If your answering service answers your calls, do you really care where those calls go? You should. Medical answering services that send calls offshore struggle with challenges that could hurt your organization and alienate your patients. It’s too big of a risk to take.
To realize the best results, only use a medical answering service that guarantees it will answer 100 percent of your calls here in the United States. Just as you should avoid using an offshore medical answering service, you should also avoid a US-based service that might send some calls out of the country.
Most patients will accept talking with someone on the phone who has a slight accent. However, when the accent gets in the way of effective communications, your patients will grow frustrated fast. That’s understandable. Most all staff at an offshore medical answering service will have an accent, ranging from hard to understand all the way to challenging to comprehend.
If you’re lucky, your patients will push through a difficult accent to achieve the purpose of their call, even if they’re not happy about it. However, if you’re unlucky, they’ll hang up in disgust and call another medical practice or healthcare facility to talk to someone they can understand.
Offshore medical answering services say they work hard to overcome differences between their culture and that of the United States. However, do you know their primary strategy for culture training? They watch US-based movies and television shows. Think about the movies and TV shows you watch. How reflective are they on our nation’s true culture? Though we can navigate between fact and fiction in our entertainment selections, someone from another country lacks this ability to discern. They’ll end up with a skewed perception of culture in the United States. This misunderstanding will distort their ability to communicate effectively with your patients and callers.
Offshore Empathy Challenges
Telephone agents who grew up in other countries don’t know how to express empathy to US-based callers who have a medical concern. Yes, coaching can teach the right words to say, but without comprehending the emotion behind the situation, offshore reps will fail to connect with callers during their time of need. The reality is, it’s hard for an offshore medical answering service to empathetically communicate with your patients at a time when they need it most.
Offshore Privacy Differences
Laws and ethical perspectives vary from country to country. What may be obvious to someone in the US, might not be obvious to someone in an offshore medical answering service. Will someone in an offshore facility fully comprehend how to safeguard patient confidentiality, protected health information, and health insurance data?
You treat your patients and callers with respect when you use a US-based medical answering service that handles 100 percent of your calls in the United States and doesn’t ship any offshore. Doing so will remove the impact of hard-to-understand accents and cultural misperceptions. It will also increase empathetic responses to your patients and help protect the privacy of their information.
Going with an offshore medical answering service is too big of a risk to take, for both your organization and your patients’ well-being. Keep your calls in the United States and keep your patients happy.
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.