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5 Important Things to Look for in a Medical Answering Service

Trust is the foundation of every physician-patient relationship. Shouldn’t a medical answering service work to reinforce the trust that has been built? Here are the most important things to look for when choosing an answering service in the healthcare industry.

Image of agents working at a medical answering serviceAs a physician, partnering with a medical answering service allows your office and staff to focus on patient care. Good medical answering services instill peace of mind with callers just like you do when they come in for a visit. However, not all answering services for healthcare are created equal. Plus, the medical industry has some specific nuances that must be considered when considering call center partners. Here are five important things to look for in a medical answering service.

1. HIPAA Compliance

Let’s start with an absolute necessity. A legit medical answering service must be fully HIPAA compliant. No ifs, ands, or buts. When you team up with a medical answering service, they become an extension of your practice. Your patients supply them with personal information and therefore they must follow industry regulation. A medical answering service that does not properly protect patient records and personal health info puts your entire practice at risk. So, when shopping around, ask the right questions to ensure the providers you are considering are hip with HIPAA

2. Availability

24/7 is the name of the game here. Medical offices and hospitals need to be available every minute of every day, so that means medical answering services must be as well. A combination of live support, online tools for on-call schedule updates, and other crucial communication functions are a necessity. You can tell if a medical answering service means business if they invest in progressive technology and backup systems to ensure that they are constantly available for your patients no matter what.

3. Customization

No two medical offices are the same. So a good medical answering service can’t just offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they will collaborate with you to understand exactly what needs to be done to take care of your callers and help you run your practice more efficiently. Whether you deal in a specialized field of medicine, prefer messages in a particular format, or require customized scripting, your medical answering service should work to understand your particulars so you can focus on patient care.

4. Experienced Agents

A highly trained staff  of professional receptionists is crucial for the success of a medical answering service, so a good one won’t ever stop taking advantage of training opportunities while they consistently look to improve their performance on your account. Medical issues crop up at all times of the day or night. You want to know that your patients are always being taken care of by experienced, friendly, and courteous agents. Professional US-based receptionists handle each call with empathy and they will escalate the call in the event of an emergency exactly how you specify when you set the account up.

5. Promptness

Superior medical answering services pick up the call within the first couple of rings and eliminate hold time altogether. The best environment for a medical answering service to operate in is where one call is handled by one agent at a time. Some answering services will allow their agents to juggle up to three calls at a time, but a good medical answering service dedicates an agent to each call so your patients are promptly and properly taken care of with the focus and care they deserve.

If you are interested in working with a medical answering service, feel free to give us a call to find out more, but before you do, grab your free copy of The Comprehensive Guide to Shopping for an Answering Service.

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About Andrew Tillery

Born and raised in Oregon, Andrew has now put down roots in Seattle, because he refuses to call anywhere but the Pacific Northwest home. After graduating from Portland State University with a double major in Marketing and Advertising, he spent some time learning Spanish and experiencing all that South America has to offer. It was while he was south of the equator that he uncovered an interest in writing that he strives to develop whenever the opportunity is presented. When Andrew isn't taking care of business at the office, he is throwing fuel on his fiery passions for sports and the outdoors.