Not all answering services are the same, and these differences can have a significant impact on the service they provide to you and your patients. Advanced medical answering services follow, and even exceed, industry best practices.
Here are the key characteristics of the foremost healthcare-related answering services:
One of the best practices that quality-minded medical answering services embrace is to have 100 percent of their operations—both management and service—occur completely within the United States. This ensures that they can best meet the highest quality standards, fully comprehend the needs of your patients, and have a mastery of the English language that your callers expect.
Centrally Located and Managed
Related to being US-based, another best practice is to insist that all staff work in centrally located offices with on-site management. This means that they reject the work-at-home model because it makes quality management and standards compliance difficult to achieve and impossible to guarantee.
HIPAA Compliant and Beyond
Being compliant with HIPAA regulations and other legal requirements is of paramount importance in the healthcare industry. Yet not every answering service takes these critical laws seriously. But the best medical answering services fully embrace HIPAA compliance, meeting and exceeding its exacting standards.
Every answering service says they provide quality service, but few can prove it. However, winning quality awards from an independent third-party testing organization is one sure way to confirm that your answering service can provide the high quality of service they claim to. Go with an award-winning medical answering service.
Another of the industry best practices is having a robust quality assurance (QA) program. The best medical answering services ensure their continued quality of service by having their own internal quality assurance program that regularly evaluates the calls their agents take to affirm excellence and offer suggestions for further improvement.
A single location answering service represents a single point of failure. A power outage, severe weather issue, or manmade disaster will make it impossible for them to answer your calls. However, a multi-location answering service can simply reroute calls to other locations if one site encounters an issue that might impact their service.
Just as a one-location answering service depends on that single location to survive, an answering service with one phone carrier is at the mercy of that provider. If their phone service goes down, they can’t answer or place calls. That’s why another industry standard is to have multiple phone carriers to provide redundancy and avoid a single point of failure.
Coupled with HIPAA compliance is data security. Beyond HIPAA regulations, another industry best practice is having secure, off-site data storage. Any answering service that wants to protect your information, will take this added step.
Does your answering service follow these industry best practices? The sad truth is that few do. If serving your patients and callers with excellence is important to you, then partnering with a medical answering service that follows all these industry best practices is critical.
Make sure your medical answering service is up to the task of meeting the highest 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.