The Best Answering Service for Doctors and Medical Professionals
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You might be a very committed doctor, but you are still only a human being. What this means is that you have to clock out of work at some point or the other. Using an answering service for doctors can help you be available for your patients at all times (even when you are sleeping soundly in your bedroom!)
What is an answering service for doctors?
An answering service for doctors is essentially a service such as a chatbot or a virtual receptionist. It can handle all your incoming messages, calls, other administrative tasks, interacts with your patients, and then some!
If you are a doctor, an Answering Service is your gateway between your patients and yourself. Although you truly care about their concerns and want to make sure that they are properly cared for. You can’t devote every single waking hour to them without taking care of your own resources and time as well.
Why do Doctors Use Answering Services?
From boosting satisfaction of patients by answering telephones after-hours, there are a plethora of reasons why doctors use answering services. The following are some of the top reasons:
Protects Personal Time and Privacy of Doctors
For all doctors such as therapists, physicians, and dentists, after-hours is time to connect with members of the family, and recover. However, no one can control the timing of a medical issue or emergency. What this means is that doctors often have to tackle these predicaments during their time off.
Courtesy to an answering service for doctors, patients can engage with qualified medical professionals after-hours, at any time.
These answering services evaluate each message and call. They transfer only the urgent calls to the doctors and providing support for any issue they can address themselves.
The doctors can safeguard their private phone numbers and relax in their time off without neglecting their patients.
Providing assistance to Troubled Patients Immediately
Patients who are in sheer distress tend to call all hours of the night and day. With the help of an answering service for doctors taking both overnight and overflow calls, you can be sure their concerns are addressed right away. After all, it can be disturbing for a patient to be very injured or sick. And it can make all the difference if he/she can find a friendly voice on the other end of the telephone.
If a patient in grave trouble does call, you can leave precise instructions with the answering service to patch them through to 9-1-1, some other service such as your in-house nurse who is on call or to transfer their call directly to your own cell phone. The very last thing any good doctor wants is to leave their patients high and dry when they under duress.
Hiring and engaging services of a full-time individual such as an in-house receptionist to answer the telephones after-hours can be quite costly, especially when these calls are scarce. You want to be available at all times for your patients, but hiring employees who are seldom needed is not financially viable.
Instead of forking out cash for a paycheck, benefits, space, lighting, and other overhead expenditures for the occasional phone call, you can get an answering service for doctors and pay one nominal fee. For instance, answering services for doctors such as virtual receptionists are hired by the minute or by the call. Hence you will only pay for what time you use instead of clinging on to the hope that your extra member of staff (full time) will actually be of assistance once in a while.
Doctors use answering services for reasons galore.
However, most of the time, it all comes down to the need to supply the best possible customer service and medical care to their patients for the least amount of money. Answering services for doctors can help you save a lot of money if you are running your practice from a small office or clinic and only require part-time assistance at unpredictable times of the night and day. The money you save on full-time workers and lost patients will more than compensate for the expenses of an extra hand on demand.
What Can an Answering Service for Doctors Offer You?
Do you think an answering service for doctors will help professionals like you better serve your patients? If you are not certain, keep reading to learn what an answering service for doctors can do for you.
Regardless of what medical field you specialize in (physician, therapist, dentist, General Practitioner, and so forth), the following are key services that any competent answering service for doctors can provide you and your practice.
- Office-hours coverage
- Appointment reminders and scheduling
- Pre-registration of patients and follow up
- HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance
An answering service for doctors is more than someone who answers your phone when your office is open. Of course, an answering service will do that, but it is capable of doing a lot more.
Office Hours Coverage
An answering service for doctors can help you tremendously during your office (practice) hours if you are a doctor.
This way, your staff can offload calls to your answering service during working hours, which frees up their schedule considerably. The benefit allows them to focus more on what is happening in your medical clinic/office, with the patients sitting in your exam and waiting rooms. You can be more productive and attend to your patients’ needs in a better manner by eliminating the distraction of a constantly ringing telephone and offloading it to your answering service.
An answering service for doctors, when used for office-hours coverage, can answer your phone for lunches, breaks, absences, as well as to cover for extended vacations. Answering services for doctors are also perfect for medical staff meetings or times of the week or day when your medical office is very busy.
