Your patients who call your office outside of business hours are usually doing so because they are in extreme discomfort and pain or are taking care of a friend or family member who is having medical difficulties. They need professional direction and timely assistance, and there is no better way of accomplishing that than starting out your caller’s interaction with your practice by talking to a live person. Here are some benefits of providing warm and personalized service to your patients through a quality live answering service.
Calm and Reassurance
When patients or their family members feel they are not getting the proper assistance readily, their emotions are likely to escalate and make them increasingly uneasy. By speaking right away to a professional person at an answering service, they feel that their concerns are being addressed immediately. The HIPAA compliant call center employee can gather information and give the caller the expectation of a call back from a provider within a certain period of time.
The National Institutes of Health notes telephone service is one of the most crucial factors in obtaining and maintaining patient satisfaction. Having intelligent professionals answer the phone after hours with the proper training to handle a wide variety of questions and concerns and the empathy to give warm and personalized service can help would-be and current patients feel more comfortable.
Better Service and Accessibility
More comprehensive service and a heightened level of accessibility can be achieved with a fully trained answering service. A HIPAA compliant call center has a certain workflow order and set protocols that actually streamline the communication process, which in turn gives patients better service overall. A professional answering service with bilingual abilities extends your accessibility to all your patients beyond your traditional business hours. In addition, you can be assured you will never miss a call by having an answering service to help you provide 24-hour access.
HIPAA Compliant Staff Know How to Process Protected Health Information
A professional answering service that is HIPAA compliant will be knowledgeable about what is considered protected health information and how to handle it within the context of patient interactions and provider messaging. When you have an answering service that is well trained in HIPAA compliant procedures, you can be at ease knowing the answering service can truly operate as an extension of your medical practice and preserve the privacy of patient information.
Improving customer service is key to retaining patients and gaining referrals. It dramatically decreases the level of frustration patients may feel when they call and get an automated voice mailbox at the other end of the line. Having a professional answering service answer your calls after hours extends the personalized attention your office provides during business hours. Patients will know they can count on you and your practice to provide timely service no matter what the hour and will tell others about their positive experiences with your medical practice.
Saves Your Business Money
The cost effectiveness of hiring an answering service is yet another benefit of having around-the-clock phone coverage. Even if you are tempted to offer your receptionists overtime hours to staff the phones in the evenings or early mornings, the cost of the overtime may be prohibitive, especially if you are just getting your practice off the ground. When you hire a remote service experienced in service to medical practices, you get the value of coverage at a fraction of the cost.
An article in Forbes notes that “80% of callers sent to voicemail do not leave messages.” Instead, they hang up in frustration and do not get the interaction they were wishing to have with your practice. For many health care providers, that statistic is unacceptable, and they find that a HIPAA compliant answering service differentiates them from other providers in the marketplace.