A Doctor’s Guide to Finding the Right Answering Service

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Doctors and physicians bear a tremendous responsibility to be accessible to their patients at any given time of the day or night. Whether patients are calling to refill prescriptions, schedule appointments, or to ask advice, their calls must be answered promptly and professionally. For this reason, many doctors or medical practices are turning to answering services or call centers for help. But, just as there are great doctors and not so great doctors, there are also great answering services and not so great ones.

At Voice Link of Columbus, Inc., we work with many physicians to help them understand what to look for in an answering service. We should know since Voice Link’s founders are in the medical field and started their call center to meet their needs for an answering service they could trust.

It’s always best to go with a live answering service so that your patients are talking to a real person 24/7 rather than a machine. With a live operator answering calls in your practice’s name, your patients shouldn’t even be able to tell that they’re talking to someone at a call center rather than a receptionist in your office or an on-call staff member after hours. Live operators are also able to talk with the patient to discern if the call is an emergency or not. Per your instructions, the operator will know how to handle each call and who to contact on your staff given the time of day and nature of the call.

It’s crucial to make sure the call center agents are trained and certified to be HIPAA compliant. Not all call centers require this of their agents, but your patients and your practice deserve the protection. A top answering service will also know the importance of logging and recording all calls and responses accurately so that you know who called, when, and how the call was handled. Careful attention to detail is critical in the healthcare industry, and the right answering service will strictly adhere to this, giving you and your patients peace of mind.

Finally, find an answering service that understands the unpredictability of the medical field. You shouldn’t be expected to estimate how many calls you’ll receive any given day, week, or month, and you shouldn’t be charged if you go over your call limit one month. Many call centers have extra fees for these situations, or charge extra if you change the on-call contact person, for example. Look for a call center that offers flexibility plans to meet your needs.

Day or night, outsourcing your practice’s calls will ensure that your customers are attended to with care and compassion, 24/7, 365 days a year. Voice link offers 26 years of experience in both traditional and online answering services including order taking, help desk and/or technical support, appointment scheduling, dealer locator, text messaging, reservations and more. Our skilled operators provide 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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