Do Medical Answering Services Cover After-Hours Calls?

Medical answering service professional scheduling an appointment

Medical professionals are entrusted with the health and safety of their patients each and every day.

With that much pressure, it can be hard to keep up with the calls that seem to come in at all hours of the day and night. A medical answering service is one of the best ways to manage potential chaos so that you don’t stretch yourself or your staff too thin.

Medical answering services are great to help with day-to-day work, especially when your office telephone starts to ring off the hook, but many professionals wonder if these live receptionists can also cover their after-hours calls. The simple answer is yes, but a live answering service does a lot more than just pick up the phone when you’re having dinner with your family.

Medical Answering Services After-Hours

It’s important to provide your patients with a way to contact a medical professional any time of the day or night — after all, emergencies rarely happen at convenient times. When you hire a medical answering service, you change the whole provider-patient balance. Instead of getting a voicemail system or complicated computerized telephone menu, your callers can speak to a real live person with the skill to troubleshoot problems while reassuring the patient that they’re going to be ok.

It’s amazing the power that another human voice has to soothe frazzled nerves, and how much that little bit of extra effort can translate into happier customers and improved service ratings for your office. The flexibility of an after-hours medical answering service means that not only will your patients have someone to talk to no matter when they’re in trouble, but that you can also specify what your patients should do and when.

For example, you can leave instructions with your medical answering service to instruct callers with sick children with low-grade fevers and otherwise uncomplicated colds to give a fever-reducing medication. You can also outline parameters for calls that should go directly to your phone without hesitation. Patients that don’t necessarily need to be seen by the emergency room may still be in need of reassurance and advice that only you can provide.

Improving the Patient Experience With Availability

There’s no question that patients respond in an overwhelmingly positive way to a human voice when they’re calling after-hours, but that one positive phone experience can translate into a better overall relationship and improved patient care in the long run. When patients know there’s someone they can trust to call in times of panic, they’re often more willing to do so, preventing the delays that often lead to ambulance rides.

So, not only will an after-hours medical answering service give your patients a 24-hour sounding board, but it will also give you your off-hours back. After all, you’ll still be there for your patients if they’re really in trouble, but if they’re simply panicked in a non-emergency situation, your answering service can make sure they get the human touch they need.

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