Your practice needs to offer superior customer service and frictionless care to succeed. Luckily, there are many things you can improve to maximize patient satisfaction. Examining communication channels like phone calls and automated notifications is a great place to start.
Medical call centers can deliver solutions that help practices serve their patients better while lowering costs and improve overall practice efficiency in the process. Below are some examples of how healthcare call center services can benefit your medical practice.
Increase Your Efficiency
Every physician has experienced challenges due to not having enough office staff or having their time wasted. Partnering with a healthcare call center (also known as a medical answering service) allows you to focus on your core business and reduce the amount of work that can burden your administrative staff.
In addition, outsourcing tasks like appointment setting and payment processing to another company that can automate or improve upon them can help your business cut costs.
Imagine just being able to re-route appointment questions, changes, and cancellations, leaving your staff free to handle the patients in front of them. With an effective medical call center, your patients aren’t complaining about “wanting to talk to a human“ because they can get to the right person faster without repeating themselves to multiple parties.
An experienced medical answering service can also reduce distractions by effectively screening calls and preventing unauthorized calls from reaching on-call staff. Professional call screening eliminates the chance of impeding a physician’s time or distracting them from more pressing matters.
Deliver Quality Patient Care
How you treat patients will determine your success. The healthcare call center you work with should recognize this and help maintain that high-quality care over the phone. Conversely, you can lose patients with a call center with rude, unprofessional staff who lack the communications skills to respond professionally during emergencies.
When you give your patients access to high-quality services around the clock, it can make a huge difference in their perception of your practice. Your patients will appreciate the ability to call with urgent needs and have their information dispatched to an on-call provider. A healthcare call center will help lower your overall costs while providing professional customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Combine this with the latest technology, and virtual receptionists can put your medical practice a head above the rest.
Around the Clock Access & Appointment Scheduling
When you partner with a healthcare call center, they can contact or receive appointment scheduling calls at any time, including in the evening when many patients are available.
Having an after-hours service on standby means that your office staff can focus on higher-order tasks. In addition, many modern contact centers can integrate with your existing scheduling systems, reducing the need for redundant data entry.
Outside of appointment scheduling, a full-service medical call center should operate 24 hours a day and provide the ability to fulfill other patient requests when your office is unavailable, such as reaching the on-call physician or leaving a message for the office.
Appointment Reminders and Patient Follow-Up
Sending appointment reminders and notifications has always been challenging for many healthcare providers, especially if they do not have enough administrative support. Unfortunately, this means potentially losing thousands of dollars from patients who have forgotten and missed their appointment.
Nearly three-quarters of medical practices say their staff could provide better patient care if they were not required to place dozens of daily appointment reminder calls to patients, especially since about 7% of patients never show up for their appointments.
A qualified call center can remind patients about their upcoming appointment with a friendly courtesy call so your practice can focus on other vital tasks.
Ensure Each Call is Handled Appropriately
Your practice receives a variety of calls, each with its processes and instructions. Some calls require general information. Some calls get routed to specific extensions, departments, or partners; others may result in a message or an urgent dispatch to your on-call staff.
The instructions for handling each type of call may vary based on the time of day, day of the week, who is calling, and other variables.
Everyone handling your calls needs to follow each process accurately and consistently.
A healthcare call center can help you implement a blend of automated and live operator solutions that provide coverage for every scenario your practice may encounter. The ideal medical call center will do everything from IVR phone trees to call routing to after-hours answering and on-call dispatching.
For example, many patients are accustomed to using a touchtone phone tree to navigate to their desired contact without speaking to a live operator. You can use a call center to achieve this functionality and avoid the expense of live operators where appropriate.
Work with a Leading Medical Call Center Provider
Does your healthcare organization need help setting up the perfect call center? CMS can help. We have provided high-quality medical answering services since 1967 and work with healthcare organizations ranging from solo practitioners to large hospital systems and provider networks. To get started, view our pricing or request a custom quote.
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