Can Your Answering Service Cover a Staff Shortage During the Day?

staff shortage

Your healthcare organization has a diverse staff of both medical and support personnel to meet the needs of your patients. What happens when some of these employees can’t make it into your office? This may be due to illness, working from home to achieve social distancing, or absence because of vacation or personal time off. If these employees answer the phone or are involved in any customer-facing communication, you can look to your full-service healthcare answering service to help cover for them.


We never want a sick employee to come to work and risk-sharing their illness with the rest of the office and with patients who are there for treatment. This is especially true with contagious afflictions such as colds and flu. But it’s even more pronounced with highly transmittable viruses, such as the coronavirus.

Keep those people at home to give them the time and space to recover and to protect the rest of the staff and the patients you serve. Look to your professional medical answering service to take on extra work for you. Even if the absent employee isn’t directly involved in patient-facing communications, could someone who helps pick up the load, thereby letting your service cover for them and their normal work?

Work at Home

In a time of social distancing and staying home to stay safe, it may be appropriate for some employees to work remotely. Though not all positions are suitable for a work-at-home scenario, many are. As you consider these adjustments to what work they are doing and where it’s conducted, look to see what work you can pass on to your medical answering service. Let them cover for you as you deal with the more pressing needs of your staff and patients.


Other workplace absences occur not because of sickness or the need to work remotely but due to the non-healthcare needs of employees. This includes vacation time and personal days off, something that everyone needs from time to time. It’s not fair to those employees to deny them these opportunities just because staffing levels may be less than ideal.

Instead, look to see what work you can outsource to your healthcare answering service and then shuffle the other workaround in your office between your remaining staff. Since everyone will want to take a vacation at some point, they’ll surely work to help their coworkers take theirs.


You may be surprised at the scope of services your healthcare answering service can provide. While they can’t cover everything that happens in your office, they can cover a lot. This starts with the staff who are ill. It extends with employees who want—and need—to take their vacations. But your medical answering service can also supply support when you send some people home to work remotely.

Check with your healthcare answering service to see how they can help cover for you during a staff shortage. A bit of planning now will pay off huge later.

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.