On average, a medical practice is open anywhere from 40 to 80 hours per week and yet there are still times when a patient needs help outside of those times. Health problems don’t wait for a convenient time for you to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
This is why so many offices are turning to an answering service for medical practices. It helps them cover those times when its physicians aren’t available while still offering good care to every patient. Instead of needing someone in your physical office, the calls from patients will be routed through a team elsewhere who can get the patient in touch with who they need for the best care.
Even though these services have been around for years, some physicians still aren’t sure if they’re the right choice for them. So we’ve created a guide for the top five reasons you need a medical answering service.
1. Prioritizes Office Workload
Until you’ve worked in a healthcare office, you never can truly appreciate the amount of administrative work there is to be done. The office staff is absolutely crucial to the success of the practice in every way.
They handle everything from scheduling the patient, keeping their records, filing insurance claims, managing supplies, and so much more. The amount of work they have to do can be overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. If roles aren’t clearly defined, it’s easy for something to fall through the cracks and be forgotten.
An answering service is a great way to reduce that workload so the front office staff can work on tasks that have to be done by them.
Things like scheduling or checking on insurance verification can be handled by the answering service. So your staff can focus on the most important immediate tasks at hand.
2. Reduces Physician Burnout
There are a lot of perks to being a physician but there is also a lot of difficulties in finding success. Some feel they must be available to their patients at all times in order to give the most comprehensive, great care they can.
But constantly dealing with every issue that comes up across the entire patient population is the fastest way to burn yourself out.
Having clear boundaries and time when you are just unavailable is an important step for every healthcare provider. Medical answering services make it a lot easier to set those rules while still feeling like you’re there when someone really needs you. The service will do their best to help a patient who calls in and only contact you when absolutely necessary.
This kind of service makes it so you can have the best of both worlds!
3. Constant Availability
Obviously, the biggest reason to hire a medical answering service is to make your office available to patients at all times without having to be open 24/7.
There’s no rhyme or reason for when a medical issue will come up for a patient. And it can be incredibly scary for someone who doesn’t know what’s going on or what they should do next to not have access to their expert medical provider. Those feelings can often make the situation much worse.
So offering this service to your patients gives them somewhere to turn to when an issue comes up. They can get sound advice or be put through to their provider if that’s necessary.
There are a lot of facets to adding an answering service to your practice, so you can learn more before making any final decisions!
4. Builds Patient Relationships
A huge aspect of creating a successful healthcare practice is building solid relationships between the patients and providers. When a patient feels seen, heard, and valued they’ll continue to come back to be seen for years and years.
These kinds of relationships are especially important these days when there are a wide variety of healthcare options available for patients to choose from. As the provider, you have to do all you can to stand out and prove you’re the right place for them to seek help from.
Making your staff more available through a medical answering service can make all the difference.
Instead of feeling like a burden or an issue, the patient can feel relaxed about calling the office whenever an issue arises. They won’t feel the need to suffer in silence until they can get an appointment. The more proactive everyone can be, the better in a lot of these situations.
5. Better Handle Patient Emergencies
Let’s face it, when you’re running any kind of healthcare facility emergencies are just going to be a fact of life. There is always going to be something that pops up unexpectedly that needs to be dealt with immediately.
But a lot of patients don’t know what to do in those situations and avoid getting the proper help, which can be a huge problem.
When they have the option to call into an answering service, that team can direct them to the next best step. Whether that be connecting them to their primary provider for advice or sending them to the ER as quickly as possible. It’s helpful to have someone who is knowledgeable tell you what to do in a difficult situation!
Hiring the Right Answering Service for Medical Practices
Finding the right answering service for medical practices can make all of the difference in the experience you and your patients have. The right team can help everyone feel supported and make it much easier to treat those patients who really need help.
It’s a huge benefit for both sides of the relationship to have an option to be available at all times. Physicians get to feel like they’re making a difference while still having personal time. And patients don’t have to worry if a health issue comes up after hours and they need advice.
If you’re interested in learning more about the healthcare industry and the best business practices within it, check out our other articles today!