Medical answering services have become essential in the current healthcare industry. Call answering service adds significant value to your medical practice. The company helps to handle urgent calls from patients, screen the calls and record important messages. Again, a right answering service helps to increase efficiency in your medical practice, improve patient care as well as reduce costs. Therefore, when shopping for an answering service for your medical practice, ensure you pick a company that understands well the healthcare industry and has the following qualities.
24/7 appointment setting
Besides handling basic phone calls, taking messages and screening phone calls, pick a medical answering service that can handle appointments and extend the booking around the clock. A patient does not have to book an appointment only from your office. So, your medical answering service should be able to handle patients’ inquiries and set appointments with the doctor whether it’s on the weekend, at night or during the normal working hours.
Seek an answering service that is HIPAA compliant (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996). Although HIPAA is decades old, its essential you understand its importance. Both medical practices and answering service should care for their patients and safeguard protected health information always.
Now, under the HIPAA, your medical practice is the covered entity while your call answering company is the business associate. Both of you have to adhere to HIPAA regulations. Therefore, as a medical practitioner, you will be responsible for any breach that your business associate commits including your answering service provider. Here is some help with HIPAA Compliance.
Nurse triage service
While shopping for a medical call service, pick a company with a nurse triage component. A patient can speak directly to a registered nurse and get some basic medical directions during the after-hours. Therefore, having an answering service that is integrated with nurse triage service offers quality health care support to your patients.
Flexible coverage hours
Picking a medical answering service that offers coverage 24/7 is very important. You don’t have to use the service only during the normal working hours, but it is available whenever it’s needed. An answering service that is available
throughout helps to free up your staff some administrative duties and focus on more productive activities. This helps to improve efficiency as well as improve patient service.
Choosing an answering service for your medical practice is never easy. You have to evaluate the above factors critically before selecting a service. Remember that medical practice is not like any other business. You deal with patients that need immediate feedback. Therefore, the right answering service should possess the above qualities.