Appointment Reminders and Scheduling
A professional answering service for doctors can schedule appointments for you as well.
When anyone calls after work hours and wants to book an appointment, your answering service can schedule a booking and reserve an open slot. Just imagine that! You leave your clinic with a gap in your schedule, and when you arrive to work the following day, you see that your answering service has promptly filled it. This boosts billable transactions and helps to keep you and the rest of your medical staff productive.
Apart from scheduling appointments with patients, answering services for doctors can also reduce the rate of no-shows (patients who book a medical appointment but either cancel it or do not keep it). With medical appointments sometimes scheduled several months ahead of time, the likelihood of patients not keeping their appointment becomes a serious concern. Every appointment your patient miss is an opportunity gone begging to serve them, coupled with associated billable services. A patient missing their appointment not only leads to inefficiency but revenue loss as well.
To help mitigate missed appointments by patients as much as possible, your call answering service can duly remind patients of their scheduled commitments to boost the chances of them showing up when they are supposed to. Additionally, if a patient chooses to cancel their appointment, it is best to know sooner than later, after which it can be too late to fill the vacant spot.
Your answering service for doctors can reach out to patients via email, phone, or text. Very often, a blend of various contact methods generates a maximum success rate. For instance, your answering service might call two days in advance, email 24 hours in advance, and send a text reminder an hour prior to the scheduled appointment. Although this particular technique will not necessarily guarantee that no-shows will show up, it will considerably reduce the occurrence of these no-shows.
Pre-registration of Patients and Follow Up
Many patients dread their first appointment with a new dentist or therapist or coming in an hour early for a medical procedure just to do fill up the required paperwork. An answering service for doctors can do this hassling pre-registration for patients for you.
This allows you to save yourself (and your medical staff) from considerable administration. In this manner, you have more time on your hands to attend to other important matters in your healthcare facility or medical office. For example, if you are a psychiatrist, you can let your personalized answering service deal with all the pre-registration work while you focus on attending to your patients.
Not only does this boost a doctor’s efficiency, but patients love it as well. It keeps them from needing to arrive at least half an hour early for their appointment, reducing their overall level of stress as well.
Your answering service can then promptly follow up with the patient after the medical procedure or appointment. If the patient has a medical-related query, your answering service can patch them through to a nurse to address their worry before their medical condition exacerbates or their concern escalates. Moreover, your answering service can also schedule a follow-up appointment with a patient if the said appointment is warranted.
The best answering services for doctors can do all of the aforementioned time saving and patient-centric tasks for you while complying with the HIPAA regulations at the same time. You can be fully confident that the data of your patients is 100% secure and safe at all times when using a HIPAA-compliant answering service for doctors. These safeguards save you and your medical practice, hospital, and clinic from the repercussions of noncompliance by a poorly equipped answering service for doctors, which only dabbles in the domain of healthcare.
Furthermore, quality answering services for doctors make use of messaging services that are HIPAA-compliant and safeguard the information of your patients as it is passed over to you and your medical team. This is another crucial area that is important to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations.
These are some of the best top quality answering services for doctors.
Virtual Medical Receptionist
A virtual medical receptionist is one of the finest and most efficient answering services available for doctors.
To put it simply, a virtual medical receptionist is a remote worker who acts as the doctor’s first point of contact. Whether you are a surgeon, dentist, therapist, or physician, a virtual receptionist is more than capable of handling all your calls and taking care of all your other administrative tasks as well.
A virtual medical receptionist can answer your telephone on your behalf (or in your practice’s name) and take down all the important information that you require to follow up. With a virtual receptionist answering service, you can rest assured that your patients will be easily able to reach your office/clinic whenever they require any sort of help.
Furthermore, when you have a virtual medical receptionist as an answering service, you can freely travel with the knowledge that the receptionist will be efficiently able to transfer all-important calls to you regardless of your location.
Important features of a Virtual Medical Receptionist include:
Features of a Virtual Medical Receptionist
- Electronic Record Integration
- Providing Medical Clinic Information
- Efficient Message Routing
- Patient Information
- Live Interaction with all Patients
- Round the clock live call answering
- Compliance with HIPPA
- Emergency Message Handling
Benefits of a Virtual Medical Receptionist as an Answering Service for Doctors
Here are some of the most popular benefits of engaging a virtual medical receptionist in the capacity of an answering service for doctors.
