A telephone answering service may seem like a small addition to make, but it has a dramatic impact. Read on to learn the top benefits an answering service at a doctor's office or other health care facility has for patients.
Patient satisfaction should be at the core of every decision made in medicine. An answering service gives you a 24/7 way to greet your patients, even when you aren't in the office to see them yourself.
Sometimes, office hours simply aren't enough. Patients work different shifts and have family obligations or other demands on their time. Although the patient might not be able to speak with their doctor directly, it's still worth having someone available to answer their questions or take a message.
It might not seem like a big adjustment to make, but it can have a massive effect on your patients and their sense of well-being.
No one wants to talk to a robot. Patients prefer a human being. They want to speak to someone with empathy and compassion. Automation is impersonal and often irritating. Having a human voice on the other end is a welcoming change. It gives patients the feeling that their time is valued and that their troubles are being taken seriously.
The importance of a provider-patient relationship really can't be stressed enough. A good relationship builds trust and earns respect. That relationship could also translate into referrals and increased business. Any communication that does or doesn't take place after office hours may affect the relationship. Providing a human being to field those calls could prove vital.
Communication is at the heart of every answering service. An answering service may play a vital role in post-discharge scenarios, especially when it comes to providing additional information, or helping with medication instructions or the transition of care.
Appointments and Reminders
Making appointments is the single most common way an answering service is used. Whether the patient needs to schedule an appointment, change times, or notify you of a cancellation, an answering service could prove invaluable.
Missed appointments cause frustration for everyone involved. No one looks forward to a missed appointment, and a reminder is the easiest way to avoid one. A phone call is a personal and effective way to help patients keep their appointments.
Patients generally only leave feedback if they're extremely happy or thoroughly disappointed. Of course, even if they don't leave detailed information, they can still give you a five-star rating. Those ratings add up quickly, and communication is an integral part of making a good impression. Many websites use patient reviews to help with making assessments and grading medical providers. Patients often use sites like WebMD or Healthgrades before contacting a medical office, so it's a good idea to keep in mind their perceptions and experiences. Communication and accessibility both play key roles in influencing a patient's opinion.
Every patient should be delighted with their experience. Any missed opportunity to provide human interaction and allow for questions or reassurances could hinder your relationship. Health care often begins with a phone call, so it's wise to make the most out of each and every call.
Contact the professionals at CallNET to learn more about the integral role that a phone answering service can play in health care.