Continuity of care means different things to different people. It looks at the consistent provision of healthcare for the long-term, it also addresses coordination of healthcare for the short-term. In a very practical sense, continuity of care implies no interruption in the provision of healthcare. It also seeks to ensure that every detail receives the attention it deserves. These are the key tenets of the impetus behind continuity of care.
For healthcare professionals concerned about providing continuity of care to patients, tapping a medical-only answering service is an important tool to extend this concept beyond office hours and make it a reality 24/7.
Medical answering services do this by making sure your phone is answered every time: day and night, weekdays and weekends, and even on holidays. They provide the entry point for your patients to realize around-the-clock access to healthcare.
Here are some practical ways your medical-only answering service can help you better achieve continuity of care.
In today’s consumer-focused economy, a disgruntled customer will switch providers faster than ever before. And this mindset has infiltrated the healthcare community as well. Don’t give your patients a reason to consider another provider.
The first line of defense in accomplishing this is to ensure a real person answers your phone regardless of when a patient calls. This may be before you open in the morning, after you close in the evening, or in the middle of the night. Don’t leave your patients frustrated, thinking about calling someone else for the answers they seek.
Protect Personal Time
Most healthcare professionals have a degree of after-hours’ responsibility to their patients. Yet the wise practitioners also know they need to guard their personal time, for them to stay healthy and continue to treat their patients. Being continuously on call is never good. Being at home and cringing when the phone rings or smartphone chirps is a sure sign your job is encroaching on your personal life.
Your medical answering service can help you protect your time away from the office. They can screen calls, take messages, and reach the appropriate on-call person in the event of an urgent situation. Though they can’t eliminate after hours interruptions altogether, they can minimize them and help keep your work life from constantly intruding on your personal life.
Maximize Your Appointment Calendar
When you’re at work you want to be productive. You want to see patients and provide the healthcare services they need. But you can’t do that if you have holes in your schedule. Open slots in your appointment calendar means idle time and missed revenue-producing moments.
Though your staff works diligently to keep your schedule full, they can only do so when they’re in the office. But three fourths of the time, no one is in your office to take an appointment call. This is where your medical answering service comes in. Give them secure online access to your scheduling program, and let them set appointments to fill those open slots.
Provide 24/7 Access
With your medical answering service, you provide effective 24/7 access for your patients. This is what they want. If they have a concern or a question after hours, don’t make them wait. Don’t make them try to remember to call you the next day when your office is open. They may get busy, they may become distracted, or they may give up. It’s also possible they sought the answer elsewhere, and you risk them becoming a former patient.
The Ideal Solution is a Medical-Only Answering Service
This explains why having an answering service handling your calls is so critical. But not just any answering service. And not even an answering service that specializes in healthcare. Instead you want a medical-only answering service, an answering service that only takes healthcare-related calls. They can provide the focus you need, the attention to detail you require, and the understanding ear and soothing voice your patients seek whenever they happen to call.
Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.