Telemedicine Appointments: Benefits of Using an Answering Service
Did you know that the cost of missed health care appointments in the United States is about $150 billion every year? Every time you have a missed appointment, it can cost the physician or the clinic about $200 on average. That’s a lot of money and time that is wasted.
One way to tackle missed telemedicine appointments is to use an answering service. An answering service can ensure that your employees are spending their time doing more important work. You can increase patient retention by ensuring lower call hold times and 24/7 access.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the benefits of using an answering service for your telemedicine appointments.
What Is a Telemedicine Visit?
A telemedicine visit allows patients to see their doctors through video or phone appointments. This means no long wait times just to renew a prescription or for a simple cold. Your patients will be happier because they don’t need to drive to the doctor’s office, pay for parking or wait in a waiting room.
Telehealth vs. Telemedicine
Telehealth is a broader reference to using electronic means to provide health care services from a distance. On the other hand, telemedicine is when a physician provides medical services remotely using phone or video. Telemedicine is frequently used:
- To manage follow up visits
- for patients with chronic conditions
- to manage medications and prescriptions
Telemedicine can be seen as a subset of telehealth, which deals with the broader concept of providing health care services and education remotely.
Why Should You Use an Answering Service for Telemedicine Appointments?
For busy telemedicine companies, an answering service can be the solution to many problems. An answering service can ensure that you can dedicate your time and energy to improving your practice rather than administrative duties.
Reminding patients of their upcoming appointments is essential to reducing no-shows. Once the reminder is sent, you also want to be able to address calls for rescheduling or canceling. If your patients are having trouble getting through to your office, you can be sure to have more no-shows.
No-shows can cost you a lot of money. It’s also a waste of time and opportunity for other patients who could use the extra time. A medical answering service will make it easier to reduce your no-shows.
Improve Patient Satisfaction
At the end of the day, an answering service is just easier for patients. By ensuring access to your office 24/7, you can ensure that your patients have an easy time scheduling and rescheduling appointments. This will improve patient satisfaction and retention.
No one likes spending hours on the phone just to make a doctor’s appointment or to ask a simple question. It can lead to negative feelings towards the clinic and the physician, and an overall bad impression of the telemedicine company. Having an answering service that reduces the wait times saves your patients time and energy.
Post-discharge follow-up can make a huge difference in your patient’s health. Asking the right questions and ensuring your patients are scheduled for follow-ups is the right step towards a better reputation for patient care. Follow up include specialist appointments, referrals, and consultants as needed.
Better Use of Employee Time
Your employees have a lot to do. Rather than dealing with multiple calls to reschedule appointments, they can be spending their time doing more important tasks. You can ensure that your employees are using their time more efficiently.
Lower Call Waiting Times
By using an answering service, you can have deal with the high call volume without adding extra staff. Dealing with long wait times can be extremely frustrating for your patients. Long wait times can impact patient retention and the reputation of your telemedicine clinic in the long-term.
Using an answering service means that you have reliable and well-trained staff waiting to handle the call volume. Your patients will not have to wait a long time to speak to someone. Having calls addressed sooner can lead to increased patient satisfaction and reduced no-shows.
24/7 Patient Access
The best part about using an answering service is the 24/7 access for your patients. While you can have a receptionist during normal hours, the after-hours calls can make all the difference for your patients. The benefits of addressing after-hours calls from patients includes:
- improving medical office efficiency
- build greater connections with your patients
- Reduce employee time spent returning voicemails
- Reliable and well-trained staff
Patients deal with emergencies all the time. You don’t want to have extra staff on call to address these emergency situations. Using an answering service means you get all of the benefits of 24/7 patient access without the added costs.
Once your employees’ time is dedicated to other aspects of your telemedicine company, you can save time and money. You also don’t have to worry about the infrastructure costs of having your own 24/7 receptionist, and only deal with the flat fee rates of an answering service.
The national average price for a medical answering service is $140 per month. If you have a lower call volume, you can choose to pay per volume. The cost of 100 calls, each 30 seconds long, is around $61 to $81.
You can also choose to pay per minute with the national average being $1.09 per minute. The average cost is dependent on a number of factors, including overall call length and the volume of calls.
Get an Answering Service for Your Telemedicine Appointments Today
Now you know the telemedicine benefits of answering service. You can reduce the infrastructure costs of telemedicine appointments by using answering services to help reduce no-shows. Implementing an answering system means that you can improve patient satisfaction with 24/7 access and lower wait times.
Contact us to get a free quote for an answering service today. Just provide us with your estimated call volume and we can provide a quote for you. We can offer a 1 or 2-week free trial to get you started to make sure it’s the right service for you.