In all likelihood, 2020 will be remembered as the year when we had to figure out new ways to do… pretty much everything. From virtual classes to working from home and quarantining, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected practically every aspect of our lives. As a result, it is not surprising that
Of course, a large percentage of healthcare work is essential — excluding, perhaps, certain elective procedures — and medical workers have been at the forefront of the pandemic from the start. However, that doesn’t mean that the healthcare industry is functioning normally; on the contrary, many changes have had to be made by providers to ensure that their staff stays safe while they continue to do their work.
In many cases, healthcare clinics and doctors’ offices have been unable to function at full capacity due to the pandemic. Non-essential staff may have to work from home, certain procedures have to be postponed or rescheduled, and even contacting certain suppliers has become a much more complicated task than it was just a few short months ago.
These unexpected circumstances can be difficult to navigate, and they have had a negative impact on many businesses — including those that specialize in the healthcare industry. If a large portion of your non-medical staff is staying home to comply with social distancing guidelines, they may not have the resources available to work from home effectively and cover all your office’s needs. It is also very likely that your phone call volume will increase during the pandemic, if it hasn’t already.
This can make it difficult for your office or clinic to be able to maintain an effective line of communication with your patients. Poorly managed overflow call volume can lead to frustrated patients, cancelled appointments, and fraught operations at your workplace.
The possible drawbacks of poor overflow call volume management
During these trying times, it is only natural for your patients to seek reassurance and guidance from their healthcare providers. You may be receiving more calls than ever from patients who want anything from a general health check-up to more serious concerns about COVID-19, pre-existing conditions, and other health problems.
Additionally, many non-emergency appointments will now need to be carried out using telemedicine techniques, such as phone calls or video calls. This means that medical offices will also have to turn to technology to schedule appointments, follow up on patients, and deliver lab results. If your workplace isn’t used to these methods, the following months will require many adjustments.
However, adapting to these new times can be made easier if you follow the right steps. One of the most effective measures you can take to keep your medical office running smoothly during the COVID-19 pandemic is to hire a virtual answering service to help you handle overflow call volume.
How to create an effective and affordable remote call center
“Creating a remote call center” may sound like a complicated, expensive, and time-consuming task, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, hiring a virtual answering service is incredibly simple and it can be an affordable alternative that will still allow you to communicate easily and effectively with your patients.
When you hire a virtual answering service company, they will provide operators who will work remotely taking phone calls for your clinic or office. This will easily eliminate the need to have customer service agents working on-site, reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 and keeping your staff and patients safe but without affecting your operations.
Thanks to a virtual answering service, you will be able to schedule both inpatient and telemedicine appointments, quickly answer your patients’ inquiries, send out automated reminders whenever necessary, and ensure that no phone call goes unanswered during these unprecedented times.
Another great benefit of virtual answering service lies in the fact that you won’t have to train additional staff to handle your telephones, since each operator has already received thorough training as a customer service agent. Rather than having to pay full-time salaries to each member of an on-site call center, you will only be charged for the time that operators actually spend on each phone call.
Your patients will feel safer knowing that your clinic is easy to reach, even if your staff is unable to work on-site or you can’t operate on your regular schedule. Remote operators will help you maintain your office running as smoothly as possible, making it easier to provide high-quality healthcare and services to all the patients that need your assistance.