A medical practice is a busy and often stressful environment. The management of such a practice is critical to its success, and can be the instrument of its failure. From answering inbound calls from patients to scheduling appointments and accepting payment, medical office management can struggle to keep everything aligned as staff must also take care of other tasks in the office.
One way to keep things running smoothly is to hire a medical answering service. There are multiple versions of these answering services with different combinations of human interaction along with software programs that offer levels of service to meet the needs of diverse medical practices. Of course, one of the main services is answering incoming calls for the practice.
With highly trained staff, well-versed in the language of a medical office, an answering service can guide current or prospective patients through the process of determining their needs and responding to them. If the end result is to schedule an appointment with the physician, there are scheduling software programs that can be integrated with the doctors’ calendars to allow efficient assignment of appointments that you know will be managed effectively. From initial scheduling through patient follow up, a medical answering service can handle all levels of these inbound calls.
Some services can also provide interaction with a nurse for the purposes of triage – determining the medical needs of the caller. In some cases, the need to see the doctor may be greater than the scheduling of an appointment. A nurse can help determine those who need to contact emergency services rather than waiting for an appointment. In other cases, the nurse can guide the patient through questions and answers and determine the best course of action that might help the patient deal with their situation without an actual visit to the doctor’s office. A great example would be refilling an ongoing prescription. This makes for more efficient office visits so that the doctor is truly seeing those in need.
Another level of interaction for a medical answering service is understanding HIPPA laws. These laws govern much of the patient/doctor information privilege and must be preserved in order to avoid fines or other actions that could be brought against the practice. Most medical answering services that include human interaction will be knowledgeable on HIPPA laws and be able to keep their contact with patients well within the limitations of those laws, thus protecting the physicians which they serve.
All in all, a medical answering service can take the pressure off of a doctor’s office so they can do the work they need to concentrate on, keeping the administrative side going with experts in that field. The ability to provide answering services that operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week creates a great first impression for new or prospective patients that help increase the doctor’s business. If you would like to know more about the types of services available, go to medicalanswering.services for detailed information and listings of medical answering services and their features. You can learn more about the benefits of a professional answering service for your medical practice here: http://answerone.us/solutions/benefits/.
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