What Do You Get When You Mix Healthcare, Electricity, and an Attorney?

generic answering service

Asking this question may sound like a set up for a joke. But there’s no punchline. It’s no laughing matter. Instead it’s a travesty. And this is exactly what happens at generic answering services. Most telephone answering services will take on any business they can, from any industry. This includes electricians, lawyers, plumbers, property management businesses, heating and air conditioning repair services, manufacturers, art galleries, entrepreneurs, and . . . yes, healthcare providers.

If making money is their intent, being a generic answering service that tries to serve everyone makes sense. However, if providing quality service with a focused attention to professionalism and detail is the goal, then taking on all business is a recipe for disaster. An answering service that tries to be all things to all customers will fail to deliver the customer service skills that matter most.

A Generic Approach 

Imagine a patient, who has a healthcare concern, reaching an all-purpose answering service. The person who answers the phone just took a call for a lawyer’s office about a lawsuit. Before that was a call from a contractor angry about shoddy electrical work. And the next call in queue is for a property management company. 

Sandwiched between these diverse calls is a first-time mom worried about her baby’s elevated temperature or an elderly man wondering if he should make an appointment for his wife or go directly to the ER. How focused will the frazzled telephone answering service operator be on this call after she has just dealt with an angry caller and a lawsuit, followed by someone complaining about their apartment?

That’s exactly what you get when you have a generic answering service handle calls for your practice, clinic, or healthcare facility.

Specialization Is Key

Only a few answering services see the fallacy of this approach. Instead of taking on any customer able to pay, they handle only healthcare accounts. By only accepting medical-related clients, they can focus on the unique needs of the healthcare industry.

In doing so they hire staff with a penchant for empathy. Then they give advanced instruction relevant to healthcare. Their training covers familiarization with healthcare-related terms. This includes pronunciation, spelling, and a working understanding of what each one means.

Only by specializing in healthcare, can a telephone answering service offer the exacting service that discerning healthcare professionals want their patients to receive.

Healthcare Warrants Focus

Some general-purpose answering services realize that properly handling medical-related calls is beyond their capabilities. They intentionally exclude healthcare from their client list, willing to take on everything but medical. This is their implicit acknowledgment that properly providing healthcare answering service requires more focus and attention to detail than they are able to offer. They leave the provision of medical answering service for generic answering services that don’t know any better and those that are wise enough to specialize in healthcare. These medical-only answering services can offer a singular focus on healthcare that no one else can match.


If your patients deserve the same high level of professionalism when they call your practice, clinic, or facility as they receive in your office, then the wise solution is the only solution: hire a medical answering service that takes only healthcare-related calls.

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.