Physicians across the world are beginning to adopt electronic answering services to help increase efficiency and improve service delivery in their practices. Long gone are the days when you could only call the doctor’s office on working days. The services are usually integrated into web-based data management systems that include Electronic Medical Records (EMR), medical message management, and patient web portals. The transfer of information within the system is required to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which seeks to protect the patient information.
There are numerous benefits of the answering services, here are just a few.
Improved Communication between a Physician and His Patient
Communication between patients and physician is greatly improved because the systems electronically capture all communication and any data regarding patients. Patients can book appointments as well as receive reminders for appointments and medicine refills without having to go the practice. Live operator services enable patients to make non-emergency calls during non-working days and even holidays. Through the system, physicians can track the patient’s information which greatly reducing the likelihood of miscommunication or misunderstanding between the patient and physician. Using the systems, practices can efficiently handle large numbers of patients using fewer resources.
Protection of Data and Privileged Information
The HIPAA has strict rule and regulations regarding the transfer and use of patient information by medical practitioners. It requires that the data be encrypted and regulates who can have access to the information and how and when the information can be transferred and disposed of. These measures protect the privacy of patients in a way that traditional systems are incapable of doing. Messages and communication sent via physicians answering service are more likely to reach the intended recipients allowing for action to be taken on the message in good time. In addition, the customer representative services provide the patients with the convenience of speaking with a trained professional whenever they have a problem or issue and with the added assurance that all the information is privileged
Improved Management of Staff
Physicians answering service help physicians when it comes to tracking the performance of staff and they can easily identify non-performing staff as well as staff members who are excelling at their job. Staff members can better organize and schedule their work and duties within the system and some systems even have built-in communication channels specifically designed for the staff. These features improve communication between the staff, which inevitably will have a positive rollover effect on the performance of the practice.
The management system for health data has become an essential part of physician practices because not only do they improve service delivery but they can also help them serve more patients efficiently. The answering services have transformed the patients experience when it comes to interacting with a physician leading to the realization of a need to protect the patients’ rights when it comes to health information. The services can be viewed as a way of extending the reach of a physician’s practice without expanding the business physically.