Doctor Answering Service
A doctor answering service is a system used by various healthcare providers to better serve their patients and streamline patient access to healthcare services.
Medical professionals, in general, need to attend to a number of patients throughout the day and are also expected to attend many meetings and seminars. With the demands placed on doctors, it can become impossible to answer every call. Unfortunately, potential clients that do not reach a live operator are extremely likely to try somewhere else and existing clients will not be pleased with the level of care if they can not reach someone immediately.
How does this work?
This system works by having a medical office forward their calls to an answering service. The answering service can handle overflow calls during the day and are available to receive all of the incoming calls outside of office hours. Callers are greeted by live, caring agents that can answer the phone just as if they are sitting at the front desk of a doctor's office.
Instructions are provided to the answering service that detail how calls are to be answered and handled. When a call comes in, the instructions are shown on a computer screen so the operators can easily pre-screen callers to the specifications of the doctor. By following the doctor's instructions, staff can ensure that no calls are missed and that messages are always taken and forwarded.
What are the benefits?
Most medical emergencies do not occur during business hours and the ability of patients to be able to reach their medical provider is an important factor in patient retention. The seamless response by the answering service inspires confidence in a patient and enhances the doctor-patient relationship. The live operators will put patients at ease and the patient will never know that they are talking to an answering service representative.
Another benefit of this system is that it is cheaper than hiring an additional employee to take calls coming in after hours. Operators can provide the same services that a secretary can without the expenses associated with employing a new staff member. Choosing to employ a doctor answering service is a cost effective solution for many medical offices.
Qualified operators process calls to the medical office from patients, hospitals, laboratories, and pharmacies and they are able to effectively handle any situation. These highly trained operators can dispatch messages, page doctors and nurses, and follow the specific answering script that has been provided. The operators who interact with patients that are sick and hurting must be able to do so with care, patience, and respect for privacy.
In some cases, an answering service may also be able to provide appointment scheduling services. This alleviates pressure on medical front-office staff.
Considering an answering service
Physicians considering a doctor answering service should expect the following from their service: the ability for calls to be answered day or night, the ability to accept calls that have been forwarded to their location, a commitment to answering calls promply, the ability to follow a specified customized format, and the ability to handle calls with knowledge and confidence.
This system can be useful for a variety of medical professionals - from veternarians and chiropractors to large general medical clinics. Using a doctor answering service provides physicians with another layer of support and gives patients the peace of mind they deserve.
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