The advantages of bilingual operators in 2021 for medical practices

There are many different concerns that are involved in the running of any healthcare institution, and one of them has been growing in importance over the past few decades: how to provide attention for non-English speaking or bilingual patients in a manner that is safe, effective, and affordable. But what happens if neither you nor the members can communicate in a language that predominates in the area where you practice? And when faced with this situation, which resources would you employ? Here are some of the advantages of bilingual operators for medical practices in 2021.

The percentage of bilingual US citizens continues to increase

Statistics show that approximately 67.3 million people in the United States speak a language other than English at home, and we can expect this number to increase in the coming years. Multicultural societies have many great benefits and advantages but it’s important to be able to communicate with one another, especially if you’re the community’s healthcare provider. As the COVID-19 has repeatedly shown us, we just never know when a large proportion of our community may need medical assistance. If you practice in an area where there is a large community that speaks a different language, it’s important to make sure you have the means to communicate with them.

Make it easier for patients to communicate with you

When we face a medical emergency or have any concerns regarding our health, we want nothing more than to be heard and understood by a healthcare professional who can help us find a solution. But for patients who don’t speak fluent English, having to seek medical assistance can be a nerve-wracking experience. Patients who don’t speak or understand English well can end up receiving advice that they don’t understand. Bilingual patients aren’t exempt from these concerns, since they may not know how to communicate everything they need to say as proficiently in English as they could in their first language. And in medicine, we know that even the smallest bits of information can make a big difference, affecting diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes. Poor communication can lead to misunderstanding with serious consequences. Miscommunication can result in erroneous diagnoses, lack of understanding regarding prescriptions and procedures, poor treatment compliance, and missed follow up appointments.  However, these situations can also be difficult for you as a healthcare provider. Being unable to establish a clear communication with patients – especially if your practice is located in a community with a significant percentage of non-English speakers, the risk of miscommunication can lead to worrying about how to ensure that your patients are receiving the best possible quality of care. Additionally, being unable to communicate with patients quickly and efficiently can put your medical office at risk for liabilities. It can also result in poor patient satisfaction and revenue loss.

How a virtual answering service can help

Virtual answering services allow you to outsource customer service operators to create a remote call center. In addition to many other services, you can hire bilingual operators to make sure that anyone who calls your medical practice will receive attention and care that they can understand. Thanks to a virtual answering service, non-English speaking patients won’t have to hold on line while your staff scrambles to find a solution, nor will they be at risk of miscommunications that could result in dangerous situations. Bilingual operators will work to make sure that patients that don’t speak English can communicate fluently with someone, they will take messages, and then forward those messages to your staff. But that’s not all. Having a virtual answering service working with your medical practice can provide many other benefits which will surely make your office run more smoothly. Operators can take phone calls day or night, 24/7, every day of the year. Thanks to your new remote call center, you won’t have to worry about whether your on-site staff has the ability to handle your phone lines on top of all their daily tasks. A virtual call center can help you organize your schedule by taking appointments and cancellations, keeping your calendar updated, and sending out automated reminders as per your instructions. As a result, your patients will feel more confident in your services, running your practice will be easier, and patients from all backgrounds will be able to communicate their concerns in an efficient manner.
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