Medical practices need an efficient communication system with patients. A good consideration is the importance of after-hours answering service. This might be making a significant impact in undercutting your practice’s success.
Quality communication with your staff and patients especially after business hours is an essential pillar of the medical service industry. Understanding this will make you begin noticing small mistakes that might be adding up to cost your practice significantly.
Here’s a catch
Smart physicians and practice administrators understand the phone answering mistakes that might cause a communication breakdown. This leads to lost or delayed messages, inaccurate diagnosis, and wrong patient names.
It’s important to understand physician on-call duty frustrations and other instances that might create phone answering related issues. These inconveniences might not seem serious until you understand their far-reaching impacts highlighted below.
Inappropriate patient care
Patients stay are more likely to loyal to practices because they trust physicians. Any feeling that their medical needs don’t get the attention they desire or failure to get answers to their questions leads to frustration and fear.
Regardless of the relationship with the physician, some patients are more likely to leave the practice for a new provider.
Negative patient experience leads to loss of revenue from return patients. When a patient has an unsatisfying experience with your practice, they are bound to leave negative reviews and can’t recommend your practice to your family and friends.
Risk of fines and lawsuits
Smart medical practitioners understand the industry’s best-kept secret of hiring a physician answering service. This will handle all your phone-answering tasks while complying with HIPAA standards. Failure to adhere to these standards exposes your practice to fines, penalties, and lawsuits.
Your practice will give patients to have more control over their health information. Additionally, HIPAA compliance puts in place safeguards for the protection of private health information.
A professional answering service prepares your practice for worst-case scenarios. It promotes accurate on-call schedules that allow the delivery of accurate patient information even during business hours.
Response to patient time-sensitive concerns protects your practice from medical malpractice suits. This saves your practice from financial loses.
Less time to do the things you want
Miscommunication has a direct cost on how you spend your time. It becomes hard to determine your practice profit margin with a feeling that you can’t deliver the expected patient care. This is impossible to achieve with a weak link in the communication process. Hiring professionals to handle your phone answering is highly recommended for coming in handy in various instances.
It will save you the time you would have spent correcting answering mistakes. This will leave your staff with enough time to offer excellent patient care.
Additionally, professional assistance eliminates worry about spending time on non-emergency calls during after-hours. Without frustration and inconvenience of handling multiple calls, your staff is saved from burnout.
Risk of denting practice reputation
It’s essential for your practice to have an efficient system allowing the timely delivery of messages. This encourages appropriate patient care leading to satisfaction.
Your practice’s reputation is negatively affected when patients fail to reach the physician in time during an emergency. Professional call center agents protect your reputation by limiting delays.
Professional answering services are upfront about their costs or charge a flat rate. This eliminates worry about failure to understand the fee charged according to activity. These might add up leading to a huge cost to your practice. Look out for hidden fees for activities including:
- For taking a message
- Relaying and logging conversations
- Relaying the message to the right physician
- Giving the patient the doctor’s instructions
How to avoid the above problems
With intense competition in the market, it’s essential to have an efficient answering team to offer after-hours phone answering. This requires hiring an agency with representatives who recognize and detect non-urgent messages.
All non-urgent messages are deferred until working hours for the physician to spend their time as planned. You’ll enjoy walking into your practice knowing that patients received the necessary care and assurance required during after business hours. You won’t have any complaints to handle.
It’s very important to partner with a professional answering service to take your practice to the next level. Your patients will enjoy better care with less risk on your reputation resulting from ensuring HIPAA compliance. This will save your practice from hefty fines, penalties, and lawsuits that might lower your bottom line.