You naturally want to maintain control over every aspect of your medical practice, but modern business owners should at least take the time to consider how qualified third-party services could contribute to a more streamlined and productive office environment. Before you decide that you can handle the phones in your office better than an answering service, here are a few things you should know about why other medical practices outsource their calls.
Believe it or not, outsourcing your calls to a third-party provider can actually help you to reduce waste and increase efficiency, offsetting the costs of partnering with an answering service or hiring virtual assistants. Consider the amount of time staff wastes each day taking and making calls. These professionals did not get medical degrees in order to become receptionists, and you certainly pay more for their time than you would the average receptionist, so right there you’re saving money by outsourcing calls.
In addition, an answering service can offer 24/7 convenience for patients. You might think providing an after-hours voicemail is sufficient, but it’s a good bet patients with urgent concerns won’t feel the same way. What’s the solution? Are you going to pay staffers to remain on-call after hours? Are you going to take calls yourself? Outsourcing is a solution that can save you money, especially if you’re only paying for the time when calls are actually in progress.
When your staff can focus on patients instead of taking and making calls, you’re likely to see improved efficiency in the office. This means shorter wait times for patients, more attention during visits, and likely, fewer missed appointments as a result. This is good for your business and great for your patients.
There are many benefits to outsourcing phone duties to a specialized medical answering service, and a couple of them revolve around liability concerns. First, a HIPAA-compliant service will observe proper privacy protocols related to medical information. Services that offer OEV calls for Medicare patients are also well-prepared to utilize approved scripts and answer related questions.
This can reduce liability over hiring, say, a more generic answering service or an unqualified receptionist. However, you’ll also gain accurate call logs, maintained by the service, so you have needed data in the event of a dispute with a patient, for example.
Improved Patient Experience
You always want interactions with patients to be positive and productive, whether they’re calling to schedule an appointment or ask a question, they’re checking in at your front desk, or you’re meeting with them face-to-face in an exam room. Outsourcing your calls to a reliable and qualified answering service or virtual receptionist can only help you to improve the patient experience at every turn.
Qualified operators can provide patients with needed information or direct their calls as needed, ensuring productive phone interactions. In the meantime, your office staff is freed up to spend adequate time helping each patient in person. The ultimate goal of any medical practice is to provide superior patient care, and outsourcing calls can hep you to do this on every front.