If you are a healthcare service provider, then you are no stranger to the mounting paperwork that comes with patient records. Apart from handling the administrative part of your business, you are also required to ensure that your services are always the best. All these things together can put pressure on healthcare service providers who struggle to keep all these aspects in line, along with maintaining their bottom line.
However, you can now rid yourself of this excess burden by outsourcing some of these needs to a third-party vendor. Owing to competition and rising pressure to keep costs in check, many healthcare businesses Get Medical Answering Service on board who can handle their calls and also provide quality service as expected from your brand.
This support system will allow you to give better care to your patients and be at the front end as the answering services work in the backend to screen your calls, schedule appointments, insert patient record details in your CRM software, etc. However, before you take the plunge, there are few things that you need to ensure to get the best out of your call center experience.
There is no point in hiring someone who cannot handle all of your backend operations for you. To have one more than one company handle patient details and records is a recipe for disaster as it can lead to a compliance violation. So make sure your service provider offers the following services:
The vendor should be HIPPA compliant
Mishandling of sensitive patient records can land you in expensive lawsuits. Therefore, it is important that health information is always kept safe as it changes hands. Moreover, all medical businesses are legally required to work only with HIPAA compliant answering services.
A lot of times patients make an appointment at the doctor’s office but forget to attend it or cancel/reschedule it. But your medical answering services provider should be able to manage your calendar and reschedule the appointments to delay no-shows. They should also be book appointments on your behalf and integrate with Google Calendar or any other proprietary scheduling software.
Other than scheduling your appointments, another service your vendor should provide is emergency call support. If your patients want to talk to their doctors in the middle of the night, the call center agents working on your behalf should be able to help them out. A live operator should tackle emergency calls as per procedure defined at the time of contract sign-up. You can also define screening questions to ensure that the emergency is real. It is utmost important that you define an ER protocol with the call center before getting them on board.
Even though prescription refills are not really urgent, there are times when a refill request must be addressed immediately. For these type of calls, you and your vendor must establish a screening question like if they have run out of medicines or if they are about to run out. If the patient is already run out, then this can be a critical urgency and may require you to text/call the doctor. If the patient still has time, then they can be given the option of calling back during business hours or leave their information for a follow-up call.
Handle FAQs for general questions
FAQ’s don’t really become a part normal call handling procedures. However, it is advised that your vendor is open to learning some basic knowledge of your practice so that can handle general questions. For example, where the office is located or names of the doctors in practice, email address for general queries, cancellation policy, etc.
CRM and Other Software Integration
The first appointment with the doctor will lead to long hours spent in filling out forms and endless paperwork. As a data entry operator, this could be very tiring and time-wasting to enter patient record information real-time as others have to wait in line for their turn. In this case, working with an answering service will save you the time and hassle of doing this backend work yourself. All you need to do is enter the basics and send details to a centralized system. A medical answering service integrated with your CRM will save you a lot of time. You can have them enter each caller’s data in your database and have access to patient information within minutes.
If you are looking for a reliable partner in the market, then be sure thoroughly perform your due diligence before signing them on. Read online reviews and try to assess their professionalism as well as work ethic. But most importantly, you need to check if they offer a free trial so that you can evaluate them in real-time.