Hiring a professional service to manage your after hour calls in any medical practice is an important consideration. There are basically three different options to consider to handle this task. The first one is to use a third-party medical office answering service, and this is the most cost ineffective and challenging option of the three.
The second in a medical office answering service is to use a simple voice recording system. This could be a virtual voicemail program or an old school answering machine, but it has the problem of being accessible only if the messages are retrieved by the staff.
The third option in a medical office answering service is to use a virtual service. This will act as a voicemail service for both non-emergency or emergency calls, but it also has the “smart” technology to allow it to call the on call doctor and to ensure he or she receives the message left by the patient in seconds.
Failing to Use Technology
If your medical office is still relying on a live person operator type of call center, you are not taking advantage of the cost-saving possibilities of a virtual medical office answering service.
With these systems, your office will be charged a flat rate regardless of the number of calls. This makes budgeting easy on a monthly basis, plus it ensure that the messages get to the doctor on call or to the next doctor on the list within seconds of the patient leaving the message.
Assuming Human Interaction is Better
One of the biggest reasons that medical offices use third-party operators in call centers to answer their business phones is the misunderstanding that the operator can effectively determine what is an emergency and what is just a message.
In reality, once switching to a virtual medical office answering service inaccurate emergency call numbers will drop, and the on-call physicians will have fewer non- emergency calls to deal with. This is because the system allows the caller to determine the status of the call, not a third-party with no medical training.
All Calls are Answered
Calling into an answering machine or a live operator can result in a busy signal or being put on hold. At the very least it may result in a patient waiting for multiple rings before the medical office answering service picks up.
With a virtual medical office answering service, each call is answered on the first ring. This provides patients with the sense of professional caring they want and expect from their doctors, even when calling in after hours.
The best medical office answering service is one that answers on the first ring, allows patients to identify emergencies and uses technology to efficiently connect the patient with their doctor. At No More Phone Tag, we have the system that can do all this, just see us online at www.nomorephonetag.com.