The medical industry is said to be recession-proof. Regardless of the country's economic condition, it will continue to strive. This is because people do not stop getting sick when the economy is down. Thus, it is of grave importance that clinics and hospitals continue to be ready to cater to the needs of patients 24/7. One of the means to ensure that the medical industry remains ready for patients is to implement office automation, primarily an answering service.
An answering service is a software that works tirelessly to provide basic information and to link patients directly to their doctors. With an efficient answering service, patients can contact their doctor at any time of day. However, an answering service does not only benefit patients. It also unloads some of your medical staff's time-consuming jobs, so giving them more time to focus on the more urgent tasks at hand.
'20% of all incoming calls are left unanswered '
Studies conclude that about in the medical industry, 20% of all incoming calls are unanswered because the medical receptionist is not around or because the medical receptionist is busy with other tasks.
Another fact that has been disclosed is that most of the unanswered calls are made after business hours. There is no way to stop patients from feeling sick and making emergency appointments in the wee hours of the morning or in the dead of night. Sickness comes and goes and there is no way to predict when that happens.
Opening your phone lines for longer periods of time by using an answering service would help patients flag that of the symptoms that they're experiencing. As such, you can advise them to go to the hospital for emergency cases.
'Linked to text and email'
In most cases, an answering service is linked to both the practitioner's and patients' text and email services. What this means is if you're the practitioner, you will be alerted via text or email if a patient has left an urgent message for you. And even if the message is not considered urgent, you will still get the notification. This feature also allows you to track the appointments that have been set or canceled via the system.
For the patients though, they have the option to link their mobile numbers and / or emails to their appointments. That way, should there be changes or a need to remind them of their schedules, it would be easier to communicate to them. Frequent and updated communication also assures patients that they will be well taken care of.
'Better customer service'
An efficient answering service also improves the quality of your services. Since your staff do not have to spend a lot of time on the phone answering calls and appointment requests, they can focus on more important aspects of their job. Then they can better assist all walk-in patients and treat them with the warmth and hospitality that they need to feel a bit better even before seeing the doctor.
An answering service can still be considered new technology so there's a lot of learning along the way for you and your patients too.