Med answering services are used in most medical practices having a backup staff available for patients who call in. This can be helpful if the physician is unavailable or simply spends more time with patients during their appointment, as well as having less of an annoyance on other physicians and office personnel that may need some help.
HIPAA-compliant med answering service workers at large hospitals take care of not just emergency calls but also standard phone inquiries from visitors and family members seeking general information about scheduled appointments or even people calling because they were told by someone else there was no doctor around when they needed one!
Whether sent internally or to off-site personnel, voicemail messages are subject to various threats and attacks. As an example, many hackers use voice recording devices that enable them to infiltrate the personal computers of medical centers and secretly record patient conversations. With HIPAA-compliant medical answering services, your messages are encrypted and protected.
Reduce call center staffing
Many medical providers who do not choose to become compliant with HIPAA may experience a decline in call center activities, as well as a corresponding decrease in patient satisfaction. The costs associated with an ineffective call center can be high and ultimately threaten the survival of medical practices that choose to go with unsecure medical answering services.
Protect medical records
Although text messages are considered secure, unscrupulous people may use them to obtain medical records, including details such as social security numbers and medical histories. By choosing to use HIPAA-compliant medical answering services, medical offices can better protect such records. By requiring the answering service to encrypt any text messages before delivery, medical offices can limit access to such information and monitor the use of personal data by patients or others outside the medical office.
Minimize billing issues
Some health care providers have a habit of redirecting patients to billing departments when they have run up a bill. When patients call to report a medical issue, it can take the caller more than a few minutes to get through to an authorized call center. The result can be a large bill that, in some cases, the patient is unable to pay. By using HIPAA-compliant answering services, medical providers can ensure their patients always receive prompt and accurate billing.
Establishing an open line
One of the advantages of using HIPAA-compliant med answering services is the ability to establish an open line of communication with every call. Once a patient has an initial visit with a doctor or specialist, the medical provider can establish an open line by which patients can leave messages or feedback without being worried about being bumped or blocked during a time when they are waiting to talk with an agent. Some services also provide additional information or clarification on the screen to help patients with various questions, improving patient satisfaction.
Reaching every potential caller
Another advantage of using HIPAA-compliant medical answering services is that a call may be directed only to a live person or to a live operator. This ensures that no line of communication is missed, and that every call is answered promptly. The agent can also redirect calls to a physician if that is the preferred location for the call.
The benefits of using a medical answering service are numerous. For the sake of your patients and staff, it is time to consider how much you can benefit from an on-call scheduler that handles incoming calls for your clinic or practice.