Some business-minded healthcare managers view their answering service as a cost to contain. This is a shortsighted approach when it comes to the long-term viability of a practice, clinic, or healthcare facility. Instead, the wise perspective is to embrace the truth that a medical answering service is essential when it comes to providing holistic patient healthcare.
A Patient’s Health Is at Stake
When a patient calls you, it may be to set an appointment, ask about a bill, or renew a prescription. Other times, however, patients call about a healthcare concern. Their health is at stake. This may be over a non-urgent issue, or it may be something more serious.
Failing to get a personal response when their need feels the greatest, they won’t wait until your office is open. Instead, they’ll go online and search for answers. And the results they find may not be the right ones. Instead of reliable advice, they are more apt to find ideas that point them in the wrong direction and work against your goal of providing them with quality healthcare.
Therefore, having a medical answering service is essential, allowing a person—and not technology—to interact with them when their need is the greatest.
Patients Have Options
Although patients were once loyal to their family doctor, healthcare consolidation and reframing the profession as a business, have taught patients that a commitment to a provider may not be in their best interest. They have become healthcare consumers, selecting the provider that can best meet their needs and is the most accessible at the times when they need them.
Often this need occurs outside of regular office hours. People pick up the phone to address their healthcare needs. The response they receive will either draw them to their healthcare provider or push them away. Technological phone processing solutions repel patients. Interaction with a real person attracts them. This is a second reason why a medical answering service is essential to your healthcare operation.
It May Be Life or Death
Sometimes a patient’s issue is more than a common health concern. Not to be overly dramatic, but in some cases it’s a matter of life or death. It’s a verified fact that some people go to the ER when a trip isn’t warranted, while other people stay home, to their detriment, when they should head there immediately.
If they lack the ability to make the correct decision of when to go to the emergency room, who can help direct them? While an answering service employee lacks the healthcare training to make this determination, they do serve a critical role. They can provide an empathetic, listening ear to the caller, while alerting the person on call to a potential pressing medical need.
An answering machine or voicemail system can’t do this for your patients, which is why a medical answering service is essential for your patients’ well-being.
A Medical Answering Service Is Essential for Your Practice or Clinic
A comprehensive medical answering service plays a key role in your patients’ after-hours healthcare needs and your ongoing ability to meet and exceed their medical expectations.
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.