Your medical practice can see hundreds of patients each day. With so many patients, to manage patient phone calls can decrease practice productivity and in turn the quality of care. A medical answering service provides a solution that allows physicians and staff to focus on what matters most—the patient.
People are constantly seeking the expertise of medical practitioners to stay healthy or to find ways to stay healthy. The constant demand of medical practitioner’s time from their patients can become over whelming. So how can medical practices meet this demand while improving doctor-patient communication?
Additional Reading: How To Improve Doctor Patient Communication – WSJ
A medical answering service is a solution for healthcare professionals to improve communications with patients. This service will manage patient phone calls allowing practitioners to better allocate their time to high-value activities within the practice. Of course, this is not a new concept, but not all answering services are prepared to manage patient phone calls. HIPAA compliance is a key component. As stated on HHS.gov, HIPAA “establishes a national set of security standards for protecting certain health information that is held or transferred in electronic form.”
Read the summary of HIPAA Security Rules at HHS.gov
As stated, all patient data needs to be managed carefully and the technology that transfers this critical data needs to be secured. This is precisely the reason companies that offer a medical answering service are required to always to have equipment and software updated and on-going training for their agents.
Every office has its unique communication needs. This calls for careful understanding of protocols to establish the best solution for your practice.
To understand and implement the right solution, the right answering service will require knowledge of the medical field and related processes and protocols. Custom communication solutions will allow for you to have your own protocol for how your patient calls are managed and processed. In addition, other options are available to support your office such as call overflow support.
The advantages of a medical answering service are its agents who are trained to specifically manage patient phone calls and the data associated with each call while maintaining proper medical office phone etiquette. In this way, the services are an extension of your front office. Agents are carefully screened and trained to manage a variety of calls, including emergencies. The rigorous training includes the proper use of medical terminologies and federal rules including HIPAA regulations governing healthcare field. Their knowledge is updated on a normal basis since these regulations change from time to time.
Doctors have the assurance there are no violations of HIPAA norms, as these are stringently followed. Patient-related vital information is handled with utmost care. Secured encrypting assures safe passing of patient information.
State-of-the-art technologies provide excellent call quality, messaging, routing, and follow up. Proper care is taken to install power backup arrangements. This allows for 100% up-time of service. Call management comes with analysis and reporting tools. Technology gives medical practitioners the opportunity to list the steps to screen calls. Agents then determine what types of calls should be put right through to the physician. Communications are delivered in a variety of formats including text messages, voice, email and more.
A medical answering service provides doctors and patients alike with more time. Frees up doctors to focus on the care of patients. While patients have a 24-hour open line of communication. Processes are designed to be convenient, save time, and increase productivity.
For the patient, an immediate live response reassures that help is always available. They can call any time to get the answers they need. Patient’s calls will escalated in case of emergencies. Reaching the right person quickly is critical.
It is common for people to think that any service can manage patient phone calls. A medical answering service offers much more than a business answering service. They might be similar regarding benefits and advantages. What makes them different is the kind of situations that are being managed. Patient’s health, well-being and data are at stake.
I recommend to those considering a medical answering service be patient. Understand their capabilities and knowledge. Use these questions to help when hiring a service.
Professional answering service company located in Chicago, Illinois. Our professional answering service offers live agents 24 / 7 / 365. We never close.
For 25 years, Unicom has worked with companies large and small to discuss their needs. To understand their processes allows us determine how we can deliver value.
With Unicom, simply request an answering service quote. Together we can determine if there is a good fit to manage patient phone calls.