It’s late on a Friday afternoon when Fred C calls his doctor’s office for a prescription refill. He has forgotten to refill his blood sugar medication and needs the doctor to call the prescription in to the pharmacy. When he calls, he gets an answering machine with a promise to call him back. No one gets the message because the machine is not working properly. If this happens very many times, Fred might change doctors and not even say anything about it. This is only one of many reasons to re-evaluate your medical office answering services.
How to Evaluate Your Services
The best way to evaluate your answering service is to use at is if you were a prospective patient looking to make an appointment. Call during normal business hours and then call again after business hours. You may be surprised what happens. If you want to really know what goes in inside your medical office answering services, ask a patient to call in the middle of the night with an urgent message for you. This can be a real eye opener.
What Are My Options?
If your answering service is not measuring up, it’s time to check out other services. Some medical office answering services are live while others use automated systems. Some charge you by the volume of calls you receive while others offer flat rate services. Let’s look a little closer at these options.
Live Answering Services
This kind of service guarantees your patients get to talk to a live person whenever they call. As long as they employ competent and knowledgeable help, you may not have any problems. However, people can make errors and just one mistake can cause a medical emergency to go untreated or a violation of Federal privacy laws.
An automated system is not a simple answering machine. Automated medical office answering services are high tech and have the ability to filter and prioritize all your patient and vendor calls. Because they are programmed a certain way, you have no human mistakes.
Some services may provide you a maximum number of calls and then you are charged on a “per call” basis. If you have a busy month, this can be very expensive. The most affordable medical office answering services are fully automated and charge you a flat rate each month. Whether you have 1000 or 10,000 calls, your fees remain the same and there are no hidden charges to be concerned with.