As a doctor, you have often put yourself on a 24 hour a day track. Of course, it is not necessary for you as the doctor to personally be available day and night, but as a health services provider, your patients will expect more from you than others. As a result it is important that you locate a responsible, knowledgeable answering service for doctors at a reasonable rate.
Over the last few years the internet has allowed for no cost calls to be made to any location in the world, this has resulted in the development of offshore call centers who take calls from the US. These call centers may be fine for IT support or for banking purposes, but not for the medical profession.
Sadly enough, it’s really difficult to get a quality answering service here in the US. The challenge is that, due to the competition from off-shore services, cell phones, and voice mail, the number of answering services in the US has shrunk by over 90% over the last 30 years. Because of this decline of the industry, most answering services are forced to hire minimum wage employees and provide no benefits. As you may expect, having underpaid staff working in the middle of the night means that quality is often lacking. In addition, they often use outdated technology that might not even be HIIPA compliant.
However, thanks to new technologies, there are alternatives today. Recently, a few companies have developed automated medical answering service that completely replace the traditional answering services. These new services eliminate all the quality problems associated with low paid – low skill employees. The best ones of this new type of service are completely customized to make sure that every call is handled exactly like the doctor would like. The key is to make sure the calls are triaged correctly, and that it’s quick and easy for patients, staff, and the doctors. This new type of answering service handles calls for various medical offices including surgeons, primary providers, chiropractors etc.
A professional answering service for doctors will be run by people who have an understanding of the profession; they are comfortable with medical jargon and challenges. As a result, they are able to deliver a service that reflects the needs and wishes of each individual practice.
As a doctor you will probably research various companies that provide this service, in doing so you will want to know that the answering service has a proven track record working with doctors. The answering service must be setup to handle all the challenges with managing all calls from patients, prospective patients, and other medical providers. The service must be setup to triage each call correctly, and ensure that the provider on call is always notified immediately when there is a truly urgent issue.
It is not only after hours when the answering services provide agency assistance; during the day they are on-call for back-up if the receptionists get swamped with calls.