way that meets patient expectations. Anyone who calls a doctor after hours probably isn’t feeling too great, and people in this situation deserve to be treated with an extra touch of courtesy and warmth.

When you pick a medical answering service whose core training goal is to treat people with respect, you can feel more confident that your patients are being treated well in your absence.

Meeting your patient’s needs with confidence

While being a physician is never easy, it’s certainly more rewarding to know that your patients are comfortable and at ease when making any calls to your practice, which is why you should consider choosing VoiceNation for your Live Answering Service.

Our team of expert receptionists are experts at providing world-class answering services, as well as many other areas of customer service.

Get in touch today to learn more and don’t forget to browse our blog for similar articles to this one, such as our pieces on choosing a HIPAA-compliant answering service and how an answering service can help your dental practice.