Up until recently, the idea of a remote call center may have seemed like a futuristic endeavor that was out of reach for most medical organizations.
But thanks to the advent of virtual answering service, any business or medical practice can easily outsource its calls and work with skilled virtual receptionists 24/7.
Why do you need a 24/7 answering service?
There are many reasons why your medical office can benefit from a virtual answering service. These services are efficient, reliable, and highly trustworthy – but you do have to do some research beforehand to ensure that you pick a high-quality provider.
Here are some of the reasons why your practice needs around the clock phone answering:
#1. You never know when an emergency may arise
Even if you specialize in a field that doesn’t often encounter medical emergencies, they can still happen to anyone. If your work is performed strictly during office hours, and no one is around to pick up the phone the rest of the day, you risk missing important messages from your patients when they require urgent medical advice.
A virtual answering service will be able to identify these calls and quickly notify you or transfer the call to you. But if a patient happens to call about a non-urgent issue — say, for example, that a patient is simply inquiring about your consult fees — the operator will be able to provide the information that they need while you enjoy the rest of your day.
If a patient is calling about a non-emergent situation, but they still require a direct answer from you, the operator will simply take the message and forward it to you according to your own, previous instructions.
This system results in being able to keep your patients safe at all times, without necessarily having to sacrifice your valuable free time, nor having to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of hiring new members of staff.
#2. You should keep your practice ready for disasters
We all wish that natural disasters or emergencies never hit our area, but the truth is that thing can go wrong without warning.
When a disaster hits, mayhem ensues. In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, it can be very difficult for you to communicate with your patients and other members of your community. But at the same time, it’s very likely that someone will need assistance or, at the very least, guidance from you.
These events can also throw a wrench in your scheduling, leading to mass cancellations or require many rescheduled appointments.
You can work with a virtual answering service beforehand to create an emergency preparedness plan. If it ever becomes necessary, your operators will know exactly which information to provide, where patients may be able to reach you, and how to communicate with your patients until the storm passes.
#3. Your patients will feel safe and cared for
Not knowing how to get in touch with your physician can be very stressful for anyone. However, it’s also understandable if you don’t want to be the one taking all phone calls and messages directly – after all, we all need to rest and recharge.
A virtual answering service can be a happy medium between both options. These services work with trained operators who have received extensive customer service training by the time they start working with you. They will always act according to your own specifications, and they will only provide previously authorized information.
Thanks to a virtual call center, your patients will have the certainty that they can always call your office knowing that someone will pick up the phone. Operators are knowledgeable, warm, and friendly, and they will make it possible for patients to receive a quick answer to their inquiries 24/7.
#4. Your quality of care will improve
There are many other features that you can add to your virtual answering service: automated reminders sent out to patients before an appointment, a secure and HIPAA-compliant platform for you to upload laboratory test results, a quick and easy way for patients to schedule appointments, among many others.
This service will allow you to create a better system that will fit your patients’ needs while still making your own work easier.
With less responsibilities, your administrative staff will also find it easier to stay on top of everything they have to do each day. Your office will run much more smoothly without having to break the bank, and your patients will receive better care as a result.