Medical practice answering services are not a new service, but that does not make them obsolete. In fact, with patients needing information more immediate than ever, they have become one of the most importan assets for medical practices. The healthcare industry has embraced technology and is continually advancing to meed the needs of healthcare providers and satisfy patient expectations. Patient answering services are advancing just as fast as the medical industry itself. Many provide customized services and excellent customer service setting medical practices a part from others by offering that much needed personal touch.
These advancements have made doctors answering services one of the most critical tools in the healthcare industry. This is due primarily to the custom, professional services offered to patients and callers.
Here are ten benefits you will see when adding a medical practice answering service to your practice.
- Increased Overall Patient Satisfaction
Healthcare providers face three main challenges in the modern medical industry: provide higher levels of service, provide faster service times, all while doing it for less money. These three goals are made increasingly more difficult factoring in the constant battle with insurance reimbursement rates. While fighting this battle, it is easy to lose site of the reason you are in the healthcare industry in the first place.The center of the healthcare business world is the patient. Without a stream of “customers” your practice would fail. Your patient satisfaction rating is the key to your success and must be factored into every business decision you make.In today’s fast paced world, business is no longer limited to office hours. You need to be available to your patients 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year. Your medical practice answering system becomes your most prominent tool for conducting business outside of regular office hours.Although you might not be able to personally treat patients around the clock, you can provide a peace of mind by making your services available to: schedule an appointment, provide temporary solutions for their immediate needs, or provide emergency service information in times of a medical crisis.
- Improve Customer Satisfaction Over the Phone
Many medical practices have migrated to an automated system to handle after-hours communcation with patients. Although replacing a live human with a multi-step automated service can be cost-effective, forcing automation on your patients can decrease their overall customer satisfaction.Automation replaces human interaction with impersonal technology. When a patient calls a doctors office, they expect a sympathetic real person. The last thing they want to hear is an automated message system, voicemail messages, or what seems to be an endless loop of digit pressing that fails to satisfy their needs. Most patients end up hanging up, frustrated and less likely to call you back. By opting for an automated phone systems, you may have just lost a lifetime patient, their family, and any referrals they would offer.Remove the automation irritation by implementing a live answer medical practice answering service.
- Provide 24/7 Live Answer Availability
It is becoming more and more common for patients to do business on their time instead of during your regulary scheduled business hours. Our world is ever expanding to a 24/7/365 world. The “business day” is changing as well. With many corporations offering work from home options, shiftwork, and increased business travel outside of your home’s time zone, it is imperative that your practice is available when your patients need you. Although patients may not expect the office to be open 24 hours a day, they do expect their phone calls to be answered around the clock. You don’t want to let them down. Providing a virtual receptionist from Medical Answering Service can make sure you don’t let another patient down ever again.
- Provide Improved and Efficient Patient Communication
By now, I am sure that you are aware of HCAHPS—the hospital consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems. This is a reality that all healthcare providers must face. This HCAHPS survey reviews a 21 patient-centric metrics related to their experience in dealing with healthcare providers and hospital visits.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services link reimbursements to HCAHPS survey results. It is the goal for hospitals and healthcare providers to provide the highest level of care possible. This makes the survey results from HCAHPS data a primary factor in determining the insurance payment rates for procedures performed in your office.One focus area of the HCSHPS survey is communication. The survey reviews doctor-to-patient and nurse-to-patient communication. This is where a live operator medical practice answering service plays a key role. These surveys review post patient follow-ups, medical instructions, medication education and transition of care. Live answer call service provides excellent customer care to produce better survey results which will increase overal revenues.
- Become a Highly Ranked ProviderMedical review sites are a great source of new patient acquisition. Websites such as WebMD and HealthGrades rank physicians based on patient assessments instead of analytical information such as HCAHPS survey results.This puts a high value on patient perception-not the actual provision or quality of health care provided. A patient perception expands past provider-to-patient care and evaluates external factors such as waiting room times, condition of facility, and support staff interactions. A critical factor in patient perception is the medical practice answering service and communication. Providing a quality, professional medical practice answering service with a live operator will provide a better perceived value and experience for patients.You can rest assure that using a professional medical practice answer service with live operators to handle patient concerns with heartfelt compassion. Providing quality care on the telephone prior to the patients appointment will lay the groundwork for a more pleasant in officer experience.
- Enhance Your Provider-Patient RelationshipYour bed side manner goes a long way in providing great doctor-patient care, build trust, reflects sympathy, and earns a great deal of respect. Whether you are seeing patients in your office, or making rounds at the hospital, you work hard to be the best healthcare provider possible. This attention to patient’s needs builds respect and the confidence for patients to refer their family and friends.Effective bedside manner and patient relationships do require effort. You can enhance the overall patient experience. The communication over the phone is just as important as the communication in the office. That is why quality medical practice answering service is crucial in nuturing the doctor to patient relationship.
- Take Appointments AnytimeHaving a fully booked appointment schedule is crucial in remaining productive and profitable. There are 40 hours in the typical work week leaving another 128 hours that your office doors are closed. Your physician answer service can make appointments for you after hours providing secure appointment scheduling and appointment modifications.
- Send Appointment RemindersMissed appointments are frustrating for everyone involved, not to mention that you lose productive billable time. Having a medical practice answering service can provide apponitment reminders to reduce no-shows. Providing personal phone call reminders about upcoming appointments are a great way to remind a patient of their appointment, ensure their commitment to show up, and be available to assist with rescheduling if they have a conflict.
- Provide Bilingual ServicesProviding bilingual services for in-office patient care is becoming common place in most doctors offices. However, a LIVE answering service with bilingual assistance is difficult to find. That is what separates Medical Answer Systems from its competitors. Our live answer assistance provides bilingual services for all services offered to English speaking patients as well.
- Make Your Patients HappyOf all of the benefits of a medical practice answering service can provide, it is providing your patients with great customer service. Happy patients are not in the market for a new healthcare provider. They will continue to be seen where they are the most comfortable. Happy patients are more likely to share their experiences with family and friends and refer more patients to your practice. Although much of the bedside manner relationship building happens during in-office visits, it often begins on a phone call with your answering service. Making a seamless transition from friendly phone converstaions to comprehensive medical care in-office is a prescription for a happy patient.
Having a answering services like Medical Answer Systems on your team providing after-hours communication is an excellent way to provide your patients with quality patient care IN and OUT of the office.