Medical Answering Services Improve Patient Experiences

Written by on June 4, 2012 in Practice tips - No comments
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By Mike Cynar

Most companies go through an agonizing yearly ritual of vetting which insurance companies will provide the best medical options for the lowest cost to the company, while never taking the individual practice into account. As many patients choose their doctors from a list in a book, it is imperative that medical practices differentiate themselves from the practice down the road or across the hall. How do they make themselves stand out? Great customer service from initial contact is the single most important aspect affecting practices today. What impression does your practice make? Is voicemail the first thing a patient hears? A recent survey asked, “What is the biggest complaint you have with your medical professional?” Most of those surveyed said, “leaving a voicemail message and never getting a call back.”

Have your patients voiced their discontent? Is your office staff complaining that they feel as if they are at the circus performing like jugglers on a tight rope? What about first thing in the morning, just as the doors are opening? The phones are already ringing but before these calls can be answered, the staff has to go through voicemails that came in overnight.

These calls are for all different aspects of the practice – appointment calls, insurance and billing questions, lab results and prescriptions just to name a few. They are being hand written and forwarded to the appropriate department. Consider how much time that takes your staff to accomplish. During that time, the staff member is unable to handle their own job responsibilities.

There are many solutions that can help staff become a welcomed friend rather than the enemy. One option is hiring a professional medical answering service to handle your calls. A good business answering service can handle inbound calls, overflow, appointment scheduling and many other scenarios that will free up office staff. This allows them to concentrate on taking care of the patients in the office. Any good answering service can separate calls and forward them to the appropriate staff member as complete messages. The staff can then return calls in a quick and professional manner because they already know what the caller requires. An answering service that also provides web-based documentation and creates a management tool that ensures all calls have been handled and nothing can slip through the cracks.

Everywhere from shopping malls to hospitals, companies want feedback. How are we doing? Did you have a good experience? Will you recommend us to friends, family and on your social network? The medical community is no different, they must remain engaged or they will stop being profitable.

Remember, outsourcing calls to a professional virtual secretary will provide patients with a better experience. Those patients will refer the practice to their family and friends, and your staff will have more time to concentrate on the things that are important to the practice and profitability. Everyone wins.

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