An answering service is now part of managing a medical practice. However, you have to gauge whether you are getting value for your money.
Quality communication during after business hours is very important for patients who might have emergencies. Your answering service should not make obvious mistakes including inaccurate descriptions of symptoms, wrong patient names, and delayed messages.
To avoid frustrating mistakes that might dent your reputation, it is important to ensure that your answering service doesn’t make other mistakes as well. These might cost you customers and delay payment reimbursements. This article has signs to tell that your answering service performs to your expectations.
Best care for patents after business hours
Patients stay loyal to a practice after trusting the physician. When they feel that their medical needs don’t get the urgent attention they deserve, they might switch to a new practice.
This might also happen when patents feel their questions are not answered on calling your practice. It happens when you let callers listen to annoying voicemail. Your callers are likely to end up frustrated and are more likely to call another practice.
A physicians answering service
that does a great will manifest in the increase in sales and customer loyalty. Such customers are likely to send their friends and family to your practice for the quality experience. The 24/7 customer service gives patents peace of mind that they can always reach out to your practice and get the necessary assistance.
Having more time for yourself
Patients expect to talk to their doctor whenever they need assistance. However, some patients have minor issues that can wait. Having to deal with all these situations is likely to burn out any physician. The benefit of hiring an answering service is to sieve out patient situations.
The ideal answering service should have capacity to only notify the physician when patients need urgent assistance. This means that the answering agents should have capacity to solve some patient issues on the phone right away.
This significantly lowers the number of calls to disturb the physician. With less time spent to respond to minor patient issues, the physician is like to get more time to indulge in relaxation or career building.
You will have peace of mind that your practice delivers quality patient care without compromising the communication link with patents. This eliminates chances of burnout resulting from frustration and inconvenience of attending to non-emergencies during after business hours.
No chances of fines, penalties or lawsuits
The ideal answering service should have capacity to handle the task. Sub-contracting jeopardizes customer information since the subcontractor might not meet HIPAA compliance standards
. This makes your practice for making it prone to fines and breach of penalties. Additionally, your practice is likely to suffer from reputational damage affecting chances of retaining current and potential customers.
Inaccurate on-call schedules put patients’ lives in danger. These usually lead to the delivery of the patient’s condition to an on-call physician at a wrong time. With the patient’s life in danger, your practice is at risk of a malpractice lawsuit.
Apart from causing you a tangible financial loss, your practice is likely to suffer from reputational damage. Luckily a professional answering service usually has agents on par with all compliance regulations to limit chances of compromised patient information.
The best answering service should be upfront about their charges. You have to ensure that you are getting what you pay for. Choose a company with a flat fee without worry about charges for taking messages or relaying the messages to the right physician.
The answering agency should not have hidden fees including a fee for relaying doctor’s instruction to patients. Additionally, the company should not have a fee for recording and logging a conversation or each communication. All these fees might add up to a significant amount over time
Protecting your reputation
Patents always expect to get assisted right away especially during emergencies. An answering service that attends to your patients right away encourages building a stellar reputation
for your practice. It usually involves answering agents delivering messages in a timely manner. This will lessen the chances of the patients reaching out to other physicians for the necessary assistance.
The ability for patents to reach your practice quickly during emergencies will build credibility in society. Using voice mail in your practice offers patients a bad experience that significantly tarnishes your reputation. The deal answering service should handle all communication to your office without delays to avoid putting your reputation in jeopardy.
No need for a better service
Perhaps you feel that you don’t need to switch to another answering service. This shows your current answering service does a great job. The ideal service has automated tools for eliminating human error during after-hours communication.
Additionally, the company might be offering caller identification protection and ability to defer all non-urgent messages to be worked on during official business hours. This allows spending your weekend as planned without getting regularly interrupted by calls from patients with minor issues.
A quality answering service gives peace of mind that your patents receive the best care every during after business hours. This will give you time to relax and to focus on offering quality patient care.