Hiring the RIGHT answering service is a difficult decision. In reality, you are trusting your medical practice communication to an outside contractor. Putting your patients needs, questions, and appointment scheduling in a physician office answerig service should be done with a great amount of education into the company and its services.
Researching the company you hire is smart business. Asking the right questions are crucial in making the best decision for your practice. We have compiled questions that you MUST ask when interviewing answering service companies and listen carefully to their answers.
But before we cover these essential questions, let’s look at a more basic question first.
What is a medical practice answering service?
Medical practice answering services are companies that answer calls for your patients when your office is closed or during regular business hours when in-office staff are not available. This provides round-the-clock patient interaction. Most services include message services, appointment scheduling and modifications, just to name a few. A medical practice answering service provides enhanced customer service, quicker response times to medical emergencies, and efficient appointment scheduling.
Here are the six key questions to ask before you hire a answering service for your medical practice.
What Call Solutions Do Your Provide?
When considering a doctors office answering service, consider the solutions, benefits and desired outcomes that each company can provide. Answering a phone call is just the beginning. Accuracy, patient confidentiality, discernment about immediate needs, and effective-polite communication are just as important as picking up the phone and saying “hello.” Can the medical practice answering service provide handle the volume of calls and consistently provide accurate information about next course of actions? Listen to your patients and their perception of the communication with your provider.
What Specialties Has Your Physician Office Answering Service Have Experience In?
Each specialty in the practice of medicine is different. Different questions, terminology, protocol are specific to medical specialties. Does your candidate service have experience in your specialty? Having experience in your specialty provides a built-in understanding of terminology, protocol, and knowledge of your patient’s needs. They will also be better suited to communicate between the patient and your staff any patient concerns or questions.
Where Is The Provider Located?
Consumers in general are increasingly skeptical of dealing with offshore call centers. The communication barrier can be frustrating and negatively affect your overal practice reputation. Our opinion is that a US-based call center is best suited for US-based medical practices. We also recommend that you choose a bilingual service provider to conver non-English speacking patients.
What Quality Assurance Measure Are In Place?
Any company says that they provide “good quality.” Do not take a sales representatives word for their quality assurance practices. Research and verify your prospective answering service and their reputation. Take a look at online reviews, research the company with online directory services, and contact the Better Business Burea to confirm their quality of work.
There is not a better source than real clients when research the credibility of a prospective vendor for your medical practice answering service. If the company will provide it, ask for a list of current clients that you can contact to provide a testimonial of the service. If the company is an “award-winning” service provider, verify with the issuer of the award to confirm that it is accurate. Don’t take their word for it. Verify that they won the wards they claim to have/
Get An Accurate Quote
Ask this question last! The quote will vary depending on the service level in which you request assistance. The more services provided, the price is typically higher. And remember, a higher prices does not alway mean better quality.
Make sure that the rate quoted meets your needs (today and in the future), stays within your budget, and that you get what you pay for.
Once you get your questions answered, you can begin to narrow down your choices. Taking an analytical and methodical approach to hiring a medical practice answering service will protect your bottom line and avoid hiring the wrong company and starting over when they do not meet your expectations.