Round the Clock Support Available
A significant advantage of engaging the services of a virtual medical receptionist is their remarkable ability to answer your phones round the clock (24/7). A patient cannot always place a call during office hours, especially if they are experiencing a medical problem. With the help of a virtual receptionist, you can offer your patients support 24/7.
Providing Follow-up with Patients
Conducting an extensive follow-up with each patient who walks through your doors is a tedious exercise. However, it is necessary to do so if you wish to create a positive customer experience.
You can use your virtual medical receptionist to follow up with patients post-appointment effectively. These receptionists can ask if the patient has any further queries or if they were content with the service they got. Moreover, you can also have your receptionist ask a couple of simple survey questions about your medical practice.
You can use this comprehensive feedback to personally follow up with particular patients in need or enhance your overall quality of medical service.
- Boost In-House Efficiency
The help of a virtual receptionist in the capacity of support staff allows your in-house receptionist (who works in the premises of your clinic/hospital) to work on other tasks during the day. It also helps to make sure that you do not have any vacant gaps in your schedule owing to unconfirmed medical appointments, so you, along with everyone on your medical team, is working at maximum productivity.
Complete Scheduling of Appointments
Virtual receptionists can also assist your practice by scheduling appointments with patients, especially after office hours. The former can take complete messages, follow the script and procedure that you provide, and take patient appointments by adding them to your scheduling system software.
Even the most committed in-house receptionist cannot work round the clock. However, virtual medical receptionists are very much able to do so without compromising their performance.
When you engage services of a virtual receptionist, your patients can schedule appointments at any time of night or day, and during the weekends as well. This is a potential game-changer for busy patients who can’t schedule appointments during official working hours.
Virtual Chatbots for Doctors
If you are a doctor, emergency situations are likely to be a common occurrence in your life. The perfect way to manage these situations is a quick and accurate medical analysis. Doctors can promptly make the correct call if they can swiftly access patient information with the help of virtual chatbots for doctors specifically designed for medical practices. These chatbots are one of the best answering services for doctors available today.
For those of you who do not know, a virtual chatbot is an AI (artificial intelligence) program that corresponds via auditory or textual methods. Doctors can use this answering service to interact with their patients.
Advantages of Virtual Chatbot Answering Service for Doctors
Here are some of the benefits of using chatbots as an answering service for doctors.
- Immediate Patient Support
Chatbots can act in the capacity of an answering service for all kinds of doctors (dentist, General Practitioner, therapist, etc.) by fulfilling the duties of a “patient service agent.” From managing follow-up queries to scheduling an appointment with a patient, a medical chatbot service does it all. Moreover, a chatbot can give answers to any follow-up questions that a patient has, which not only reduces support time but enhances patient education as well.
A virtual chatbot does not take any breaks, offers services 24 hours a day, and on a daily basis. Most importantly, it provides answers to repetitive questions and frequently asked queries.
Since a chatbot provides immediate patient support online, you can focus on attending to your in-house patients.
Chatbots Help You to Get Closer to Your Patient
Using a chatbot as an answering service for doctors will go a long way to foster efficient communication between your patients and yourself.
Virtual Chatbots can act as a receptionist by sending a reminder to patients who have upcoming appointments with the doctor. Furthermore, a chatbot can also ask the patients about their various symptoms and then, based on that information, refer them to the appropriate physician.
Overall, doctors that make use of a Virtual Chatbot answering service do not receive repetitive patient support call. This is because the chatbot effectively manages the patient’s queries and other concerns. As a result, you can focus on more important duties, which can lead to a boost in your efficiency and productivity.
- Analytics and Data
The Chatbot Answering Services for Doctors are able to efficiently synchronize data from various sources to allow immediate recognition of patients who are calling in. This allows for a tailored experience that knows current appointments with different patients, methods of correspondence for a swift response, and much more.
Regardless of whether you a General Practitioner, dentist, surgeon, physician or therapist, answering services are a blessing in disguise for doctors.
They help you boost patient satisfaction tremendously without compromising on your medical services. Furthermore, answering services for doctors serve the purpose of freeing up your schedule, which allows you to focus on more important matters.