There are many different considerations when it comes to finding doctor’s answering services. In the rush to simply get a company in place, it can be easy to choose a med answering service that is not a good value, doesn’t provide top service, and that has you locked into a contract for months of poor quality options.
Before making any decisions on an answering service for a doctor’s office or medical clinic, there are several factors that need to be considered. By stopping to understand just what you need, it will be easier to find an answering service that handles more than just the basic needs.
Is it 24/7?
With the call center options for medical answering services, it can be difficult to arrange for anything but after hour types of services. For small offices, it is very possible to have lunches, training days or even local holidays where the office staff is not available to take phone calls.
With a virtual med answering service all this is handled. With a simple system you can turn the automated answering service on or off, which means even for lunch coverage patients will have the ability to leave their message and have your staff respond when they return.
Is it Accurate?
Patient information is highly confidential, but relaying patient information poses several risks in both HIPPA compliance and the possibility for misunderstanding. When the patient can record an emergency message that the doctor will hear in seconds, it provides both accurate information about health issues as well as eliminating third party access to patient information.
Do Patients Feel Comfortable?
Similar to the point above, when patients can leave a message directly for the doctor, they are more likely to include the relevant points. Relaying information to a call service may cause the patient, or the family member, to inaccurately report the issue.
Can it be Customized?
The most effective med answering service will be one that is customized to your practice. This can include having the option for patients to hear information in one, two or three languages, as well as to hear specifics that are relevant to your patient population.
With the ability to make patients comfortable, as well as to be fully customized for your office, a med answering service that is virtual is the best option. Doctors that move from traditional to virtual services don’t tend to go back because of the positive experience.