An answering service has become part of a medical practice. The medical answering service handles various tasks on behalf of physicians including appointment scheduling. Customers usually call a medical practice to schedule an appointment with the doctor at a time of their convenience. Efficient communication between the patient and the physician is very important to lessen the chances of appointment no-shows.
A physician answering service handles all calls in a medical practice. This happens while allowing the doctor to save time and money. Additionally, an answering service also handles appointment scheduling beneficial to the patient and physician. This allows work to go on seamlessly in the office. Read on to discover more about an answering service and appointment scheduling.
How an answering service handles appointment scheduling
Answering services streamline work in medical practice. In today’s world where people have limited time to waste, patients won’t stay long on the phone or listen to voicemail. An answering service offers live agents to handle all calls to your practice even after business hours. This allows offering round the clock services to the benefit of your patients and practice. Patients prefer contacting their doctor when they get free time.
Appointment scheduling by a physician answering service enhances patient satisfaction. It adds a personal touch that meets customer expectations. Patients will appreciate your effort to offer better care. Additionally, appointment scheduling by professionals saves the physician of the effort to schedule and send reminders for the appointment. These professionals will organize your calendar for patients to schedule or adjust their appointments appropriately and to send reminders for the service.
Does appointment scheduling matter anyway
Perhaps you still have mixed feelings regarding hiring a professional answering service to handle appointment scheduling. Read on to get a clearer picture of why you need this handy service.
The most significant benefit of hiring a professional answering service is to save money. Hiring an in-house team to handle calls requires money. This is required for the appropriate training, space, equipment, salaries, and appropriate benefits. Keep in mind that these are going to always be on the phone. This limits them from focusing on other tasks and encourages burnout costly in terms of health insurance. Working with an answering service eliminates many costs and gives your staff free time to focus on quality patient care.
Lessens holding time
Time is money and can’t be restored once wasted. Today’s fast-paced lifestyle leaves most people with limited time outside work. Allowing patients to listen to voicemail or taking long to go through to your practice is very frustrating. Patients appreciate calling and talking to a live agent when setting an appointment with the doctor. Outsourcing an answering service shows patients that you value their time.
Guarantees HIPAA compliance
In-house phone answering staff might not be compliant to HIPAA standards . This risk of compromising the security of patient information outs your practice at risk of reputational damage. Fortunately, an answering service will handle all phone-related tasks in your practice. The professional live agents handle patients’ information accurately, securely and in a time-stamped manner to meet industry standards regarding HIPAA regulations. This makes your practice compliant.
Increases patient retention
Allowing patients access to your services regardless of the time of day significantly enhances the patient experience. Being able to schedule appointments will encourage more people to show up for their appointments. This encourages your staff to become more productive leading to a significant improvement in your bottom line. A 24/7 service allows busy patients to schedule appointments with the doctor. It also saves the doctor from bombardment with endless calls in their free time or during the night.
Hiring a professional answering service encourages productivity in your practice. The service encourages patients to schedule appointments at a time of their convenience. This will make more people show up for their appointment keeping your staff busy throughout the day. All this will happen as the patients get the appropriate support they need over the phone.
What makes a great answering service
When selecting an answering service, HIPAA compliance is very important. You have to choose an agency that enforces patient confidentiality for medical records. This is very important for patients and allows compliance with medical industry standards. A credible answering service should offer call recording for evaluation and further reference. The call records make important evidence when having a lawsuit. These call records also allow discovering strengths and weakness in your customer service department.
When selecting an answering service provider, experience and professionalism matter. Apart from handling all calls to your practice, an answering service will handle all appointment scheduling in your practice. This will save you a lot of money, give customers a positive experience, and promotes productivity in your practice. The right answering service will guarantee that your practice is HIPAA compliant.