Medical environments are busy places, with patients coming and going and phone calls coming in at all hours. One tool that can be used to handle the constant flow of calls is an answering service. But what is the purpose of an answering service for a doctor’s office? Is an answering service actually helpful for busy medical professionals? We’re exploring all these questions and more in this brief guide to using a medical answering service. Here at Answering Service Care, we’ve seen firsthand how a dedicated answering service can help medical professionals—our 97.6% customer satisfaction level speaks to how much our partners rely on us and benefit from our offerings. In short, using an answering service for your medical practice helps you provide prompt and efficient service for each and every patient. This service supports your staff, as well, enabling them to focus on their patients without being distracted. Let’s dive into what makes the best medical answering service and why your office might consider using one.
Why Do Doctors Have Answering Services?
Doctors and other medical providers use answering services for the savings on time, cost, and effort. A doctor answering service provides the following benefits in each of these three areas:
Time: 24/7 Availability
Emergencies aren’t limited to the 9-5 workday, and patients often need medical assistance during nights, weekends, and holidays. An answering service covers the phones during off hours, ensuring these important calls are handled while allowing you and your staff the opportunity to recharge. During the working hours, an answering service handles the high volume of calls, freeing up doctor and staff time for more important tasks.
Cost: Budget Friendly
Employing a full-time receptionist is costly, especially for 24/7 phone coverage. According to Salary.com, a medical receptionist salary is between $35,811 and $42,797 per year—and you would probably need to employ at least two receptionists in order to cover the phones at all times. Don’t forget about insurance, time off, training, equipment, overhead…the costs quickly add up. Even with just one receptionist and not counting the additional costs, you’re looking at just under $3,000 per month for an in-house medical receptionist.
Compare these figures to the medical answering service pricing at Answering Service Care: our plans start at just $25 per month. The medical answer service plan that offers the best value is the Pro Plan, starting at $289 per month—a cost savings of around 90% when compared to the in-house employee!
Effort: Efficiency and Focus
Constant phone calls are a disruption, and routine tasks like scheduling appointments can take the focus away from providing patient care if doctors or other medical providers have to answer the phone. An answering service can be transformational, especially for smaller medical practices, by reducing interruptions and improving focus for dedicated medical professionals. Your practice can operate efficiently and effectively with an answering service handling the administrative tasks so that staff can provide exceptional patient care.
How Does an Answering Service Assist a Medical Office?
An answering service plays a crucial role in supporting a medical office by:
- Screening and prioritizing calls, ensuring that calls are caught and routed to the appropriate staff if necessary.
- Providing emergency response when urgent calls come in. These specially trained agents determine the severity of the situation and forward critical cases to the on-call doctor or a nearby medical facility.
- Scheduling appointments and all the other administrative tasks like cancellations, reminders, and rescheduling.
- Handling prescription refill requests, forwarding the necessary information to the right medical staff for review and approval.
- Responding to general inquiries like office hours, insurance information, or directions to the office.
- Relaying important messages from patients, ensuring that important patient information is not lost.
- Improving the patient experience by providing consistent, high-quality responses (following approved custom scripting), no matter the time of day.
Your phone is often the first point of contact for your patients. Using an answering service gives your medical practice the support you need while providing each patient with the highest degree of professionalism.
What Phone Services Are HIPAA Compliant?
Every company is different, so it’s important to ask if the provider you’re considering is a HIPAA compliant answering service. Here at Answering Service Care, we are proud to be one of the top medical answering service companies providing HIPAA compliant offerings for a wide range of medical offices and practices. Whether it’s a simple patient inquiry or a medical emergency, our agents handle every situation with empathy, professionalism, and discretion.
What Is the Best Answering Service for Medical Offices in the USA?
The best medical answering service is the one that works well with your office. With Answering Service Care, you’ll have a true partner to support your operations and help you provide the highest quality care for each person who dials your number. Our HIPAA compliant, 100% U.S.-based agents are specially trained for your industry. Not to mention that we take the time to get to know your specific practice so our staff can integrate seamlessly. We have over 45 years of experience doing what we do best—providing efficient, effective, empathetic answering services. Get started today with the right plan for your practice. Support for your patients and medical professionals is just a click away!