Just because you’re in healthcare doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else. However, because you are in healthcare, enjoying the holidays is more of a challenge. Though you enjoy serving patients and their healthcare needs, you need breaks too. You look forward to the respite that each holiday provides. You seek work-life balance.
But when the holiday is over, do you returned to work rested and reinvigorated or discouraged and frustrated? And even if you walk into the office after a holiday with a clear mind and focused on your work, does that jubilation get quickly squashed by what you encounter when you arrive?
Your patients’ health concerns don’t take a break for the holidays. People get sick, hurt, or become concerned about health issues during the holidays just as much as any other day—or even more so. Though some people differ seeking your assistance until after the holiday, most don’t.
They want your help, and they want it now. They call your office number. What do they encounter? Hopefully you don’t subject them to an answering machine or voicemail jail. Ideally your line forwards to a holiday answering service.
That’s a good first step. But have you equipped your medical answering service with the information they need to best serve your patients? Or have you restricted what they can and can’t do and therefore handicapped them in meeting patient needs?
Not only do patients become frustrated when you fail to meet their expectations during the holidays, your staff can become frustrated as well. If they were on call, where they reached for the right reasons? By the proper contact method? If they weren’t on call, where they reached anyway?
Though this could be because your holiday answering service made an error, it’s more likely that no one informed them of your office’s on call schedule or that the person scheduled to be on call failed to respond. You end up with frustrated staff who blame each other, your patients, and you for their holiday not working out as they had hoped.
You’re confronted with angry patients and angry staff. Now you’re frustrated too—even if your holiday time away from the office went as you had hoped. But now all that seems for naught, because fifteen minutes after walking through your office door your blood pressure has spiked and your stress level is even higher now than what it was before the holiday.
If you don’t have a holiday answering service to handle your practice’s calls when you aren’t in the office, this should be your first step. Don’t wait until the next holiday to act. Find a holiday answering service now so you’re ready when the next holiday rolls around.
And if you do have a holiday answering service, is it the right one? Maybe it’s time to switch to a medical answering service that focuses 100 percent on the healthcare industry. But when you do switch, make sure you give them all the information they need, such as the protocols you want them to follow for routine calls and emergency calls, as well as an accurate and up to date on call schedule. Arm your holiday answering service with all the information they need to serve your patients’ holiday healthcare needs, while also doing everything they can to provide you with the holiday break that you expect and deserve.
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.