5 Ways Medical Answering Service Companies Can Help Improve Your Health Care Services
Unlike some service-related businesses, you can’t automate the telecommunications for hospitals, clinics, and other medical services. You need a real human being to answer the phone and ascertain exactly which department or medical staff the caller needs to talk to. That is where medical answering service companies come in.
They provide 24/7 medical answering services. In effect, they augment a lot of healthcare operations and provide comprehensive customer service within the medical industry. Note that these companies have personnel and services that are HIPAA compliant.
Medical answering service companies usually offer the services of professional contact center personnel that provide individualized services to your customers and callers. They provide the following benefits and services to their partner companies.
- Call Distribution
These contact center service companies provide you an automatic call distribution (ACD) system. Your clients will initiate the call. Each call will then be picked up, filtered, and sorted according to terms that you will specify.
Every call will then be organized by priority and then assigned to an operator or telephone service representative (TSR) depending on his or her specialization.
- Initial Customer Support
The TSR will then receive the call as they are directed by the ACD. The caller’s concerns and issues will then be documented and recorded accordingly. The operator or TSR will then conduct initial research using the appropriate tools.
The objective is to find out the severity of the concern being aired by the caller.
The TSR can provide solutions then and there but there will be times when the medical concern is too complex or too severe. If that happens, then the reports and the call will then be transferred to a level two support provider who will then analyze the reports and determine solutions that will be recommended.
- Problem Research
If further research is needed then the case is sent over to analysts. Certain cases require more than a simple solution. The goal of this team is to find a medical intervention that solves the caller’s concern without having to require upper-level staff members to assist in a major intervention.
However, if the situation warrants such an intervention, then they can recommend it.
- Return Calls and Feedback
After medical interventions have been provided for, it is the responsibility of representatives from medical answering service companies to follow up on the patient. They should collect patient feedback regarding the services that have been rendered. They should also survey the client to ascertain the satisfaction levels and how the medical service company can improve.
Reporting is an essential factor to determine the results based on certain key performance indicators. These well-documented reports will help fine-tune a medical facility’s services and improve the overall quality of customer engagement.
Factors to Consider
There are several factors that you should consider before you enlist the help of medical answering service companies:
- The flexibility of service hours: They should be able to provide 24/7 over the phone customer service.
- Real-time call scheduling: they should be able to provide real-time scheduling systems that can reach your on-call personnel.
- HIPAA compliance: the service company should be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This helps ensure that sensitive information is accessed and handled only by authorized personnel. Remember that at the end of the day, your doctors will be held accountable by law for any mishaps even if the answering service provider is the one who is actually at fault.
Apart from that, there are also internal factors that you should also pay attention to before you partner with medical answering service companies. Here are several things that you should determine:
- What emergency situations has your team handled in the past?
- What are the types of medical situations that your staff has handled more frequently? Which medical cases are handled but less frequently than most? How many staff members have you dedicated to more frequent cases?
- How busy does your medical center get? Which days are usually busier than ever? When and how often do you have a shortage in the number of personnel?
- How many doctors do you have in your medical facility?
Call answering service providers can help your staff handle the overflow. Their services become very helpful during peak days such as holidays, weekends, and certain peak days such as the flu season and other occasions when there are more cases than your staff can normally handle.
Choosing the right patient/client answering service provider to partner with will help reduce the burden experienced by your staff. It allows you to make your operations flow more smoothly.