Investing in a medical telephone answering service can help you run and manage your practice more efficiently and drastically improve your patient communication.
Whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a bigger medical practice, a specialised medical telephone answering service has a lot of benefits.
With COVID-19 forcing businesses to consider whether they’ll bring staff back to the office or continue with remote working (24% intend to increase home working in the future) a remote call answering service for your medical practice could be just the answer.
What is a telephone answering service?
A telephone answering service works just the way a traditional receptionist would in terms of dealing with calls.
Using a team of virtual receptionists, your telephone answering service can deal with incoming calls, take messages, pass calls to the right members of your team, act as a screen against unwanted sales calls, and free you and your team up to focus on the job of looking after patients.
The only difference is they work in a remote capacity, meaning you don’t have to worry about manning the phones in a physical office.
But how can a specialist medical telephone answering service actually benefit your practice?
Improve patient communication
A telephone answering service can give you a reliable, consistent call handling function in your practice.
Instead of risking sending patients to voicemail, leaving them on hold, or letting the phone ring constantly, your call answering team can deal with every call that comes into your practice.
And instead of an automated, robotic voice, patients will be greeted by a real person who can deal with their enquiries quickly and even help them book appointments with you.
This is important as 11% of patients in a recent survey said they’d found it difficult to book appointments with their clinic or GP in the past.
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Improve your reputation for patient care
While you might think patient care begins at the start of a consultation, it actually starts from the moment a patient contacts you.
From the first phone call, patients want to feel reassured and confident that they’re being dealt with professionally, in a personal way.
Calling to book a medical appointment, only to be met by voicemail or an automated message isn’t going to offer any reassurance.
Plus, with a telephone answering service dealing with incoming calls, your practice staff can spend more time caring for the patients in front of them.
This is something in demand now for clinicians.
A report by the BMJ found that patients had struggled to access services, book appointments or access treatments at clinics and GP surgeries through 2019 and 2020.
The traditional receptionist role – manning a desk, greeting people and answering the phone – is actually highly inefficient and not cost effective.
In a physical clinic, they might be able to greet people and answer the phone, but once they’re on one call, they can’t deal with anything else until that call is finished.
And if you operate a mobile clinic, having an office or desk space just for a receptionist is a massive waste of resources that could be better spent on other areas of the business.
With a telephone answering service dealing with your practice’s calls, you can save money on the wages of a receptionist and use the money to invest in other members of staff with the skills and experience to deal with those patients who do require further in-person consultations.
Free up your time
If you’re a solo practitioner, running your own clinic, you won’t have the time to answer every call that comes through.
If you do answer every call you won’t have the time to actually take care of patients.
Even if you work in a bigger practice, is it a good use of a salary to have someone just dedicated to answering the phone?
By bringing in a call answering service you can free up clinical staff to spend more time with patients and improving patient care.
Extend your opening hours
Just because you run a practice from 9-5 doesn’t mean patients will only try to call you during those times.
Many patients will be working during the day and not have time to call to book an appointment.
Or they might need to book at the weekend.
If your practice doesn’t pick up the phone you’re not offering a great patient experience.
And if you run a private clinic or solo aesthetic business, you risk losing revenue with patients likely to try somewhere else if they can’t get in touch with you.
Get specialist call answering help
Because of the nature of medical and health practices, patients are often calling for sensitive reasons or to book appointments.
These aren’t things a regular call centre answering service can help with.
Operators in call centres don’t receive specific training to deal with this type of enquiry (they literally just take messages).
Nor can they be used to book appointments or help manage diaries.
So if you want to free up time and money, hiring a specialist medical call answering service is the best option.
Grow your practice
If you rely on increasing patient numbers for revenue and profit, then a specialist clinic call answering service can help.
For one, it ensures you never miss an incoming call, which could include new patients trying to register with you or trying to book appointments.
Plus, because it frees you up from answering calls, you can spend more time working on your practice when not seeing patients, rather than spending all day handling calls.
For a solo practitioner, this provides vital time to market your business and attract new patients.
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Avoid unnecessary calls
As well as dealing with patient calls, you likely get a lot of calls from salespeople trying to sell services or products.
These calls are a huge distraction when you’re running a busy practice, and you don’t have time to deal with them.
Not only can a telephone answering service for your medical practice screen your calls for you, but it can also have you removed from sales lists so you don’t have to deal with these calls in the future.
Invest in a telephone answering service to improve your medical practice
If you want to find out how you can benefit from outsourcing for call answering services, contact Pulse by Face For Business.
We’ve got a team of virtual receptionists who specialise in call answering for the health and medical sectors who can help you better manage your calls and appointment booking.
Click here to find out more about Pulse by Face For Business or get in touch.