Does your healthcare practice, clinic, or facility have a medical answering service? Maybe you’re thinking of getting one. Or perhaps you’re wondering about the one you already have. To help in your deliberations, here are ten reasons why healthcare providers need a medical answering service.
1.Make a Great First Impression
A professional medical answering service will make a great impression on your first-time callers. They’ll also build on your existing patients’ positive memories of your organization as their healthcare provider.
Don’t trust this important interaction to a mechanical sounding answering machine or frustrating voicemail system. People call you when they have a need, often of a critical nature, so respect them by letting them talk to a real person, not spar with technology. Yes, you need a medical answering service.
2.Better Serve Patients and Callers
Patients call when they have a concern about their health. When this occurs outside of regular business hours, their concern needs the personal, empathetic response that only an accomplished medical answering service can offer.
This is no time to make them push buttons, listen to recordings, or interact with technology. Don’t add to their frustrations by subjecting them to inadequate communication tools. That’s why you need a medical answering service.
3. Retain Patients and Attract New Ones
The aim of healthcare is to help patients live healthy lives. But healthcare is also a business. If the business side of healthcare falters, the treatment side can’t function. That’s why it’s critical to maintain a fiscally viable operation so you can continue to address your patients’ healthcare needs. This means keeping the patients you have, along with getting new ones.
Your office staff already handles this during office hours, but you need an excellent medical answering service to continue this goal after office hours. Remember, patients and prospects can call anytime, but your office is only open about 25 percent of the week’s 168 hours. Your healthcare answering service covers the rest.
4.Reduce Patient Frustration
Patients seldom call when they’re at their best. Instead worries and problems often drive them to reach out to you. The reception they receive when they call can go in one of two directions. The goal is to offer assurance and move them toward a resolution of their objective. This produces positive outcomes. A good answering service accomplishes this.
The other option, however, throws technology at their phone call and adds to the problem. This escalates the situation, piling additional frustration on the already haggard caller. Don’t do that. Instead, you need a medical answering service.
5. Guard Against Lawsuits
Too many people today are litigious. They’ll file a lawsuit over the most trivial of matters. You have insurance to protect you in these instances, but the best solution is to avoid litigation in the first place. Leading medical answering services amass a wealth of information that can verify what happened, who said what, and when it occurs. Often, this documentation vindicates the healthcare provider and discredits the suit-happy caller. That’s why you need a medical answering service.
6. Project Professionalism
The goal of you, your associates, and your staff is to provide professional healthcare service to your patients. Your aim is to continually improve the quality of your interactions with your patients as you serve their medical needs. With this as your focus, you do a commendable job.
But what happens after office hours? Failing to answer calls, letting a scratchy answering machine pick up, or routing callers to voicemail jail detracts from the office professionalism you project during the day. Only the real people at your healthcare answering service can continue your office-hours professionalism on evenings and weekends.
7. Protect On-Call Staff
A necessary but unpleasant aspect of healthcare is being on-call. No one likes to have their personal life interrupted with work activities, but it’s a needed part of healthcare. Your accomplished medical answering service can screen patients after hours according to your protocols.
Some can wait until your office reopens and others should go to urgent care or the emergency department. What’s left goes to your on-call staff, saving them from calling patients to tell them to go to ER or check with the office in the morning.
Voicemail can’t do that. Nor can your answering machine. But your medical answering service can.
8. Support Office Staff
Every call your answering service handles is a call your office staff doesn’t need to address. Remember that next time you wonder if you need an answering service. Taken together these calls add up to a lot of time that your answering service saves your office staff from dealing with. This is one more reason why you need a medical answering service.
9. Superior Communication
Now let’s talk about various kinds of answering services. Most services today will handle any type of business. This includes healthcare, as well as financial services, entertainment, bail bondsmen, funeral homes, and musicians. These are all legitimate businesses, but they don’t mix well with healthcare. You want the person who answers your phone in a 100 percent healthcare mindset. That’s why it’s essential to go with a medical answering service that’s 100 percent healthcare.
10. It’s Good Business
Last, don’t forget that having real people answer your calls is good business. It’s that simple.
Not answering them—or answering them poorly—is bad for business, bad for healthcare, and bad for patients. It’s also bad for you.
You take pride in the healthcare you provide to your patients. Make sure this ideal extends to the answering service you select. This is why you need a medical answering service.
These are the top ten reasons why you need a medical answering service. If you don’t have one, act today to get one. If you don’t have the right one, it’s time to switch. Your practice and your patients deserve nothing less.
Learn how medical answering service from MedConnectUSA can help your practice, clinic, or facility achieve these ten outcomes. Then get a free quote to discover how affordable their essential healthcare communication services are. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer and call center authority.