As a physician, you do your best to build trust with your patients. Wouldn't you want an answering service to continue to build and reinforce what you've already started?
Hiring an answering service for your medical office means that you and your staff can focus on doing what you love most: caring for patients. The right answering service will allow you the same peace of mind that you offer your own patients.
Here are five things every medical office should look for in the right answering service:
1. A Highly Trained, Professional Staff
Your medical office takes calls day and night because a medical emergency could happen at any time. If you're unavailable, you want to know that a trusted, professional staff that understands the nature of your business is handling your calls. The right answering service hires empathetic, courteous and professional representatives to work for you. They will be trained to escalate the call when needed, keep up with doctor and nurse schedules and schedule appointments. A patient call will be handled seamlessly, as if the call representative was sitting in your office.
2. Full HIPAA Compliancy
Your answering service is considered an associate to your practice and therefore should be HIPAA compliant. Your patients are supplying personal information and you need to make sure you are following the proper regulations in your industry. Hiring a third party answering service could put you at risk if they are not HIPAA compliant. The right answering service will ensure that your patients’ medical records and other personal health information are protected and used properly, following government standards.
A medical office or hospital works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and must adhere to doctor and nurse schedules, as well as on-call schedules. Your phones should be answered by a service that will be available any time and answer every call. The right answering service for your medical office will invest in the latest technology and backup power to be available to you and your patients whenever needed.
When a patient is urgently calling your office, you want like to know that their call will be answered promptly and professionally. The right answering service will answer your calls within one or two rings, have a less than a minute average hold time and have a less than 10% average calls on hold.
5. Customizable Solutions
Every medical office is different and every medical situation is different. You need to know that your calls are being handled with this in mind. The right answering service will offer many options for your office including customized message formats, customized call handling by situation and customized scripts. These solutions should fit your needs like a glove, so that you can focus on the task at hand: taking care of your patients.
If you are considering an answering service for your medical office, please consider A Better Answer. ABA has a full range of services and over 38 years of experience to make your telephone, monitoring and dispatch services a great success. Download our guide to the right medical answering service for more information.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.