In today’s economy, patients have options. They have more options than ever before. This makes it even more important to strive to retain them as patients. Not only can they select a different healthcare provider or a competing healthcare system, they can also go to a walk-in clinic or urgent care facility. In addition to these in person options, there are also online solutions that offer the opportunity to talk to a nurse or other healthcare provider, sometimes even over video. Then there is the glut of online healthcare information, some of which is good; some, not so good; and a few, downright dangerous.
Therefore, a forward-thinking practice or clinic wants to do all they can to better serve and help retain patients. An inexpensive, but often overlooked, solution to accomplish this is a healthcare-focused answering service.
When someone calls a medical practice or healthcare clinic after hours, they have an immediate need. Usually this is a health concern. The last thing they want to encounter is an answering machine, voicemail, or even worse, an unanswered telephone. They want to talk to a real person.
Beyond that they seek empathy. Though they may not phrase their subconscious desire that way, or even realize it’s what they want, empathy is what they need, and desperately so. They need to receive assurance that the person they’re speaking with understands their situation and will do all they can to help.
A professional healthcare answering service can provide this critical element of empathy that every patient expects and deserves.
Provide 24/7 Availability
It doesn’t matter when a person calls, they call when their need is the greatest. This may be five minutes after the office closes or at 3 a.m. It may be during the weekend or on a holiday. Health concerns don’t follow the calendar or a clock. They occur when they occur. It’s seldom convenient—for the patient or the healthcare provider.
This is where a 24/7 medical answering service comes in. They are available to answer patient phone calls around-the-clock. This includes evenings, weekends, and holidays—365 days a year.
Give a Timely Response
Not only do patients call when their healthcare concern reaches its pinnacle, they also look for a solution they can move toward. They don’t want to leave a message for the office to call back the next business day. They need to know that their phone call—no matter how untimely—will set in motion a means to address their concern or lessen their pain.
Armed with a practice’s or clinic’s protocols, leading medical answering services can use those procedures to direct patients toward the appropriate solution and not make them wait.
Tapping the skills of a professional medical answering service to handle after-hours calls is an inexpensive solution to better serve and help retain patients.
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.