Do you have a medical practice that could use physician answering services? Could you be hesitating to hire a company because you heard negative things about the industry. Although the medical answering service industry needs a little improvement, most of what’s being said about it is not accurate. Below are four top myths about the medical answering service industry:
1. A medical answering service representative is from another country and will cause more damage than benefit. Although this is true, not all companies outsource their call center jobs to India or other countries. Outsourcing is cheaper in the short term but costs more in the long run because customers become frustrated with these representatives that speak either limited English or have a heavy unintelligible accents. Make sure your hire a medical call center that uses a team of American agents that can thoroughly communicate in English and can also help resolve minor medical concerns.
2. A medical answering service agency only answers calls and takes a message. This isn’t true at all. If it were, you must as well plug in your answering machine and save your money. Many companies today offer an array of services such as answering questions, providing nurse triage services over the telephone and even scheduling appointments.
3. Medical call centers do not provide the personal touch because they either pass the buck to another agent and have no consistent relationship with regular patients. Yet this is true in some cases, a good call center will empower their agents to resolve issues themselves and to encourage them to build relationships with regular patients by returning telephone calls to certain branches or even following up with other representatives that have a history with the caller. These ways of doing business help to instill trust and put the patient first ahead of convenience. Many answering service companies even handle emergency calls that are answering by American operating that are HIPAA trained operators.
4. A MD answering service is not a necessity because patients can always call back during regular business hours. Yes this is true, but what if the telephone lines go down during regular business hours and there is no one to answer a caller with an urgent situation. Emergency planning is one of the most persuasive things to consider when hiring an answering service. Should an emergency occur, you will still be able to speak to patients, give medical advice to them through a HIPAA, triage nurse and even book appointments.
When hiring a telephone answering service, make sure the use American operators that are empowered to resolve issues, provide nurse triage services, schedule appointments, and have a emergency recovery plan should telephone lines go down. In the long run, the benefits of medical answering services far outweigh it’s cost..
You can’t answer all your telephone calls yourself. Find the right answering service. Do you research and make sure the company you choose can handle your call volume and medical nature of the calls.