Benefits – Why Use a Medical Answering Service?

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Why Your Office Needs a Medical Answering Service – The Benefits

Do you have trouble keeping up with patients, call over flow or HIPAA compliancy? Maybe it’s time for a medical answering service!
Answering the phones in any kind of medical office is a major ordeal.
Patients are calling looking to schedule or change appointments. New patients are calling to see if your office takes their insurance. Concerned patients are calling with questions about test results, conditions, and medications.
If you answer all calls in-house and don’t have a huge staff on duty to answer them, your phones are ringing off the hook. Patients may be facing long hold times. Those visiting your office for appointments may face long waits until your staff is off the phone.
You end up with stressed staff, annoyed patients, and a loss of profits.
That’s where a medical answering service comes in.
By adding a medical answering service, you’ll be taking much of the stress off of your staff. You’ll also be providing patients with instant answers to their questions.
You may be wondering whether you really need a medical answering service. Read on to see how it can improve your office’s system, reduce stress on staff, improve patient satisfaction, and more.

Save Money By Providing Appointment Reminders

If you don’t charge for no-shows, your practice is losing a huge pool of potential income.
Even if you charge a no-show fee, you won’t be making as much as you would from an actual appointment.
No-shows are often the result of forgetful patients.
They fail to write down the date and time of their appointment. Or they write it down incorrectly, or who simply forget they had one at all.
But having your staff call every patient to remind them of their upcoming appointment is time-consuming and costly.
With a medical answering service, you can choose to add appointment reminders. These save you time and money as opposed to doing them in-house.
Plus, you’ll be amazed at how much the number of no-shows is reduced by adding this simple service.
Patients will be much more likely to make it to an appointment if they receive a reminder. If they’ve forgotten the appointment, they’ll be more likely to cancel or reschedule.
You’ll have a chance to fill that appointment slot, which means increased profits.

Use a Medical Answering Service for Appointment Scheduling

Just as no-shows cost money, having your staff schedule all appointments is costly.
If your office receives a high volume of calls from patients, it can be tough to keep up. Even if you only receive a high number during certain times of the day, your staff may get overwhelmed.

If patients have to stay on the line waiting to schedule for too long, they may hang up. This may cause them to go elsewhere for their appointment.
If your staff are busy taking calls, they won’t have time for other important duties. They may fall behind on paperwork or helping patients who are visiting for appointments.
Just as you can use a medical answering service to send appointment reminders, you can use one to schedule appointments.
Your patients won’t have to worry about long wait times. Your staff will be free to finish other work. In turn, your office will be saving time and money.

Offer Patients Assistance Outside of Office Hours

If you want to provide quality care to your patients, you need to be available around the clock.
Maybe your patients work late and need to be able to call after hours to schedule an appointment. Or a patient has a question about their medication, and need to have it answered right away.
Whatever the case, if patients can only reach you a few hours each day, you aren’t providing them with comprehensive service. But at the same time, staffing your office around the clock would be expensive.
Instead, consider a medical answering service.
A virtual representative from an answering service will be able to answer your patients’ calls around the clock. This includes weekends, after hours, or even during holidays.
This allows your patients the security of knowing they have access to your services outside of business hours.
A 24-hour medical answering service is even better. It will mean that your patients never have to worry about not getting answers to their questions when they need them.
It’ll also give you an advantage over other medical offices without 24/7 service. Patients with limited time trying to schedule appointments may end up calling you.

Save Valuable Time and Prevent Costly Mistakes

If your staff are busy checking patients in for appointments and answering phones at the same time, things get backed up.
This is especially true if your staff are the only ones available. They’re stuck trying to schedule appointments, send reminders, and answer patient questions. In short,  they may be overworked. This can lead to unhappy staff.
If your staff have to answer all calls that come in, patients visiting for appointments may have to wait. This backs up your appointment schedule and leads to disgruntled patients.
It could also lead to costly mistakes. If your staff is juggling patients and calls, the wrong information may get recorded.
But a medical answering service can help.
You can choose to transfer calls to the answering service whenever your staff is busy. You’ll only be using the service when necessary, but it will be available when things get hectic.
This gives your staff the freedom to devote their attention to visiting patients.

Reduce Your Staff Needs

As the medical answering service takes over your staff’s phone duties, you may find that you don’t need as many people working at one time.
Fewer staff members are likely still able to greet patients, enter information, and keep up record-keeping duties. If so, you may find that your office can save money by reducing the number of staff on duty at any given time.
Even if you choose to only use an answering service for overflow calls, you’ll still reduce the load on your current staff.
If you’re thinking that an answering service may suit your office’s needs, there are a few things you should consider when choosing a service.
To start, make sure you choose one that offers 24/7 service. Many do not.
You’ll also want one with virtual representatives who are bilingual. It’s important to provide support to both your English and Spanish speaking patients.
Quality patient cares means choosing a medical answering service that will give your patients the same level of care that you do.

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