4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Medical Answering Service

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Your answering service is an extension of your practice, and it’s important to treat it as such. The team at Voice Link of Columbus knows this inherently through experience. The founders of Voice Link worked in the medical field and created the answering service to fill their need for a highly professional service at a reasonable rate. Their experience with low-quality overpriced answering services taught them exactly what they wanted in a service.

Here are four insights to consider:

1. Are you protected with secure messaging?

Choose an answering service whose operators are experienced with handling medical calls, and can ensure secure messaging so that no one other than your designated on-call staff member receives information regarding a patient and their reason for calling. Make sure the service you choose educates their employees thoroughly to understand HIPAA compliance.

2. How do they screen calls?

It’s important that calls after hours of an urgent nature are answered. The trained operators with the answering service should first ask the patient if they are calling about an emergency. If so, they need to know how to connect the patient to the correct doctor on call.

With this in mind, it’s always best to select a live answering service so the operator can talk to the patient and discern the nature of the call. Patients call to schedule appointments, find out hours of operation, or to check on the status of their prescriptions. An answering service can screen calls and pass along lower priority calls the next business day.

3. What are their performance standards?

Ask how quickly they typically answer calls, and what services they provide. They should cover the total number of calls that are likely to be placed on hold per month, and the average hold time of each. Obviously, no hold time is preferable, but may not always be an option. Look for a service that has a hold time less than 30 seconds.

4. Are the operators based in the U.S., or better yet, local?

Some of the automated answering services may outsource their work overseas. Language barriers may become problematic if your patients can’t understand what the operator is saying, or vice versa, the operator can’t understand what your patient is requesting. However, it’s helpful if the answering service offers Spanish as well as English as part of its support.

When possible, choose an answering service that’s local to your business. You are much more likely to get personal service with the set-up and maintenance of your system, in-person education for your staff members who will be using the system, and will work with people who know and care about your community.

How your calls are handled reflects on the reputation of your business, and using the right call center can make the difference between losing or gaining a customer. Specializing in the healthcare and medical industry, Voice Link provides live answering services that exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.

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