The cost of hiring staff to man the phone lines day and night throughout the year can be prohibitive for a physician’s practice. The solution lies in getting an answering service which will take calls from patients after hours. But in order for an answering service for physicians to provide the best level of service possible, there are several things you need to ensure are in place.
Let all concerned parties know about the medical answering service
After hiring a medical answering service, all the concerned parties such as office personnel, doctors on-call and patients should be made aware of it. They should also be informed of how it will impact on each of them and the dos and don’ts.
Office personnel need to know, for instance, how they can access messages that were not urgent when they report for duty. Patients should be informed of the boundaries and the kinds of emergencies allowable. Additionally, on-call doctors have to be informed on how they will be reached by the answering service for physicians in cases of emergencies.
Ensure your answering service is customized
Medical answering services usually have a general template they work with and which applies to most of their clients. But you need to ensure that this is not in conflict with the culture at your practice. For instance, with some physicians, prescription calls after work-hours are not entertained.
But with other physicians, it might be the exact opposite. Ensure that the answering service for physicians that you hire knows exactly how you operate so that they don’t end up mishandling your patients. This might not only harm the reputation of your practice but could also end up in lawsuits.
Keep the medical answering service in the loop
It is not enough to have patients, doctors, and office staff aware and informed about the medical answering services practices and procedures; the medical answering service must be kept in the loop too. When you treat them like an integral part of your practice, they will be better able to provide a service that exceeds your expectations. They should also be kept informed of any changes in the practice including new hires and other personnel changes.
At the end of the day all you want from an answering service is for the operations of your practice to continue as normal. By following the tips outlined above, you will ensure that the answering service for physicians that you choose provides the best level of service possible and positively impacts your practice.