Important Features to Look for When Hiring a Medical Answering Service
With so many options and call center solutions many healthcare professionals struggle to understand what the most important things are to look for in a medical answering service. The first and most obvious thing that most medical practices require is 24/7 call answer support so you should begin by only interviewing a medical answering service that operates twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. The right call center will provide a trained staff to handle your offices calls and give your patients the care that they need from the moment the phone begins to ring, regardless of the time or day of the week. In the medical field you want your calls answered and dispatched immediately. By allowing a professional medical answering service to provide live call support you send the message to your patients that their call is important.
Make Sure Your Answering Service is HIPAA Compliant
It is becoming exponentially important to hire a medical answering service that is HIPPA compliant. In 1996 the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) was established to protect each patient’s privacy. This ensures that all patient files are secure and never shared with another party without the patient’s written consent. Many common ways of communication such as fax, text, email, and pagers are not considered secure by HIPPA standards. By hiring a call service that is compliant with all of HIPPA standards you are ensuring your patients information is kept secure and safe at all times.
How Are They Treating Your Doctors, Patients, and other Callers?
Maintaining the attitude, policies, and character of your medical center is important when dealing with patients over the phone or in your facilities. It is necessary that the call center you hire understands the needs of your office rather than just “taking calls.” Furthermore a medical call center should work with you to give your patients the ideal care. Customized scripting, professionalism, and a courteous staff can all aid in this experience.
A good medical answering service reflects your company and instills the idea that patients will be well taken care of from the moment they contact you, or in this case, your call service. Part of a professional call center is promptly answering all calls and having an agent dedicated to answering one call at a time. This prevents patients from being left on hold for extended periods of time and even prevents most calls from being dropped between an agent juggling multiple calls at once.
If a professional attitude is maintained patients will not know they are speaking with a call center. This allows you peace of mind knowing all of your patients immediate needs will be taken care of and allows you to focus on current patient care.
Put Your Medical Answering Service to the Test
And finally, as there are many good sales presentations and price points, we recommend never going into a contract without at least a 7-day no obligation trial. This is the best way to discover how quickly the call center is answering overlflow calls and serving callers 24/7, plus it allows you to make sure you are working with a US based answering service with agents speaking clear, unbroken English. You should make multiple test calls at different hours during this test period, and while it is not uncommon for hold times from 4 rings to 1 minute most calls should be answered within 3-4 rings. Expect slightly longer hold times between 8a-9a and 4p-6p because this is a time when most offices are simultaneously forwarding their calls and as such your call center may temporarily be overwhelmed. During the free trial period you should make at least 25 calls as this will allow you to fully understand what your callers are experiencing.
Remember, much like dating, the call center is on their best behavior during this courting period. Make sure to raise your standards and you’ll hire the best medical answering service money can buy.